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PACE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ for Instructors)

Questions Related to the ACTFL Reading and Listening Tests

Are the ACTFL Reading and Listening tests adaptive?

The Listening and Reading tests are not computer adaptive. An adaptive test determines each successive question based on student responses to the prior question. ACTFL provides different tests based on learner experience.

Based on advice from LTI and ACTFL, we have selected tests for fourth-semester courses, for example, to include a range between Novice-High and Advanced-Low. The items in these tests are pre-programmed and do not change based on student responses.

How are the ACTFL Reading and Listening tests administered during finals week?

Reading and Listening are separate tests taken during the 2-hour exam period. If students finish one section early they may move on to the next. Students will receive a rating for each test.

How many questions are on the test?

There are 30 multiple-choice questions. During the Reading test, students will read ten short passages, answering three questions about each passage. Similarly, during the Listening test, students will listen to ten recordings, again answering three questions about each recording.

When do students see questions during the Listening test?

Students can see questions before, during, and after they listen to each sample.

Does the reading passage remain visible to students as they answer the questions?

Yes. Students can see both the reading passage and the questions simultaneously.

Can students take notes during the tests?

There is a on-screen “notepad” for students to take notes during the Listening test. However, this does not exist for the Reading test.

Can instructors take the test to see what it is like?

Yes! We will be scheduling some test sessions just for instructors. Please contact Dan Soneson to get on the schedule.

Do students see their rating immediately at the end of the test?

No. Results come to the Language Center first. Students will be able to log into a website, currently being developed by CLA-OIT, to view their results. We will email students with the URL as soon as it becomes available.

CLA-OIT currently estimates that the website may be ready for students to access by December 18 -- the same date LPE results are available for Fall 2014.

What are the possible ratings?

Superior
Advanced-High;  Advanced-Mid;  Advanced-Low
Intermediate-High;  Intermediate-Mid;  Intermediate-Low
Novice-High;  Novice-Mid;  Novice-Low

For rating descriptions, please visit the ACTFL website.

When and how will instructors receive the results of the ACTFL Reading and Listening tests?

ACTFL Reading and Listening results taken during finals week should be available the next business day, just like LPE Reading and Listening results. We will process the ratings, add them to our database, currently being developed by CLA-OIT, and then send class reports to each instructor via email.

Instructors should expect to receive reports the next business day (by the end of the day) after students complete the exams.

Questions Related to the Oral Proficiency Interview by Computer (OPIc)

Is the OPIc an adaptive test?

Not technically. An adaptive test determines each successive question based on student responses to the prior question. However, the OPIc provides a series of prompts based on a student’s general ability level and an interest questionnaire. Student responses are recorded and evaluated at a later time by a rater.

Read more about the OPIc.

Can I get access to the students’ speaking samples from the OPIc?

Unfortunately, no. We are not permitted to access any parts of the ACTFL exams, including the audio from the OPIc. All test materials are the property of ACTFL and cannot be used by instructors or researchers.

When and how will instructors get the results of the OPIc?

OPIc results should be available within 10 business days, although it may be longer. We will process the ratings, add them to our database, currently under development by CLA-OIT, and then send class reports to each instructor.

Do you have more questions?

Please email pacetest@umn.edu with any additional questions. We'll do our best to get answers to you as quickly as possible.