- While the process for selecting tests for Australian visas is well documented, the process for selecting tests for Canada’s SDS remains a mystery. Later today I’ll pay $5 and ask Canada to send me everything they’ve got.
- The Australian requirements seem to value customer experience and nudge testing firms towards being better versions of themselves. That’s nice. It also mandates that ample research into the validity of the tests be published. I counted 45 requirements stated by the department, most of which are really useful. I’m particularly impressed by the request (with some caveats) that concordance studies have more than 1000 participants. I’m also pleased that currently-accepted tests have to go through the same comprehensive procedure.
- Wholly at-home tests will not be considered. However, the government will “consider accepting an English language test that includes only one test component delivered remote-proctored online, noting this one component need not necessarily be conducted in a test centre.” That’s interesting. I am certain that all firms would love to give test-takers the option of doing R/L/W at a test center, while doing all of the speaking at home.
- One of the testing firms asked “Can an English language test that is currently undergoing revision and refresh, which is yet to be completed in the next 18 months, be submitted under this REOI process.” That may have been asked by ETS in light of changes to the TOEFL. The response was curt: “No. The Department will evaluate tests submitted as part of a Response to this REOI as being complete at the point of submission.” Whoops! HOWEVER, that seems to have been overridden by a memo from June 2023 which allows firms to revise their REOI response to include “in certain cases, a ‘new test’ or a ‘new ‘product’.” I think it will be okay, folks; my reading of this is that Australia-bound students should be able to submit new TOEFL scores again by mid-2024.
When the process is complete I hope at least one Australian reader will submit a Freedom of Information request so we can get our mitts on even more details.