The Aptis Advanced test is a specially localised variant of the Aptis General test, which has been adapted to respond to the Ministry’s requirement for differentiation between C1 and C2 levels of performance. Aptis Advanced was designed, implemented and monitored closely throughout by the UK Aptis Examiner Management team and the UK Aptis Language Assessment Research team, with senior UK examiners specially trained to use the rating scale designed for this purpose.
The current Aptis General test provides reporting up to an overall C level, but does not distinguish finer levels of performance at the highest level. In order to distinguish C1 and C2 level performances, a double-rating system has been instituted. All test takers receive a final scaled score for each component and an initial CEFR level designation for these skills, using the same scoring and CEFR cut-offs employed for the Aptis General test. Those scaled scores and CEFR cut-offs are set through extensive piloting and standard-setting projects employing the methodology recommended by the Council of Europe for linking examinations to the CEFR. For the Ministry of Education & Higher Learning’s Pro-ELT project, a second stage of evaluation was built into the quality assurance system to enable the finer-grained, high-level distinctions the Ministry requires.
In the second stage of evaluation, test takers scoring at the top end of the scored scale (C level candidates) are re-rated by specially trained senior UK examiners. These examiners use a rating scale specifically designed for this purpose which allows for finer-grained distinctions at the C1 and C2 level. In a small number of cases this means that test takers with the same final scaled score, when it is at the top end of the score scale, will sometimes receive different component CEFR level designations if their performance is determined to be C1 or C2. In the same way, a small percentage of test takers will find that the finer-grained evaluation of their performance will result in a slightly lower component CEFR designation when a test taker is borderline B2/C.