Supporting research in English language testing
We are conducting research, using independent researchers, to inform the development and validation of PTE Academic. A Technical Advisory Group, comprising experts from both language testing and psychometrics, also provides feedback, advice and critical assessment.
Our in-house research includes:
Developing item writer guidelines derived from the CEFR
Relating item difficulty and lexical cohesion
The Pearson International Corpus of International English (PICAE)
Developing marking criteria based on the CEFR
Investigating the effect of partner scores in paired oral assessment
Assessing academic English listening
Concordance studies (relating PTE Academic scores to predictions of scores on other high stakes tests)
Read about how we score PTE Academic, and our concordance with IELTS Academic.
PTE Academic tests are scored using our extensively tested automated scoring technologies, trained on sample marks from more than 10,000 students with 126 native languages.
The result is highly accurate, objective, and consistent scoring for every test taker.
We set scores against the Global Scale of English on a grade of 10–90, which gives an accurate and granular assessment of a person’s English ability.
Find out more about our scoring and the concordance between PTE Academic and IELTS Academic scores.
Research call: invitation to tender
About the Research Call
The annual Research Call is published by the Global Scale of English unit at Pearson English. One of Pearson’s main principles is to ensure our teaching and testing materials comply with the highest standards and quality.
At Pearson, research is carried out as part of our ongoing validation program, with the aim of obtaining independent advice and assessment of our products by experts in the areas of language testing, second/foreign language education, linguistics, applied linguistics, and other related fields.
How to apply
Faculty members, doctoral students, and qualified freelance researchers are invited to submit proposals to investigate the validity of the Global Scale of English (Pearson’s metric of English language proficiency, aligned to the CEFR) and its related learning, teaching, and assessment resources or products.