State-run English test to be held on Saturday
By Han Sang-hee
A pilot test for the National English Ability Test, or NEAT, a state-administered English proficiency test, will be held in Seoul and 17 cities across the nation Saturday, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said Friday.
The domestic test, designed to compete with TOEIC and TOEFL, will officially start next year, and the government hopes it will be used as key data for universities and companies to recruit students and employees.
The test-run is to measure the questions’ validity, credibility and level of difficulty as well as other processes including the conducting process and grading. The ministry will hold two more practice tests this year before its official debut.
A total of 4,000 applicants who were chosen last year will take the test, which is comprised of four sections _ reading comprehension, listening comprehension, speaking and writing.
NEAT offers three types of tests: level 1 is for adults, and level 2 and 3 for high school students.
The pilot test, of Level 1, will consist of 96 questions with 137 minutes to answer them, while TOEFL gives 225 minutes to answer 104 questions and TOEIC 2 hours for 200 questions.
Level 1 was developed to evaluate business English skills and was made with the help of numerous companies.
Level 2 will focus on in-depth English, fit for students who are thinking of studying or starting a career in the field, such as international studies, while level 3 will be based on conversational skills and everyday English usage.
The tests have been developed by the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Korea University, Seoul National University, Sookmyung Women’s University and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.