Test of English Proficiency (South Korea)

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"TEPS" redirects here. For other uses, see TEP.

The Test of English Proficiency developed by Seoul National University or TEPS is an English proficiency test created by Seoul National University's Language Education Institute to evaluate South Korean test takers' English language skills. TEPS has been administered nationwide since January 1999. It consists of 200 questions which are divided into four sections: Listening (60 questions, 55 minutes), Grammar (50 questions, 25 minutes), Vocabulary (50 questions, 15 minutes) and Reading (40 questions, 45 minutes). TEPS scores are divided into the ten ratings ranging from 1 + to 5. It is designed to test applicants' communicative English skills and to minimize test-taker reliance on certain strategies such as rote memorization. A study [1] of the test indicated that it is valid and fair.

TEPS score is valid to be converted into TOEFL score and this conversion is used throughout many universities in the United States.

Test structure[edit]

TEPS consists of four sections: Listening Comprehension, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension. The test has a total of 200 questions, and takes approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes to administer. Scores are assigned on a scale of 990 points, and incorporate Item Response Theory.

  • Listening: Parts 1 to 3 consist of conversations, while Part 4 consists of short monologues in the form of lectures, broadcasts, announcements, advertisements, and so on. Dialogs for parts 1 and 2 are heard once, while part 3 dialogs and part 4 lectures are heard twice before the answer choices are presented. All listening comprehension questions are presented solely in aural form, which prevents lucky guesses from seeing written options prior to listening to a question. The listening section consists of 60 questions(15 for each section), 55 minutes, and worth 400 points.
  • Grammar: The grammar section has a time constraint of 30 seconds per question, which helps measure a test taker’s true ability to apply grammar knowledge in real-life situations. The grammar section consists of 50 questions, 25 minutes, and worth 100 points.
  • Vocabulary: The TEPS vocabulary section measures a test taker’s ability to use vocabulary in authentic and practical contexts. The vocabulary section incorporates many items that test knowledge of collocations in order to measure the ability to distinguish among synonyms and related words, which could be confused when translated. The vocabulary section consists of 50 questions, 15 minutes, and worth 100 points.
  • Reading: The set of reading skills required for the TEPS reading comprehension section is identical to that required for reading tasks in everyday, academic, and work contexts. A test taker will therefore achieve good scores if they have read a diverse range of articles and trained themselves to grasp the context of an entire passage as well as sentence-level meaning. The test taker has about one minute to read each short, self-contained passage and answer a single question based on it. Because the time limit is relatively short and the passages cover a wide range of topics, it is not possible to answer the questions with rote memorization or test-wise strategies. The reading section consists of 40 questions, 45 minutes, and worth 400 points.

History[edit]

  • March 1992: English language proficiency test development launched at Seoul National University
  • October 1998: Test name changed to TEPS.
  • January 1999: TEPS launched.
  • March 1999: TEPS adopted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a selection test of Junior Professional Officers for the UN agencies.
  • January 2000: TEPS online registration begun.
  • September 2006: TEPS administered for the first Korean astronaut selection.
  • August 2008: TEPS-Speaking & Writing launched.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Inn Chull Choi, 1999, "Test Fairness and Validity of the TEPS," Language Research 35(4):571-603

External links[edit]