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Accountability and External Testing Agencies

Abstract

Standardized testing is ubiquitous in Japan. Inexpensive and easily mass distributed, their use has been encouraged at every level of the education system. Over the past thirty years, external testing agencies have been increasingly relied upon to make standardized tests for use as benchmarks in the education system and in the private sector. However, while great trust has been placed in these agencies that create these tests, many of them operate with very little supervision. This article will review the practices of some of the commonly used external testing agencies in Japan and discuss how greater accountability from these agencies might not only improve test validity, but make them more useful for score users and test takers.

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Correspondence to Edward Sarich.

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This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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Sarich, E. Accountability and External Testing Agencies. Language Testing in Asia 2, 26 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/2229-0443-2-1-26

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Keywords

  • language
  • testing
  • standardized tests
  • external agencies
  • TOEIC
  • EIKEN