FCE Practice Tests With Keys
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The results of the text analysis showed the reading passages on the two tests are comparable in many ways but differ in several key regards. The task analysis revealed that the construct coverage, item scope, and task formats of the two tests are clearly distinct. Analysis of test performance showed that scores on the GEPT-A and iBT are highly inter-correlated with each other. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of the test score data indicated that the two tests appeared to be measuring reading and writing ability but emphasize different aspects of the reading construct.
A practice iBT test form from The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test (Educational Testing Service, 2012) was used for the content comparison. Each reading test featured nine passages with a total of 122 items including multiple choice, a limited number of multiple-response multiple-choice items (selected response items in which test takers must select two or more correct options per item), and one categorization item. The writing task used was an independent writing task; it required test takers to write an essay in response to a brief prompt.
The reading items from both tests were examined to determine the aspects of the construct of reading that they seemed most likely to assess. Passages were also classified based on their topics. Additionally, the scope of each item was rated, using a five-point scale of very narrow for any item for which the key information necessary to answer it correctly was found within a single sentence, narrow if the key information was within the space of several sentences, moderate for any item for which the key information could be found within all or almost all of a single paragraph, broad if the key information was spread across more than a single paragraph, and very broad for any item for which the key information was distributed across more than half the text. The final step in the task analysis was to identify the response format for items.
Correlations were calculated among the reading and writing tasks for both tests. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted the GEPT-A and the iBT reading and writing scores. A confirmatory factor analysis was then conducted taking the results of the exploratory factor analysis as a starting point (Model 1). The steps for confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) followed standard procedures outlined in Kunnan (1998). Several CFA models with variables from both tests were submitted for evaluation. Goodness-of-fit of the models was evaluated using the following indices: χ 2, the NFI, NNFI, CFI, and RMSEA.
Table 5 summarizes the response formats of the two tests. While the iBT was entirely dependent upon selected response items, the GEPT-A included a substantial proportion of short answer items, with only about a third of the items using traditional multiple choice. In contrast, the iBT mainly relied upon multiple choice items (92.6%).
Both tests required paraphrasing and summarizing of material read, but they differed in their emphasis. The GEPT-A required both paraphrasing and summarizing but with a greater emphasis on summarizing. In contrast, the iBT straddled the boundary between the two to some extent and involved a much smaller degree of the information reduction that is required in summarizing. In addition, the GEPT-A used short-answer tasks to address this portion of the reading construct, while the iBT used multiple choice.
The hypothesis that the two tests measure the same constructs was also supported by the results of the CFA, although not with the same factor structure as suggested by the EFA. The CFA found the best fit was a two-factor (Academic Reading and Academic Writing) rather than for a single-factor model (Table 9). The two-factor reading and writing model also fits better than one with separate factors for GEPT-A and iBT.
The tests are also not comparable in terms of the scope of their reading comprehension items. The GEPT-A has a more even distribution in scope across its items than does the iBT, with a much lower proportion of narrow-scope items than the iBT. This seems appropriate for a test that purports to assess English at a high level of proficiency, whereas a greater emphasis on items of narrow and very narrow scope would be appropriate on tests targeting lower proficiency levels. The response formats used on the two tests are also not comparable, most notably due to the extensive use of short answer items on the GEPT-A in contrast to the iBT which only uses multiple-choice answer items. In addition, the score distributions of the two tests were not equivalent in this study, suggesting that the GEPT-A may have been more difficult than the iBT.
In summary, while the passage and task analyses revealed important differences between the two tests, the correlational and factor analyses indicate that the GEPT-A and iBT are both assessing similar reading and writing constructs. It is probably most accurate to say that the two tests assess the same constructs but from somewhat different perspectives with somewhat overlapping and somewhat different construct definitions.
Six full practice tests with tips and training for the 2015 revised Cambridge English: First (FCE). First Trainer Second edition offers six practice tests for the revised Cambridge English: First (FCE) exam combined with easy-to-follow guidance and exam tips. These Audio CDs feature the listening and speaking activities from the tests to accompany the First Trainer Student's Books. This audio material is also made available online for download with purchase of the First Trainer Student's Book with Audio (with or without answers). 59ce067264