Linguaskill

Linguaskill is an online test used primarily by education institutions and companies for self-invigilated English testing. It replaced BULATS (Business Language Testing Service) when it was discontinued in December 2019. Linguaskill can test individuals and groups of candidates in all four language skills: speaking, writing, reading and listening, however, it is modular so it can also be administered for a single language skill.

The primary difference between Linguaskill and other standardized English tests is that it is offered as a service to schools, training centers, and companies that wish to organize their own testing sessions on campus. For self-invigilated test sessions, cheating-prevention measures are the responsibility of the test administrator/customer rather than Linguaskill or a third-party test center.

Test structure

There are two test options available, Linguaskill General and Linguaskill Business. Both formats of the test are the same length. Linguaskill is a modular test and each of the three modules can be taken as a stand-alone test or combined with the other modules.

The listening and reading section of Linguaskill is a single module lasting 60-85 minutes. It is an adaptive test, which is to say that questions get easier or harder depending on how the student responds. Standard question types are fill-in-blank and reading and listening comprehension. Most of the answers are multiple choice. The score of the listening/reading module of Linguaskill is available immediately upon completion, although testing institutions can decide not to display the score to test takers until their scores on the other modules are ready.

The Linguaskill writing test lasts 45 minutes and includes two tasks: a minimum 50-word writing prompt (often an e-mail) and a minimum 180-word prompt. A computer automatically marks the texts and assigns a score within 12 hours.

The speaking module of Linguaskill lasts 15 minutes and includes 5 tasks. This section is recorded and assessed automatically by a computer then verified by examiners at another location before scoring in published. Scores are available within 48 hours.

Scoring

Scores on all Linguaskill modules are on the Cambridge English Scale, from 82 to 180, and its equivalent CEFR band. If a student takes more than one module, an overall score is calculated on the same 82-180 scale (an average of the scores achieved on the modules taken). Institutions administering Linguaskill to groups receive a summary report of all student scores and CEFR bands. Results on Linguaskill are available within 48 hours, making it much faster as an assessment tool than most standardized tests. The quick turnaround time is accomplished through automated rather than manual scoring.

Ownership

Linguaskill is a product of Cambridge English Language Assessment, which is also the organization behind the Cambridge English exams and the IELTS.