Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about the placement and assessment test, plus an example video of how to do a placement test with a new student.
What is the difference between the PLACEMENT test and ASSESSMENT test?
Students take the placement test when they first arrive on the platform to assign them a level. Students take the assessment test in order to progress onto the next FL level.
How do the PLACEMENT and ASSESSMENT tests work?
The written part of the placement and assessment tests has 4 elements: Grammar, Business Vocabulary, Listening and Reading.
Students take the written test first. After that they take their speaking test with you, the tutor. It’s the speaking test that determines their final level.
Do students have to take a PLACEMENT test?
All students must be assigned a level. However, not all students take the written part of the placement test.
- English Score students do not take the written test. They are assigned a level based on the speaking assessment only.
- Some B2B students use a blended model (a mix of a self-study course called Fluentify Academy and lessons with a tutor). These students sometimes don’t take the written test and so must be assigned their level using the speaking test only.
What happens if my student didn’t show up to their PLACEMENT test or we were unable to do the placement test due to technical difficulties?
Mark the student as absent in the feedback form. The student will have to use a new token for another test session. If they are a B2C student, they will have to buy a session pack to be able to book their next session.
How do I assess my student’s speaking level?
The following videos are designed to give you a reference for your PLACEMENT tests. In this case, the students haven’t completed a written test and so their levels are defined by the speaking test only.
Placement test with Jacopo
Placement test with Marco
Steps to defining a student’s level
1.Student introduction (2- 4 mins)
Listen carefully to the student’s speech to determine their ROUGH level in the FL scale.
Questions below will suit a majority of adult learners but tutors can be flexible and modify them.
- First of all, can you tell me something about yourself?
- Where were you born and where do you live now?
- Can you describe your hometown or family?
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- Where do you work? What does your company do?
- What do you like about your job? / What is your favourite thing about your job?
In our example, the tutor started with a general question about free time. From there the tutor understood the rough level of around B1 (between FL4-FL7).
2. Determining a student’s exact level (10-15 minutes)
Once you have a general idea of your student’s level, move on to ask level specific questions.
For example, if you think your student is a confident B1, start off with FL6 questions. If your student is doing very well, move on to FL7. If they are struggling with FL6 questions, go down to FL5.
In our example, the tutor went deeper into the student’s grammar knowledge by asking a FL6 question with ‘used to’.
The student failed to use this language point and so the tutor tested them with another FL6 question using ‘already’ and ‘yet.’
When the student got this question wrong (and also failed to use the present perfect) the tutor knew that he had to be a much lower level and so tested him with a modal verb question from FL4.
From the student’s grammar ability, fluency, comprehension and pronunciation, she determined that his level was an FL4.
3. Goals analysis (5 minutes)
Next you should spend 5 minutes filling in the goals analysis function with the student to determine their goals.
- What are your English goals/ What do you want to focus on?
- How do you use English at work? How often?
- What are your biggest difficulties with English?
- What do you hope to do on Fluentify?
4. Conclusion (5-10 minutes)
Finally speak about how YOU, the tutor can help your student achieve their goals. Tell them about your teaching style and how your student can benefit from booking more sessions with you. You can tell them more about Fluentify (or English Score), and suggest “following you” by clicking on a red heart on your profile so that they can easily find you when they browse through the tutor page.
Things to remember
Lower levels: FL2-FL7
Your student could be a lower level than they first appear if they:
- Stick to just simple past, rather than using a range of past tenses.
- Use the present simple when they should use simple past or a future tense.
- Use a limited range of irregular verbs in past (most commonly just ‘went’ and ‘saw.’)
- Have problems comprehending your questions.
- Keep their answers short (indicating that they lack the ability to express themselves fully) rather than expanding on the topic.
- Express awkward body language such as looking down or to the side while they speak (indicating that they struggle with the language).
Higher levels: FL8-FL12
Your student could be a lower level than they first appear if they:
- Are very fluent when speaking about work but struggle to find the right words when speaking about another topic.
- Use only ‘text-book’ English without phrasal verbs or expressions (indicating that they haven’t had the enough exposure to the language to speak naturally yet).
- Fail to use the conditional form when answering conditional questions.
How many hours does a student need to do before unlocking the next ASSESSMENT test?
For B2C students, the number of hours varies depending on your student’s level. It ranges from between 10 hours for lower levels to 25 hours for advanced levels. Here they are:
FL0 10 hours
FL1 10 hours
FL2 10 hours
FL3 15 hours
FL4 15 hours
FL5 15 hours
FL6 15 hours
FL7 20 hours
FL8 20 hours
FL9 20 hours
FL10 25 hours
FL11 25 hours
FL12 25 hours
FL13 – no test
Once your student has completed the required hours for their level, they will see an invitation to take the written test on their STUDENT DASHBOARD.
This system doesn’t apply to B2B students as they usually take the assessment test at the end of the contract (see below).
Does a student always have to take an ASSESSMENT test?
Once a student has completed the required number of hours a green button will appear on the top right of their Fluentify dashboard saying TAKE TEST. Here are some important points to remember.
- B2C students can choose to postpone or forego the test if they wish, however, it will mean that their level on the system will be inaccurate.
- B2B clients usually take the assessment test at the end of the contract so the number of hours spent on the platform may differ.
- Some B2B clients will not take the assessment test if it wasn’t included in the contract.
What happens if my student has a much higher level than their written ASSESSMENT test score?
The written assessment test can only move a student up one level – even if they aced the exam. This is one of the reasons why the speaking test overrides the written test. Some B2C students ignore the invitation to take the test for months (and sometimes years), meaning that when they finally take the assessment, they have gone up two or sometimes three levels. Please bear this in mind when assessing students – the written test is not always an accurate reflexion of a student’s true ability.