Here are a few stray details I picked up from my participation in some recent ETS events. They aren’t really important, but you might find them interesting.
- The SpeechRater checks everything, including vocabulary and grammar. My earlier impression that it only checks delivery was incorrect.
- Confirmed: there is just one human rater alongside the SpeechRater for each task.
- The human score and the SpeechRater score have equal weight. They are averaged. If there is a major difference between them, however, a second human rater will check the answer.
- SpeechRater generates task-specific scores, rather than scoring everything collectively.
- Important: When a score review is requested the SpeechRater is not used.
- Interestingly, an ETS person told me that in the past there was only ever a single human rater for each task. This is the total opposite of what ETS told me previously, which is that there was always two human raters for each task. I guess it doesn’t matter now.
- They have heard your complaint about the less-detailed Score Reports, and are considering how to provide more detailed information. Yay!
- They are working on a new Official Guide, but there is no timeline for publication.
I’ll have to update my video about the Speaking Section changes, I think. Stay tuned.