Page 18 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 18

Advertorial Feature
Recruiting the “right” international students – best practice in English language testing
As independent schools seek
to increase their international student numbers, their challenge is to ensure that
the students recruited will thrive and achieve the goals that are bringing them to the UK for their education. To increase numbers of the “right” international students, schools need a reliable and ef cient way of assessing English language levels prior to offering a place, writes Caroline Browne, Founder and CEO of Password English Language Testing.
Traditionally, schools used their own paper tests. But sending papers and scripts backwards and forwards, marking and subsequent data input all takes time and effort and as numbers grow becomes increasingly unwieldy. In addition, the test needs to be secure and regularly
refreshed to avoid the real risk of unpleasant surprises when pupils arrive in the UK.
Until recently, there were only two alternatives to schools’
own tests. Firstly, basic general English placement tests from publishers. But placement tests are not intended to be used, and do not work, for making critical admissions decisions. They are designed to quickly assign language school students a class; if it isn’t the right
class, the teacher can easily intervene. Secondly, university entrance exams such as IELTS. These tests have inappropriate content for school pupils, and require signi cant specialist test preparation tuition. There was a clear need for an alternative, a test which was designed, and really worked, for schools.
The Password online testing service (which started in 2008) was originally developed for universities and their associated pathway providers. In 2014 d’Overbroeck’s began using Password English (and Maths) tests, and English language testing for schools was about to be transformed.
d’Overbroeck’s is one of the UK’s leading independent schools with an outstanding international section for
pupils transitioning into the UK’s education system and
then progressing onto leading universities. They were the perfect partner to help re ne Password tests for use by schools; changes made included customising the vocabulary and the contexts of the questions
to re ect the school setting. Finally, a consultation event
with a number of schools was held to con rm the test was truly  t for purpose.
Password Pupil English tests launched last summer and
have since been adopted by independent schools all over the country. Each month Password partners with more schools
and this is because we offer exactly what they need; reliable, accurate and secure assessment with easy delivery and rapid results. Schools are in control even when tests are delivered in agents’ of ces. More applicants can be tested more securely, more quickly, with turnaround times for admissions decisions minimised. The result is increased recruitment of international students,
and crucially they have the necessary level of English.
Gold Standard Testing for
Independent Schools
Since their launch in 2008, Password online tests have been used for accurate and reliable “gold standard” English language and maths assessment. The tests, designed by experts and aligned to international standards, are used overseas to facilitate student recruitment and admission, and in the UK for screening on arrival.
Password tests are secure, simple to administer and deliver accurate results which can be relied upon for admission to secondary education and to GCSE, A level and IB programmes. The tests are delivered by our partner schools’ own staff and trusted representatives, or by the British Council, wherever and whenever required. Test delivery, results and certi cates are all managed online eliminating the need for sending papers and scripts backwards and forwards, marking, and subsequent data input.
To learn more about how Password tests can help you recruit and support international students email us at or call
020 8326 5608.
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