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Published research

Explore all published research conducted into PTE Academic.

Published research

Explore all published research conducted into PTE Academic.

Research summaries and notes

Research summaries and notes provide key information about and findings from the research being conducted into PTE Academic.

Ackermann, K., De Jong, J.H.A.L., Kilgarriff, A. & Tugwell, D. (2010): The Pearson International Corpus of Academic English (PICAE)

Ackermann, K. & Kennedy, L. (2010):  Standardizing rater performance: Empirical support for regulating language proficiency test scoring

Barkaoui, K. (2018):  Examining sources of variability in repeaters’ L2 writing scores: The case of the PTE Academic writing section. In Language Testing, January 2018

Bosker, H.R. (2014):  The processing and evaluation of fluency in native and non-native speech

Brunfaut, T. & Révész, A. (2014): The Role of Task and Listener characteristics in Second Language Listening. In TESOL Quarterly, Volume 49, Issue 1

Chan, S.H.C. (2011):  Demonstrating cognitive validity and face validity of PTE Academic writing items Summarize Written Text and Write Essay

Clesham, R. (2021): PTE Academic research summary of shortened test form

Clesham, R. & Hughes, S. (2020):  2020 Concordance Report PTE Academic and IELTS Academic

De Jong, J.H.A.L. & Zheng, Y. (2016):  Linking to the CEFR: Validation Using a Priori and a Posteriori Evidence. In Banerjee, J. and Tsagari, D. (eds.), Contemporary Second Language Assessment. London, GB, Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 83-100 

De Jong, J.H.A.L. & Zheng, Y. (2011):  Applying EALTA Guidelines – A practical case study on Pearson Test of English Academic

Durrant, P., Walker, C. & Michel, R. (2015):  Using PTE Academic to predict achievement and measure proficiency gains in an intensive EAP foundation programme

Fox, J. & Fraser, W. (2014):  Setting university language proficiency entry requirements on the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) in relation to performance categories on the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment

Hutha, A. (2014):  Diagnosing the development of writing ability

Jones, G & De Jong, J.H.A.L (2017):  A Standard Setting Study to Establish Concordance between the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE A) and the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) or read summary only

Jones, G. (2011):  Once or twice? – A critical review of current literature on the question how many times the audio recording should be played in listening comprehension testing items

Ma, J. (2017):  Examining Chinese test-takers’ PTE Academic test preparation: practices, effects, and perceptions

McCray, G. & Brunfaut, T. (2016):  Investigating the construct measured by banked gap-fill items: Evidence from eye-tracking. In Language Testing 35(I), pp. 51-73

O’Loughlin, K. (2014):  Investigating lexical validity in the Pearson Test of English Academic

Owen, N. (2012):  Can PTE Academic be used as an exit test for a course of academic English?

Pae, H. & O’Brien, B. (2018): Overlap and Uniqueness: Linguistic Componential Traits Contributing to Expressive Skills in English as a Foreign Language. In Reading Psychology, March 2018

Pae, H., Sevcikb, R. A., Greenbergb, D. & Kim, S. (2016): Relationships among metacognitive skills, listening, and academic reading in English as a foreign language. In Linguistic Research, Volume 33(Special Edition), 1-27

Pae, H. & Greenbergb, D. (2014):  The Relationship Between Receptive and Expressive Subskills of Academic L2 Proficiency in Nonnative Speakers of English: A Multigroup Approach. In Reading Psychology (2014)

Pae, H. (2014):  Forced Choice or Free Choice?: The Role of Question Formats in Predicting Speaking and Writing Skills of Nonnative Speakers of English. In Educational Assessment, Volume 19, 2014 – Issue 2

Pae, H. (2012):  A model for receptive and expressive modalities in adult English learners’ academic L2 Skills

Pae, H. (2012): Construct validity of the Pearson Test of English Academic: a multitrait-multimethod approach

Pae, H. (2011):  Differential item functioning and unidimensionality in the Pearson Test of English Academic

Pae, H. (2011):  The factor structure of vocabulary skills and academic reading performance by adult English learners

Pearson (2010):  Aligning PTE Academic test scores to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

Pearson (2018):  Pearson Test of English Academic: Automated Scoring Whitepaper

Reckase, M. & Jing-Ru, X. (2014):  The Evidence for a Subscore Structure in a Test of English Language Competency for English Language Learners. In Educational and Psychological Measurement. Vol 75, Issue 5

Riazi, M. (2014):  Concurrent and predictive validity of Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) Note: Also available in Papers in Language Testing and Assessment Vol. 2, Issue 2, 2013

Song, X. (2014):  DIF investigations with Pearson Test of English Academic

Treffers-Daller, J., Parslow, P. & Williams, S. (2016):  Back to basics: how measures of lexical diversity can help discriminate between CEFR levels. In Applied Linguistics.

Wang, H., Choi, I., Schmidgall J. & Bachman L. F. (2013):  Review of Pearson Test of English Academic: Building an assessment use argument. In Language Testing 2012 29: 603

Wei, W. & Zheng, Y. (2017):  An investigation of integrative and independent listening test tasks in a computerised academic English test. In Computer Assisted Language Learning, Volume 30, 2017 – Issue 8

Wei, W. (2013):  Can integrated skills tasks change students’ use of learning strategies and materials? A case study using PTE Academic integrated skills items

Wilson, R. (2016):  The PTE Academic and ‘Outer Circle’ Students: their Proficiency in, and Ownership of English and their Academic Performance at UK Universities.

Xu, J., & Reckase, M. (2016):  Michigan State University, USA: Using Multidimensional Item Response Theory (MIRT) to Link Multiple Test Forms and Report Subscores for Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE A)

Yan, J. & Xiaoyi, Z. (2014):  Effects of Skill Integration on Language Assessment: A Comparative Study of Pearson Test of English Academic and Internet-Based College English Test Band-6 Note: Also available in Computer-Assisted Foreign Language Education

Zheng, Y. & Mohammadi, S. (2013):  An Investigation into the Writing Construct(s) Measured in Pearson Test of English Academic. In Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics, 2(1), 108-125

Zheng, Y. & De Jong, J.H.A.L. (2011):  Establishing construct and concurrent validity of Pearson Test of English Academic

Current research projects

External research projects

Below is a list of external researchers who have carried out or are currently conducting research using data from Pearson Language Tests.

Ongoing projects

Aryadoust, V., Singapore University Using the Rasch Model to Investigate Differential Item Functioning in reading items of PTE Academic

Frost, K., & McNamara, T., University of Melbourne Stakeholder perceptions of the use of PTE Academic for the purpose of skilled migrant selection in the accounting profession in Australia

Knoch, U., & Elder, C., University of Melbourne Test preparation practices and their links to score gains on the PTE Academic

Sorace, A., & Bak, T., University of Edinburgh and Bilingualism Matters Cognitive, motivational and demographic correlates of Progress test proficiency scores

Tsagari, D., & Demetriou, T., University of Cyprus Investigation of linguistic parameters accounting for progress in proficiency on the GSE

Zheng, Y., University of Southampton Assessing Language Progress: How to Measure, and What to Compare to?

Completed projects

Al-Lawati, Z., Ph.D. candidate, Lancaster University, UK Investigating the characteristics of language test specifications and item writer guidelines, and their effect on item development Supervisor: Brunfaut, T., Ph.D.

Barkaoui, K., Ph.D., York University, Toronto Examining sources of variability in repeaters’ L2 writing scores: The case of the PTE Academic writing section

Bosker, H.R., Ph.D. candidate, Utrecht University, Netherlands Second language oral fluency: production and perception Supervisor: De Jong, N.H., Ph.D.

Brunfaut, T., Ph.D. & Revesz, A., Ph.D., Lancaster University, UK Tasks, proficiency, and assessing L2 listening comprehension

Chan, S.H.C., MA candidate, University of Essex, UK An investigation into the composing processes in writing-only and reading-to-write test tasks: computer-assisted analysis and stimulated recall Supervisor: Lilley, T.

Durrant, P., Ph.D., Walker, C., Ph.D., University of Exeter & INTO University of Exeter LLP, UK Using PTE Academic to predict achievement and measure proficiency gains in an intensive EAP foundation programme

Fox, J., Prof. & Fraser, W., Prof., Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario Standard Setting: Relating the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment to the Pearson Test of English Academic in the context of admission to tertiary study in Canada

Huhta, A., Ph.D. & Hirvelä, T., Ph.D., University of Jyväskylä, Finland Diagnosing the development of writing ability

Lim, Y.S., Ph.D. candidate, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA Empirically-based methods to develop and evaluate attributes in cognitive diagnostic assessment Supervisor: Douglas, J.A., Ph.D.

Lu, L., Ph.D. candidate, Wollongong University, Australia Explore validity evidence on automatic essay scoring systems from the perspective of rating process Supervisor: Tognolini, J., Prof.

Ma, J., Ph.D. candidate, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario The effects of test preparation on Chinese test takers’ PTE Academic performance, English language proficiency, and motivation of English language learning Supervisor: Cheng, L., Prof.

McCray, G., Ph.D. candidate, Lancaster University, UK Statistical modelling of cognitive processing in reading comprehension in the context of language testing Supervisors: Brunfaut, T., Ph.D., Berridge, D., Prof., & Alderson, J.C., Prof.

O’Loughlin, K., Ph.D., University of Melbourne, Australia Investigating frequency and range of academic vocabulary use in written test tasks and responses

Owen, N., MA candidate, University of Leicester, UK Can PTE Academic be used as an exit test for a course of academic English? Supervisor: Fulcher, G., Prof.

Pae, H., Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, USA Construct validity of Pearson Test of English Academic: A multitrait-multimethod approach

Palani, M., MA candidate, Warwick University, UK Investigating the predictive validity of PTE Academic listening for understanding university lectures Supervisor: Harsch, C., Ph.D.

Present-Thomas, R., Ph.D. candidate, Amsterdam VU University, Netherlands Linguistic parameters of writing performance at higher CEF levels Supervisor: De Jong, J.H.A.L., Prof.

Reckase, M., Prof. & Xu, J., Ph.D., Michigan State University, USA The Evidence for a Subscore Structure in a Test of English Language Competency for English Language Learners

Riazi, M., Prof., Macquarie University, Australia Investigating the scalability and criterion-related (concurrent and predictive) validity of PTE Academic

Rukthong, A., Ph.D. candidate, Lancaster University, UK Investigating the listening construct underlying listening-to-summarize tasks Supervisor: Brunfaut, T., Ph.D.

Shu, Z., Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA Test cheating detection model

Song, X.M., Ph.D. candidate, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario DIF investigations with Listening Subskills on the PTE Academic Supervisor: Cheng, L., Prof.

Treffers-Daller, J., Prof., Williams, S., A., Prof., & Parslow, P., Ph.D, University of Reading, UK Automated assessment of lexical diversity and n-grams in essays of test takers of PTE Academic

Xu, J., Ph.D. & Reckase, M., D., Prof., Michigan State University, USA Using Multidimensional Item Response Theory (MIRT) to Link Multiple Test Forms and Report Subscores for Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE A)

Wei, W., Ph.D., Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Vietnam Can integrated skills tasks change students’ uses of learning strategies and materials? A case study using PTE Academic integrated skills items

Wilson, R., Ph.D. candidate, University of Warwick, UK The PTE Academic and Outer Circle Students: Assessing Proficiency in English, Ownership of English, and Academic Performance at UK Universities. Supervisor: Harsch, C., Prof.

Yan, J., Prof., Shanghai Jiaotong University, China Effects of skill integration on language assessment: A comparative study of PTE Academic and IB CET-6

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.

Download the 2021 Research Call

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Published research

Findings from Pearson-led and external research about PTE Academic.

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