The tests have been devised to help teachers to decide whether their students are ready to enjoy the next level of Penguin Readers. There are six levels of test, corresponding to Levels 1–6 of the Readers, and two versions of test at each level, the B test provided as follow-up for retesting in the event of the majority of a class not obtaining the requisite score of 18/30 at the first attempt. The tests have been thoroughly pretested with students at the appropriate levels. They each contain 30 structural and lexical items in multiple-choice format selected from the structures and lexis introduced at the given level. The tests can be administered and corrected very quickly to aid a prompt decision, following the instructions given below. Within 30 minutes, including the time that it takes for the students to do a test, teachers should have sufficient information to reach a decision.
Content of the tests
Each test consists of 30 multiple-choice items. There are three choices (A, B, C) at levels 1–3, and four choices (A, B, C, D) at levels 4–6. Items testing the same structure and/or lexis are not repeated within a test but in almost every case, the Test B at a given level is based on the same items as Test A to ensure an equal level of difficulty. Items never appear, however, in the same order. This minimises the possibility of students guessing the correct answers from memory. The pass mark of 18/30 (or 60%) is valid for all levels. It is important to note that for the class as a whole to benefit from studying a Reader at a given level, it is not necessary for everyone to obtain this mark or even for the students’ average to be above 18, but only for the majority of students to score 18 or more. It must be remembered that, as is appropriate in tests devised to determine whether students are capable of following a text, these tests measure recognition of correct language, not the ability to produce it.