What is a placement test?

by | 11 December 2017

Should a placement test include speaking and writing? Is it important that it is adaptive? Does a test-taker have to attempt every question? What, in fact, is a placement test? In the first of a series of 45-second videos that explore this issue, we asked testing expert Laura Edwards to define a placement test.


You can follow Laura Edwards on Twitter here.

Sieon Lau, Senior Editor, ClarityEnglish

Sieon Lau, Senior Editor, ClarityEnglish


  1. Diane Conti

    Most definitely there should be speaking and writing for English level or placement testing. Most teaching today is Skills-Based and to omit these 2 vital aspects only shows part of a student’s ability. The objective of studying English is to speak English. Because of restraints in time, most teachers avoid writing, especially the basics of composition format, sentence building, organizing and paragraph building. Speaking and Writing are the production skills – they synthesize grammar and vocabulary usage which tells the teacher what the student has learned and if she can use it correctly and effectively to express themselves.

  2. Dira Rahayu

    placement test is a test given by a school in order to determine the level of academic ability of students, especially students who will enroll in school.
    With the intention later these students can be placed in a class that is in accordance with their abilities.
    This test must be followed by students before registering for school.

  3. Cici Adeliani

    This placement test is rare in Indonesia country, especially placement test in language program. If students want to enter language program, they just follow the test but it’s not placement test which will determine them into appropriate grup in their level. The test is only for test the common skill not special skill of language program. Even though, students are still able to develop their skills in language and they can adapt with these different levels of language skill each other.

  4. Fitria Wulan Siska

    I think is a test usually given to a student entering an educational institution to determine specific knowledge or proficiency in various subjects for the purpose of assignment to appropriate courses or classes

  5. Fitria Wulan Siska

    i think a test usually given to a student entering an educational institution to determine specific knowledge or proficiency in various subjects for the purpose of assignment to appropriate courses or classes. so in here student should be active for another moment.


    i’m totally agree with this video content because every test has its own purpose.but there is still mistake that some companies want our TOEFL certificate where TOEFL is for educational needs,not for apply for job.it’s clearly wrong

  7. Ines Siska Amelia

    In my opinion, placement test is a test that will be given to students before they enter school or start new learning. This test is usually done at the beginning of learning. For example, if students want to continue their education to junior high school, senior high school or college, then the student will be given this placement test. This placement test is done to find out and see the students’ initial abilities. After the initial ability of students is known, then the initial coaching process will be carried out so that students’ abilities reach the standards set by the school. In this placement test there must be speaking and writing. Speaking and writing is used to find out the basic abilities that exist in students. For example, if the test tested is about English lessons, then speaking is used to find out whether students can speak English or not? And the writing is to find out how much grammar or vocabulary the student already knows. So basically, speaking and writing must be in a placement test, because it’s important.

  8. Neli Agustina

    A placement test I think a good way to assess students for four skills that they should improve.
    Placement test one of test where is teacher can assess student directly, And of course Teacher can now that the material understood by students or not, I think this effective way to assess our students.
    Thank you…

  9. Devi

    Yes, i think speaking and writing must be included in the placement test. It’s because the goal of a placement test is to check the level of students. If we do the test by writing and speaking, we will know more about the ability of the students because the result of the test are real from their own abilities.

  10. Hamza

    Thanks you very much this speaking was very impressed me


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *