The level-based approach brings several benefits, both for teaching and learning, and in selecting the best applicants for higher education, employment, etc.
Since all of the items in the test focus on specific levels, they provide more in-depth and precise evidence of candidates’ skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. This in turn provides a more detailed picture of their ability to understand and use the language effectively.
Furthermore, level-based exams like Global Language Training GEP English Exams, make it easier to structure the language learning curriculum, and give clear objectives for the learner, whether in elementary education or for adult learners, since the different exam levels can function as milestones which a learner reaches along their language journey. The value of these milestones is enhanced when they are linked to an international standard. In the case of the Global Language Training GEP English Exams, this international standard is the Common European Framework of Reference on which they have been based, designed and built. These level-based exams provide a clear specification of the skills to be mastered at each level and enable the candidate to practice more intensively while at the same time developing language skills which are relevant in the real world.
From the perspective of a teacher, it is easier to teach towards a level-based exam, because the curriculum aims are more defined and differences in learner ability within a class are potentially smaller.
Also, specified objectives for each level enable learners to approach tests with greater confidence and to prepare more effectively. Students tend to perform better if they’ve previously taken the exam at the level below because test results from the test at the level below could inform teachers and learners about their strengths and weaknesses. Learners become more aware of their profile as learners and begin to ask teachers what they can do to progress in English, improving self-regulated learning. Familiarity with task types may also be an advantage for those who have taken the exam at the level below.
Finally, in this context we have found that candidates that take Global Language Training GEP English exams feel less anxious and more confident if they have taken the exam at the previous level. Young learners, in particular, are less anxious about assessment when they have taken Global Language Training GEP English Pre-A1 exams, (Dolphins, Bears and Lions) specifically designed for young learners. The experience of taking a test which is not high-stakes at a young age, is motivating for them and they want to move up the language learning ladder one step at a time.