General English Proficiency Test

Regarding the General English Proficiency Test (GEPT) that was referred to in a previous thread…

It’s being developed by the Language Training and Testing Center (LTTC). It’s a five-level language competency test ranging from beginner to “superior” (“native-like fluency”).

I’ve seen (briefly) some of the practice tests. It doesn’t seem as grammar-based as the English tests of yesteryear. In fact, the listening sections look very similar to TOEFL. There are also reading, writing and speaking components as far as I understand.

I’ve heard that it’s being promoted as a kind of nation-wide competency exam. That companies and government offices would set passing certain levels of the test as a minimum job requirement for certain jobs, even for graduation from high school.

Also, does the LTTC see itself as the ETS of Taiwan? (ETS provides the majority of standardized tests required by US educational institutions such as the GRE and TOEFL. LTTC currently administers ETS tests in Taiwan.)

Does anyone have more info about this? Any thoughts?

Developed by LTTC, but are the speaking parts of the tests administered by native/nearnative speakers? That’s what I want to know. If not, they absolutely should be.

That’s bad news for BULATS, eh?
The poor, poor British Council. They’re trying so desperately to claw themselves back into a stronghold position.

Not wishing to defend the British Council per se, your finger pointing is misplaced Alien.

Firtsly, BULATS, unlike IELTS, is not a ‘British Council test’, the BC simply provides administration and QA.

BULATS is the offspring of UCLES and ALTE. Any promotional activities would therefore originate from licensed third parties. Furthermore, the profit margin on BULATS is extremely small given the administrative costs (up to three examiners may be required per candidate.)

Finally, BULATS is not a general proficiency test but simply a measure of a candidates ability to function in English in typical business scenarios and it is proving itself quite popular with Taiwanese and international companies here.

Thanks for the informative post, Abracadabra.
I’ve got your number now…

Ok, so does anyone have any experience in prep. ing students to take the GEPT?

Any opinions or suggestions?
Anyone have the 1000 word list?

I am trying to get some ideas for my own school too.

[quote=“Bassman”]Anyone have the 1000 word list?[/quote]Alien does :arrow_right:

Thanks Fluffy.

I found it in another thread too. “1000 word list” in the Teaching Forum.

I am supposed to go to a meeting this afternoon about GEPT. Supposed to, I may not go, it’s Sunday and I can’t be bothered sitting through 2 hours in Chinese talking “about” English. I can understand but it just makes me too tired. Then they’ll throw in a 30 minute demo from a foreign teacher. Yeah, the monkey show, thrown in for good measure. 50 - 50 on going or not. I’d much rather get my info from the net and Forumosa.

GEPT is big on reading. Lots of genres represented in the test, which is great (ads, letters, articles, columns, websites, etc). I’d recommend prepping learners with reading skills:
top down (main ideas)
vocab in context
bottom up (detailed reading)
critical thinking

It’s not a bad test, actually, except for the speaking part…which doesn’t mimic or represent real talk in the interviews, similar to IELTS in this way, but whaddyagonnado?
Developed by lots of those people who sit around on panels and take five years to design something because of four point five years of headbashing disagreement. You know the ones who’re glorified civil servants? Yeah, them. And also a few professors who ‘pretend’ they know what they’re talking about but who really just have recognized names…

:laughing: .material the of understanding good very a have don’t they up bottom the from read to students my get I when that find I, Alien.

Anyone know of any good preparation materials, online or otherwise, that would be helpful in preparing students for taking the GEPT?

I have the 1000 word list already :wink:

Can you wait two years, Bassman? :smiley:

Wow, you’ll hold my question for two years, and if I am good you’ll answer, is that it?

Or do you only answer questions twice a year just like the GEPT?


No, but there are some key texts in development and since (local) publishing generally takes at least two years from development to market, I can promise you some useful materials in TWO YEARS time!
I couldn’t vouch for other local publishers however since they don’t have us… :smiley:

I will say though that local publishers rarely pre-anticipate the gaps in the market as the MOE is constantly changing the requisites, the jerks…:frowning:

Some guanxi for that

Page not found. Heeelp!

Page not found. Heeelp![/quote]Try this:
It’s funny, but up at the top of the page they mention COBUILD and the Bank of English. I’m not quite sure why (I can’t understand the Chinese text). Corpus linguistics doesn’t seem to have played much of a part in the choice of words.

The list was increased to 1200 words but I’m not sure where you can find the updated version.

Anyway, I think that these MOE lists will decrease in significance as the officially approved alternatives to the GEPT test series get more popular.


Our approach to teaching GEPT is largely not to.

We spend the time building the kids’ skills in all areas and exposing them to realistic English. We also put a lot of effort on their listening: so typically our kids do get more than 100/120 for the listening portion.

Once our kids have the prerequisite skills (in listening and speaking) and show emerging skills in writing as well as competence in reading. We assess them using the GEPT to find out who has potential. Our profile of the students include their abilities AND their attitudes (Teen years that’s significant).

We then marshall those ‘qualified’ into more intensive practice classes to focus on the particular language they haven’t got so far.

As our students are coming through the ranks earlier and earlier, we’re finding that the time in the intensive classes is reducing …

We do not take all comers for GEPT classes. If students don’t meet our entry requirements for GEPT classes, they MUST attend general classes. Nor are we interested in running GEPT only classes, though there must be a big demand for those.

Out of those who are in the intensive classes, we tend to handpick those who are ‘ready’ to try GEPT. Our results: while not statistically significant, 100% pass rate, so far. (not bad when compared to the LTTC’s own standard 33-5% pass rate).

We’re still working on Level 2 training program, right now. We have five students in that class, but the class is going to take several years before they pass. Level 2 pass rate is only 10% right now, and it seems to be getting worse.



Kenneth, Bassman’s post was nearly three years ago! He’s well out of GEPT-land and back in Lord-of-the-Rings land now! Tmwc resurrected the thread because he needed the 1000/1200 word list.

As it seems that you’re focusing on real, useable English ability, why not think about putting some students in for the Cambridge tests? The LTTC recognises the Lower Main Suite tests as being equivalent to the GEPT series.

You know that children are not permitted to take the GEPT any more, right? They aren’t really supposed to take the Lower Main Suite tests either (though some do). But the Cambridge YLE tests, which are quite fun and do encourage real communicative ability, are for children.

[quote=“Alien”]Developed by LTTC, but are the speaking parts of the tests administered by native/nearnative speakers? That’s what I want to know. If not, they absolutely should be.

No they are administered by locals who are not native speakers.

A poor man’s copy of the IELTS test which has been around for a decade or more