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Volume 4 Number 3, Autumn 2007, Pages 1-240   

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Students' Perspectives on a School-based English Proficiency Test

    Wenxia Zhang and Meihua Liu

This paper reports on a study on students' perceptions of a school-based English proficiency test. Administering a 60-item survey to 526 students in three different study years at a university in Beijing, the study revealed that (1) most students perceived different parts of the test difficult, (2) the majority of the participants felt anxious during the test, (3) first-year students considered the proficient test the easiest, felt the least anxious, and performed the best in the test, (4) students who considered one part of the proficiency test more difficult tended to score lower in that part, perceive other parts more challenging and feel more anxious during the test, and (5) all the measured variables were significantly related to one another and had a negative relationship with students' achievement in the test. All these findings attest to the reliability and validity of the proficiency test. Based on these findings, some implications are discussed.

Keywords: perception, proficiency test, university, study year