Wednesday, October 21, 2015

SPECIAL | Berlitz Language Testing

So I'm about to take my Berlitz French test soon, but I have no idea how the test is conducted. FYI, my french is not very polished so I was trying to find some tips where to focus more. Voila, I found this rough guideline on how the test is done. Of course, this may not be the same but at least you get a glimpse of the process. 


Student will speak with a native-speaking Berlitz evaluator for 30-45 minutes in the target language over the telephone. The evaluator will guide the student through the test.

It is important to use formal grammar and vocabulary unless asked to do otherwise.

Warm Up
The first five minutes are for warming up and are based on introductions and greetings, as is done when first meeting someone.

Level Questions
The evaluator may then ask the student a variety of questions at different grammatical levels about general topics such as the student’s background, current events, opinions, food, travel, etc. It is very important to answer the questions to show that you understand what was being asked. An example may be:
“Why are you living in _____?” , “How long have you been living in _______?” etc

The evaluator may read something short, such as a newspaper article, to the student with follow-up questions to check Listening Comprehension.

The evaluator may ask the student to read (quietly or out-loud) all or part of the Language Article, which was sent to the student before the test began, and then may engage the student in a discussion about the article.

The evaluator may give the student a 1 – 2 paragraph dictation. The student must write down exactly what the evaluator says, including punctuation and correct spelling.

The evaluator may ask the student to identify grammatical structures within the dictation, or independently. The student should write down the instructions and complete the assignment after hanging up the phone. An example question might be:
“Circle the subjects and direct objects in the second and third sentence.”

Essay and/or Letter
The evaluator may ask the student to write an essay about the article, or about a specific topic, AND/OR a formal letter to a real or imaginary person about a given topic. The student should write down the instructions and complete the assignment after hanging up the phone.

After receiving all the instructions from the evaluator and writing them down, the student will hang up the phone and use the remaining time to finish the written test.

After the 90 minutes are finished, the student must immediately send their written test (via fax or email after scanning) to Berlitz Testing Services. The student should call Berlitz no earlier than 5 minutes after sending the test to verify that it was received.

Students are tested in
- Listening Comprehension
- Speaking Ability
- Pronunciation
- Use of Grammar
- Spoken Vocabulary - Reading Comprehension
- Writing Ability
- Written Vocabulary
- Grammar
- Spelling

You will be given an overall Berlitz Level (1-10), which is an average of your speaking/listening and reading/writing abilities. A Berlitz level 10 represents a level of proficiency similar to a well-educated native speaker, including extensive grammar knowledge. Being a native speaker does not guarantee that the student will earn a high score or a specific credit amount. 


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