SOURCE: EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE

June 10, 2008 03:00 ET

TOEIC® Speaking and Writing Tests Launched in the U.K.

World-Class Standard for Measuring Workplace English Proficiency Supports Home Office's New Immigration Policy

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - June 10, 2008) - In support of the United Kingdom Home Office's new points-based immigration system, ETS announced today the successful launch of the TOEIC® (Test of English for International Communication™) Speaking and Writing Tests on May 22 at Bloomsbury International Language Center, London.

The TOEIC® Speaking and Writing Tests allow experts to measure a person's ability to use spoken and written English in the workplace. The TOEIC test has been included as part of the new immigration policy announced by the Border and Immigration Agency of the U.K.'s Home Office earlier this year.

"The demand for the TOEIC test, especially within the U.K., was immediate as many people needed to take the test straightaway," says Ian Lucas, Executive Director of ETS Europe-U.K. "To meet their needs, we were able to launch the TOEIC Speaking and Writing Tests earlier than expected, and have now scheduled additional testing sessions on a monthly basis."

Since 1979, the TOEIC test has been recognized for the highest levels of score reliability and fairness. Developed by ETS, the TOEIC test has set a worldwide standard for workplace English-language proficiency testing. Today, over 8,000 corporations in more than 90 countries use the TOEIC test, and 4.8 million tests were administered in 2007.

The TOEIC Speaking and Writing Tests complement the TOEIC Listening and Reading test and provide a complete assessment of a test taker's language ability in all four-skill areas -- listening, reading, speaking and writing. The Speaking Test measures a test taker's ability to use spoken English. Responses are scored by ETS-trained raters who evaluate abilities in areas such as pronunciation, intonation, grammar, vocabulary, and relevance and completeness of response content. The TOEIC Speaking Test lasts approximately 20 minutes and includes 11 questions measuring different aspects of spoken English.

The TOEIC Writing Test measures a test taker's ability to use written English. Overall organization and appropriate and precise use of grammar as well as vocabulary are considered by raters. The test lasts approximately 60 minutes and includes eight questions measuring different aspects of writing ability.

"The TOEIC testing process is remarkable," notes Lucas. "Unlike other tests, the TOEIC Speaking and Writing Tests are done in real time, where questions are downloaded and answers uploaded as test takers progress through the test. Bringing this test to the U.K. market has been very exciting, and I'm pleased with the successful launch of the first administration."

"We are very pleased to provide the TOEIC Speaking and Writing Tests in the United Kingdom," says Paul A. Ramsey, Senior Vice President of ETS's Global Division. "The TOEIC test provides a definitive assessment of an individual's ability to communicate effectively in English in today's globally diverse workplace."

For further information on the TOEIC test and upcoming test dates, please call +44 (0) 208 446 9944 or e-mail toeic@etseuropeuk.org.

ABOUT ETS AND ETS GLOBAL

ETS is a nonprofit organization with the mission to advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services for all people worldwide. Founded in 1947, ETS designs, develops, delivers and scores more than 50 million tests annually in more than 180 countries, at 9,000+ locations worldwide.

ETS's Global Division and its related subsidiaries have offices around the world to meet the needs of non-U.S.-based entities in Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. In serving individuals, businesses, educational institutions, government agencies and membership organizations worldwide, ETS offers valid and reliable assessments, research and related services including customized solutions, workforce products and services, and research-based teaching and learning tools.

For more information, visit the ETS Global website at www.ets.org/etsglobal.

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