TOEIC® scores can be used to make fair and equitable decisions that reflect the needs and priorities of score users such as managers and English language instructors.
Evidence: We provide specific illustrations, tools and guidance that allow score users to:
- better understand their English requirements
- correctly interpret the TOEIC scores
- make fair and equitable decisions
For example, a manager's decision to promote a specific candidate based on his or her English skills relies on an understanding of the skills needed as well as on setting a cutscore that reflects their needs and priorities. Only with both can the manager maximize a positive outcome — choosing a candidate with the right English skills who can succeed in that position.
Setting Standards on the TOEIC® Listening and Reading Test and the TOEIC® Speaking and Writing Tests: A Recommended Procedure
Employers often use TOEIC test scores as one source of information to make a number of decisions. These include:
- recruitment of new employees
- movement of current employees into jobs that require English-language skills
- placement of employees into English-language training programs
For example, an organization may wish to transfer an employee into a position that requires extensive English listening and speaking, such as attending meetings conducted in English. To make sound decisions, the organization will need to know:
- what levels of English listening and speaking skills are needed
- how to determine what TOEIC test score or scores correspond to these proficiency levels
This report is a guide that provides in step-by-step fashion a method of identifying the TOEIC test scores needed to support these types of decisions. The basic process outlined in this document is referred to as standard setting, and the specific approach recommended is typically referred to as contrasting groups. This document leads decision makers through the steps to conduct their own "standard-setting study," which
- allows them to set cut scores that correspond to each decision category
- ensures that their use of the TOEIC tests is appropriate and tailored to their specific needs so they can make the right decision
- and consequently promotes a positive impact of TOEIC test use
Mapping TOEIC® Test Scores to the STANAG 6001 Language Proficiency Levels
STANAG 6001 is a NATO Standardization Agreement which describes explicit listening, speaking, reading and writing proficiency levels necessary for military personnel. This study aimed to identify which minimum scores for each of the TOEIC tests' four skill areas correspond to the different STANAG proficiency levels. Thus, this study provides guidance to score users who need to make decisions about language proficiency based on achievement of STANAG proficiency levels.
The Case for a Comprehensive, Four-Skill Assessment of English-Language Proficiency
This paper explains how four-skill language testing is the best way to evaluate whether someone can communicate in English, and explains how this approach can:
- result in a fairer way of assessment for test takers
- improve the quality of test users' decisions
- create more positive impact for decision makers, teachers and learners
For example, a number of studies have shown that testing can have an impact on teaching and learning — a so-called "washback" effect — and assessing four skills not only provides more information for better decisions, but sends a powerful message to teachers and learners about the importance of communicative competence.