Test usefulness of IELTS writing test tasks

Neng Priyanti

Authenticity, Impact, Interactiveness, Reliability, Validity, Practicality


This analysis was conducted to find out the extent to which IELTS writing test tasks are useful for its intended purpose. The indicators of test usefulness used in this study are those of Bachman and Palmer (1996): construct validity, reliability, authenticity, interactiveness, impact and practicality. This framework is taken as a viewpoint as it offers a comprehensive framework of test usefulness that is specific to that of language assessment. The result of the analysis shows that the IELTS writing test tasks place more concern on reliability and practicality. While not necessarily neglecting the other indicators, the nature of the test as a large-scale test reduces its overall usefulness. The predictive value remains unclear as its construct validity is still under-represented. The authenticity is problematic as the tasks correspond to only small parts of real tasks in universities in terms of their length, types of tasks, time allotment, and range of topics offered.

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Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies