Introducing the Versant Professional English Test by Pearson

A team that has a chance to grow is a happy team. HR leaders know that professional development opportunities bring new skills and make their companies more competitive. At the same time, staff retention is boosted. According to a recent study by LinkedIn, 94% of staff would remain at a company for longer if it invested in their career development.

But still, there’s a lot that goes into running a successful career development program. If you want to help your employees improve their language skills, for example, providing training is not enough. You’ll also need to benchmark their skills and monitor their progress.

The Versant Professional English Test (VPET) is a new assessment product by Pearson. It allows language trainers and HR managers to effectively measure the progress of employees and training professionals who are learning English. The test also evaluates candidates’ abilities to deal with a range of workplace situations, including professional and social interactions with customers and colleagues. This will show you each candidate’s ability to manage real-life situations in an international work environment.

Let’s take a closer look:

What is the Versant Professional English Test (VPET)?

The Versant Professional English Test is a comprehensive language proficiency test. It can be used to assess the language skills of learners in professional development programs and business English courses.

The test measures all four skills that are vital to effective communication in English: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  Questions in the test are designed around of real-life workplace scenarios typical of an international working environment.

The Versant Professional English Test is automatically marked by Pearson’s patented Versant AI scoring technology. This eliminates bias and ensures consistency in scoring. As a result, personalized score reports are available within minutes. These allow test administrators to access meaningful insights into a learner’s progress.

On top of this, the score reports contain suggestions for improvement and recommended activities to help learners achieve their professional development goals related to English.

Candidates can take the Versant Professional English Test on a computer anytime and anywhere. This makes taking the test flexible and convenient.

What are some ways to use the Versant Professional English Test?

The Versant Professional English Test is for corporations, private language schools, and training providers who want to:

  • benchmark employees’ English proficiency skills;
  • measure progress in a professional development program;
  • pinpoint learners’ strengths and weaknesses to inform course planning;
  • evaluate learners’ proficiency at the end of a training program.

Whether you’re preparing your learners to succeed in an English-speaking business environment or upskilling your workforce, you can use VPET to objectively measure and monitor their skills.

What types of questions make up the Versant Professional English Test?

The Versant Professional English Test has two levels of difficulty, ensuring that the test is appropriate for the learner’s ability. Levels are based on CEFR ranges:

  • Level 1 is designed to assess abilities across the A1 to B1+ range
  • Level 2 is for the B1+ to C2 range

Test takers have 60 minutes to complete the assessment by responding to 58 questions.

The 10 question types that appear in the VPET are:

  • Sentence completion: Complete sentences with a missing word.
  • Passage reconstruction: Read a short passage and write a summary of it.
  • Reading comprehension: Read a passage or interpret a simple graph and answer multiple-choice questions.
  • E-mail writing: Read a short description of a situation and write an email in response.
  • Dictation: Listen to a sentence and type it out.
  • Response selection: Listen to a sentence and select one of three possible responses.
  • Passage comprehension: Listen to a short passage then answer three questions.
  • Repeat: Repeat a sentence exactly as you hear it.
  • Speaking situations: Listen to and read a brief scenario then respond.
  • Story retellings: Listen to a brief story then retell it in your own words.

The questions are designed to evaluate an employee’s English language skills as well as their ability to cope with a wide range of real-life workplace situations. This way, test takers can prove their ability to use a combination of business and social language skills.

The responses that test-takers give allow Versant to gather information on a variety of key points, including:

  • pronunciation
  • fluency
  • sentence
  • construction
  • vocabulary
  • organization
  • voice and tone
  • listening
  • and reading comprehension.

Then, the platform analyzes all of this to provide data-rich insights into the test taker’s language skills.

How is the Versant Professional English Test scored?

Pearson’s patented Versant AI scoring technology analyzes over 20,000 data points in every response. Our technology and integrated approach to measuring language skills ensure that results are always accurate and consistent. We developed our scoring models using hundreds of thousands of responses from English learners and native speakers, which allows us to deliver reliable results.

The automatically generated Versant Professional English Test score reports contain:

  • an overall score reported on the Global Scale of English (GSE) and mapped to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR);
  • individual scores in speaking, listening, reading, and writing;
  • an in-depth analysis of language proficiency across the fours skills;
  • suggestions for improvement by skill set;
  • and customized follow-up activities mapped to selected Pearson English courseware.

Trainers can access the score reports from the easy-to-use ScoreKeeper test administration platform. You can use the same platform to upload rosters, deploy tests, and monitor results.

Are you considering investing in your workforce’s professional development to help your employees and company grow?

Learn more about the Versant Professional English Test and get a sample now.