Password English Language Testing‘s at-home “Password Skills Plus” test is now available around the world. This comes after a long pilot project in the UK and Cyprus. The test is intended to be used for university admissions. I haven’t paid much attention to this one, but it looks pretty solid. I hope to take it in the near future.

A few key details are worth mentioning:

  1. The test takes about three hours to complete.
  2. Live proctoring is carried out by Examity (part of Meazure Learning)
  3. The fee is 110 GBP (about 140 USD), which is less than most tests in the category.
  4. I can’t find confirmation, but it looks like scoring is done by humans, given the 7-day waiting time for results and the ability to request that W and S responses be rescored.
  5. A handful of accepting institutions are listed.

At first glance, there are a few things I really like:

  1. There is a 30 minute essay that looks a lot like the old TOEFL Independent Writing Task. I miss that task a lot. I’m not alone.
  2. There are some long and challenging reading and listening questions. The test designers have really taken advantage of the test’s 3 hour duration.
  3. In case of a test cancellation (for any reason) the test-taker can pay a 50 GBP fee to have the cancellation manually reviewed. This fee is refunded if the cancellation is overturned. I think more testing companies should offer this kind of service. Listen: doing this (and keeping it in-house) would both please your customers and give you valuable insights/data.

The language testing market is getting pretty crowded, but we’ll all seen over the past few years how much students benefit from competition. For that reason, I’m always happy to learn about a new English test.

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