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First Computerized Adaptive TOCFL Tests Held in India

CAT testing at SRM Institute of Science and Technology Chennai, April 30

The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) in India held the first Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL) tests using computerized adaptive testing (CAT) at two locations on April 30, 2023. CAT is based on a Rasch item response theory (IRT) model. A test-taker doesn’t need to choose a band—A, B, or C, the most advanced—when they register for their test. As the test proceeds, the test questions come from different bands and vary in difficulty/ The computer immediately estimates the test-taker’s proficiency, based on their response to the question items and then selects the test item to present next.

If the test-taker makes more correct responses to the items, then more difficult questions will be presented. If the test-taker makes more incorrect responses, then simpler questions will follow. CAT needs less test items than other test formats to accurately determine the test-taker’s proficiency, and the student’s results are displayed on the computer immediately after they finish their test. If they pass at a particular level then a certificate for that level will be sent to them afterwards.

The first CAT TOCFL tests were conducted by two Taiwan Education Center teachers, Ms. Yuan Xiaohui conducted the CAT tests for Fifteen students at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (ITT Madras), and Ms. Tsai Ling Yun conducted the tests for Fifteen students at SRM Institute of Science and Technology Chennai.

Afterwards the Director of the Education Division, Peters Chen said he was glad that using CAT tor the TOCFL tests in India had been successfully conducted for the first time. “TOCFL is a reliable language proficiency test for Chinese Mandarin learners, as well as for employers. More and more people are asking us to hold tests in different cities in India. In order to facilitate the entire process, from registration to notifying test-takers of their results, so last year we began testing the speed, stability and sound pressure level of the broadband available, to prepare well and make sure that we can provide secure, efficient computerized adaptive testing.”

The Education Division, TECC in India has organized six TOCFL test opportunities so far this year, including tests held in Delhi for 46 test-takers on April 29. The next two tests will be held in IIT Ropar and IIT Jammu in May.