The Study of Content Validation on CET Writing Section After Reform in China

Lili ZHAI, Xiaorui LI


The College English Test (CET) hosted by China Ministry of Education in 1987 is a large-scale standardized test, divided into CET-4 and CET-6. There are two times one year. CET-4 is for the basic requirement, while CET-6 is for higher requirement. CET is the largest exam of English in China. Since the 1980s, more and more people have focused on it, for it has a profound influence on English teaching. In order to test students’ English level, improve the quality of English teaching and meet the requirement of social development, CET conducted two reforms in 2006 and 2012 respectively. The present paper based on the college English test from 2012 to 2015 has chosen 42 sets of writing paper as the research object, and studied content validation of the writing section after reform from two aspects, design of test and content of test, aiming at examining the quality of writing part of the thesis. The results show that genre tends to be diversified; the topics are rich; the principles of openness and authenticity have been adopted appropriately; the rubrics of the writing items contain adequate information. The results also show that the subject matter of the CET writing covers a wide range, which has grasped the principle of authenticity well; openness is moderate; prompted information is sufficient; forms of prompted information are no longer model. However, genre of CET writing questions is limited to argumentation, and interaction is less. Based on these results, this paper puts forward some suggestions for future improvement in design of CET writing test items and for English writing teaching.


CET; Writing test items; Design of test; Content of test; Validity

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