General Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

To native English speakers what would you score on a typical English as a second language test?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (20529points) 1 month ago

Test of English that immigrants and out of country test to get into university?

Is it a fair test? Can a tester whose natural language is English pass?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

36 Answers

seawulf575's avatar

Got a citation to show a reference test or a practice test?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@seawulf575 Best I could find is Athabasca university Is a free test. I scored a 65%. Even though my first language is English.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I would do it, but that’s a long test with many different parts.

janbb's avatar

Yeah – I looked and not willing to devote 3 hours to it but I’m quite sure I could pass it.

seawulf575's avatar

The test says to allow 180 minutes to do the test. I did it in about 20 minutes. I scored an 89%. But the question is not how I would do on the test, really. What would be a passing grade for an immigrant?

But to get into a university, I would think you would need to know the language that will be used there. If I were to go to a university in Italy, I would have to first learn Italian. I believe that is a must. The university should not have to cater to the whims of each of the various students. There are some things I believe are on the student to take responsibility for knowing. If you don’t learn the language the university uses, you are going in at a severe disadvantage and will likely not succeed.

ragingloli's avatar

I got an 84. The last section “Sentence Descriptors” really tanked my average.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’d pass.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Would anyone get a 100%? Also would they still up sale you to take it a remedial grammar class? I finished my test in 30 minutes and got a 65% and was pushed a remedial grammar class.

English is my first language. I have a high school diploma.

LadyMarissa's avatar

When I first read your Q, my thought was 0; however, I love a challenge & tried it. It took me less than an hour & I surprised myself with an 85%. I’m NOT going to give them my email addy, but it does appear that English is both my first & second language!!! ;]

Mimishu1995's avatar

This is actually an interesting question. I’m not a native speaker, but I have always been interested in how native speakers do in English tests. I’m familiar with a lot of tests for English learners. One of the most popular tests in my country is IELTS.

The reason why I’m interested is because there is just so much drama around those tests. People literally compete against each other for the highest score. The assumption is that the higher the score is, the closer you are to being accepted as “fluent”. If you don’t score the required score, you are not a real speaker. Believe it or not, I actually don’t have the required score. People literally start wars on the required score and who is allowed to speak English.

I wonder how any of you would do in those tests in my country.

kritiper's avatar

It would be interesting to see what average people from all over the country would do. Like the people who say “sigh-reen” instead of “sigh-rhen” or the people who say “warsh” instead of “wash,” stuff like that…

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@janbb My guess is only librarians and English teachers could score 100%. I was wondering if the university test is too hard for ESL (English as second language) students.

SnipSnip's avatar

I would not expect to make less than 99% correct.

snowberry's avatar

For a foreign language speaker, there’s a huge difference between written English and spoken English. Many understand written English quite well, yet require assistance to understand spoken English, especially if it’s a native English speaker.

JLeslie's avatar

I’d do very well. Much better than all the typos and mistakes I make on fluther.

LostInParadise's avatar

I don’t plan to take the test, but am surprised that the jellies who took it scored in the 80’s. That must be a fairly difficult test if native speakers don’t get scores in the 90’s.

JLeslie's avatar

Ok, I took the test. I do NOT recommend taking it on your phone! Lol. Not easy. Tiny print and hard to click the answers. I got 87%, but I know one answer I definitely marked incorrectly, I realized when I was in the next section, but was afraid to try to backtrack, otherwise my answers that were incorrect were simply that, incorrect.

That test would be very hard for my husband, he is ESL, and if I took it in Spanish I would get a huge fail.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If they ask actual English questions, like identifying prepositions and crap, I would probably fail that section. That would take me from 100% down to 80%.

ragingloli's avatar

@Dutchess_III
How would you deal with this section?

(1) Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world today. (2) More people speak English as their second language than any other language, even though English is a difficult language to learn. (3) There are several reasons why English is such a difficult language, ranging from vocabulary, to word order, to spelling. (4) The vocabulary of English is especially rich and varied, a legacy of its roots in both Romance and Germanic languages, as well as its tendency to incorporate words from other languages from around the world. (5) In this way, there are often several words that can be used to express the same concept. (6) Many people believe, however, that it is the very richness of the extensive vocabulary that makes English a particularly expressive and beautiful language as well as poetic because of the ability to use words in a variety of new and unusual ways. (7) Another difficulty is word order; it is very important in English because there are few inflections in the language to provide clues to word function. (8) For instance, there is no difference in a noun form whether it is the subject of a sentence, a direct object, or an indirect object, yet these functions are very important within a sentence and are distinguished by word order and surrounding word structures. (9) Although verbs show some inflections, only a few compared to many other languages. (10) In Indo-European languages, these inflections are found at the end of words, whereas in Bantu languages they occur at the beginning or words. (11) Then there is the infamous English spelling. (12) There are so many different ways to spell the same sound, particularly vowel sounds, and there are also silent letters that are not pronounced, or spellings such as “gh” or “ght” that are a result of linguistic history, not to mention the joke that if you take the “gh” from the word rough, the “o” from the word women, and the “ti” from the word nation, you could spell the word fish (ghoti), which strikes most people as being completely ridiculous. (13) For a majority of people, however, the challenges of English are worthwhile because of the benefits that result from ease of communication in this increasingly important language. (14) People who find language learning difficult, however, might not agree.

1. The topic sentence is # _____.

Sentence 2
Sentence 1
Sentence 3
Sentence 14

2. A sentence fragment is # _____.

Sentence 9
Sentence 1
Sentence 7
Sentence 14

3. A sentence that contains two complete thoughts and could be written as two sentences is # _____.

Sentence 5
Sentence 3
Sentence 8
Sentence 2

4. A sentence that is a run-on is # _____.

Sentence 6
Sentence 4
Sentence 12
Sentence 13

5. A sentence that provides supporting detail is # _____.

Sentence 2
Sentence 4
Sentence 14
Sentence 3

6. A sentence that does not belong is # _____.

Sentence 14
Sentence 1
Sentence 12
Sentence 2

7. The sentence that best completes the paragraph is # _____.

Sentence 11
Sentence 13
Sentence 10
Sentence 14

8. The most descriptive sentence is # _____.

Sentence 4
Sentence 8
Sentence 6
Sentence 12

9. A sentence that provides an explanation is # _____.

Sentence 9
Sentence 13
Sentence 4
Sentence 3

10. A sentence that compares and contrasts information is # _____.

Sentence 7
Sentence 10
Sentence 4
Sentence 5

I feel like that entire thing is highly subjective, and does not fit with the “only one true answer” system.

I got a 30% on that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Interesting. I’d need time and a desktop to puzzle through that, but I believe I’d do OK. maybe I’ll break out my laptop and rise to the challenge after I wake up!

Demosthenes's avatar

I took the Athabasca test and received a 95%. Considering I majored in linguistics and have studied English at the graduate level, I would hope to do well. :P Grammar is my expertise. I hadn’t really encountered terms like “supporting detail” and “topic sentence” since I was in high school.

JLeslie's avatar

It recommended that I start with level 200 college classes, so maybe with the one more correct I would be up at 90%? Or, if I had taken it on a laptop maybe even one more correct answer, because reading long paragraphs was a struggle. Who knows.

English was one of my least favorite classes, but I had the benefit of being raised by parents who were college educated, both parents born in the US, my maternal grandmother was an English major, and I do think the region of the country probably matters. I grew up in affluent counties outside of DC and NYC, even though my family was not really affluent (whatever exactly that means) until I was in high school, and we still lived in a lower middle class area, they still live there, and my high school was seen as the worst in the county.

My only point with all of that is parts of the test you can do well if a sentence sounds correct, but if you are ESL or grew up where people speak very poorly you don’t have that advantage.

I would say most of the test your level of education affects doing well, because you see where the test might fool you or knowing English grammar terms you learn in school.

I am a very good test taker usually, so that influences doing well on the test also.

LostInParadise's avatar

The questions that @ragingloli showed are really not particularly related to English. You could translate the whole paragraph into another language and ask the same questions. A proper test of ESL would be to focus on reading and writing English words and sentences, not doing a literary analysis.

raum's avatar

Took the test and got a 92.

Apparently, I really suck at “Sequencing” (50). How many times does this guy go for a walk?!

JLeslie's avatar

I scored 100% on sequencing!

Sentence descriptors and transitions were my worst.

raum's avatar

Nice!

Sequencing and Definitions were my worst. I would have guessed that Definitions would be my worst. Would not have guessed that Sequencing would be my nemesis.

Interesting question and surprising results. Thanks for sharing, @RedDeerGuy1.

JLeslie's avatar

@raum Was the sequencing when you number the sentences 1 through 10?

raum's avatar

So I was talking to a friend of mine (who used to be an English professor). And they also got 50% on the sequencing section!

We finally figured out what it was. It wasn’t a matter of English, it was about whether you’re more likely to make plans to see a movie with friends first and then find a movie to see second. Or if you look for a movie first, and ask your friends second.

@JLeslie Did you look for a movie first?

raum's avatar

@JLeslie Yes! I think what’s hard about this section is that once you score one wrong, all the ones after are also now out of order.

JLeslie's avatar

@raum I was going to say exactly that; once you get one wrong then it’s likely many of them will be wrong. Ten is a lot to put in order considering a single mistake can create so many wrong answers.

You really had to watch for the clues in each sentence to get it right. I wasn’t completely confident I had it all in order.

raum's avatar

Whereas I was pretty confident that I had it in the right order. Apparently not! Haha

JLeslie's avatar

Mine was about a person who boards a train, needs to find a seat, the scenery he is passing, and the cities he stops in.

raum's avatar

Oh interesting. Wonder if I would have done better or worse on a different scenario.

JLeslie's avatar

I guess we could take the exam two or three times and see if our scores change a lot, but the test is so long I won’t be doing that.

JLeslie's avatar

@ragingloli I think that was the definitions section right? I don’t think it was very subjective. I had a different paragraph, so I wonder if I would do as well on what you had as I did on the one I had?

seawulf575's avatar

@LostInParadise I’ll be honest, the last section dragged me down a bit. I don’t believe it was because I couldn’t do the test or it was that hard, but because by the time I got to the last section I just plain didn’t care anymore. I just pushed through it to get done. I didn’t have any real driving force that made me want to do really good.

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