Are students shying away from computer based language proficiency tests?


I was recently speaking to someone at a well known organisation that also acts as an examination centre for international proficiency exams. He made a very interesting comment, that certainly got my attention, and that was that students may shy away from computer based tests, simply because they may perceive that having to use a keyboard may impact on their chance of passing a proficiency test. Issues of concern may include potential candidates typing speeds, and computer literacy skills. Okay, we are in the internet age, and the kids may eat, sleep and dream social networks and cyberspace, but when it comes to high-stakes exams, people may shy away. I think there is something worth noting in this observation. So whilst the exam format for the TOEFL ibt and Pearson Academic may be all computer based, may be people at IDP/Cambridge Esol should think hard about whether turning IELTS into a computer based format exam is not necessarily the next logical step. Your view?

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