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Volume 18 Number 1, Spring 2021, Pages 1-389   

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An analysis of Macau's Joint Admission Examination–English

    Ally Oi Kuan Ho, Don Yao, & Antony John Kunnan

This study examined the evidence for the validity of the content of the Joint Admission Examination-English (JAE-E) developed for university admissions in Macau. The areas of investigation were the linguistic characteristics of the test, the alignment between the test and CEFR levels, and the comparison between JAE-E and other admission examinations. Five experienced English teachers from Macau were recruited to provide expert judgments. In addition to the judgments, two instruments used were Coh-Metrix and CEFR scales with descriptors. Results showed that generally the JAE-E was valid in terms of its content. The Coh-Metrix results suggested that the tests were suitable in terms of narrativity, syntactic simplicity, word concreteness, and deep cohesion (although not in terms of referential cohesion). In terms of CEFR alignment, the test was at B1 level for reading and C1 level for writing. Finally, suggestions for improvements were put forward in terms of integrated skills, scenario-based assessment, and technology.

Keywords: Joint Admission Examination-English (JAE-E), content validity, expert judgment, Coh-Metrix, CEFR levels