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Content of RATEr

Reading skills and academic vocabulary

This component consists of approximately 40 multiple choice questions about authentic, academic and popular science articles, divided across 3 sections:

  • Reading comprehension questions about short articles dealing with contemporary issues, in which the writers present arguments for certain positions
  • Reading comprehension questions about longer academic and popular science articles.
  • A short academic or semi-academic text with blanks which you must fill in by selecting content words from a multiple choice list.

Test duration: A maximum of 90 minutes

Writing skills

This test component consists of 5 writing assignments. The writing assignments reflect the daily practice of students. Some examples of writing assignments:

  • Writing a report based on provided data;
  • Providing a motivated opinion on a particular topic;
  • Writing a formal e-mail.

After completion of this test component, the writing assignments are assessed by trained evaluators on the basis of a detailed assessment model that awards points for content, structure, consistency, grammar, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.

Duration: 80 minutes

Speaking skills

This test contains 10 oral assignments. The oral assignments reflect the daily practice of students. Some examples of oral assignments:

  • Describing and explaining a table or graph;
  • Describing study performance to a student counsellor;
  • Presenting a motivated opinion.

The responses of the candidates will be recorded by a headset with a microphone in a multimedia language lab. This has the advantage that more than one candidate can take the test at the same time. Candidates listen to the assignments and read along in the test booklet containing a description of the scenario, a question and supporting visual materials. Each assignment is followed by a beep, after which the candidates provide their response.

At the end of the test, the answers are saved on a secure hard disk. Trained evaluators assess the answers on the basis of a detailed assessment model that awards points for content, grammar, vocabulary, consistency, tempo and pronunciation.

Duration: 20 minutes

Listening skills

This component consists of approximately 40 questions, divided across 3 sections:

- Multiple choice questions about scientific or popular scientific talks, interviews and dialogues related to student life

- Complete the summary: fill in the missing words based on a popular scientific talk

- Gap text: fill in the missing words in a literal transcript of a short talk

Duration: about 50 minutes

After completion of this test component, the writing assignments are assessed by trained evaluators on the basis of a closed multiple choice model.


More information
If you would like to know more about RATEr or start using this test, please contact our Service Centre:

T: +31 24 361 21 59
E: info@into.ru.nl