We are confident in the results of our test thanks to rigorous field testing, a high standard of test development and our complex algorithms.

Real-life questions to give students the best chance of success

Many placement tests simply use true-or-false or multiple-choice questions. Our placement test uses a variety of questions to give students the best chance of showcasing their English skills.

Find out more about our questions.

Testing every single question with a global team of experts

To create a question for Pearson English Placement, we work with a team of experts from the UK, US, Australia and Hong Kong. First, a question is written, before being peer reviewed and then assessed by an expert panel. We then field-test each question with over 13,000 volunteers. If we discover that questions are not working as expected, we remove them from our test.

Calibration with 13,000 volunteers

Calibration means that once we have created our questions, we test them with volunteer test takers. At the end of the test, we place each volunteer on the Global Scale of English.

Calibrating our test means that we are able to assign a highly accurate value to each individual question, and, depending on a test taker's response, we can place them on the Global Scale of English.

Pearson English Placement was calibrated with over 13,000 volunteers from 96 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Poland, Panama, Ecuador, The Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Guatemala, Japan and Thailand. Each response was reviewed and calibrated to ensure the highest levels of accuracy.

A complex algorithm that adjusts to ability

Our placement test uses a complex algorithm to analyse each learner’s answers and determine which questions they should be shown next. This allows Placement to fine-tune questions to the correct level, allowing a very accurate measure of English proficiency.