Is The International English Language Testing System Reliable and Fair?

1491 Words 6 Pages
In the past,large organizations have implemented language assessments aimed to assess learners ability in the use of language in higher education.These high stake tests plays a vital role when decisions made on individual performance and its outcome is considered as a diagnosis of the learners ability.Among these performance, the International English Language Testing System ( IELTS) writing score is considered by most universities a benchmark against learners success in higher education.This has increase the concern of non-native raters reliability and their consistency in rating scores in countries these tests are adopted. Although these non-native raters are qualified raters, it is undeniable that comparing to native raters the interrater reliability level remains inconsistent.Various factors underlying these variabilities includes raters characteristics such as experience, background knowledge and cultural background. Recent studies claimed that raters ego, style and their intellectual ability to memorize can be accounted for the raters diverse actions during the rating process. However, the process of rating assessments was suggested by Barkaoui (2010), that rating is a decision making process which evolves interaction between the rater and also the rating scales. Therefore,its influence on raters behavior due to the variety of scales use in different tests and raters individual differences in scales interpretation may interfere with how they derive at a score.