Knowing the Test Takers: Investigating Chinese and Indian EFL/ESL Students’ Performance on PTE Academic

| March 10, 2014
Knowing the Test Takers: Investigating Chinese and Indian EFL/ESL Students’ Performance on PTE Academic

Keywords: PTE Academic, Global Scale of English (GSE), affective factors, Chinese and Indian test takers, motivation, anxiety, diagnostic implications


Dr. Ying Zheng
University of Southampton, UK

Dr. Wei Wei
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Vietnam Campus, Vietnam


Ying Zheng (PhD) is a lecturer at Modern Languages, University of Southampton. She worked as a Psychometrician and Director of Research in the Language Testing Division of Pearson, London, before she joined Southampton. She specializes in psychometric analysis of large scale language testing data and English as second/foreign language learner characteristics, and quantitative research methods.

Wei Wei (PhD) works as a Learning Skills Advisor at RMIT Vietnam. His research interests include washback effects/impacts of high-stakes tests and language curriculum reform.


The study investigated Chinese and Indian test takers’ performance on the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) and their motivation and anxiety-related factors and linguistic confidence. The association between the affective variables investigated and test performance was compared between test takers from these two countries that have the highest number of English as second language (ESL) and English as foreign language (EFL) students. The results indicated that: a) Chinese and Indian students differ in their PTE Academic performance; b) observed score differences between test takers from the two countries can be partially explained by the variance in their affective factors in English learning and testing. The study suggests that a score profile which contains not only overall scores but also communicative scores and enabling scores can provide additional relevant information for diagnostic and placement purposes. EFL and ESL teachers need to take affective factors into consideration when understanding their students and placing them in different teaching groups and designing their tailored classroom activities.

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