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Students' Perceptions of the Impact of the College English Test


Designed to assess college students' English ability, the College English Test (CET) is regarded as the most influential English test in China. This study investigates students' perceptions of the impact of the CET on their English-learning practices and their affective conditions. A survey was administered to 150 undergraduate students at a university in Beijing. It was found that students perceived the impact of the CET to be pervasive. In particular, the majority of the respondents indicated that the CET had a greater impact on what they studied than on how they studied. Most of the students surveyed felt the CET had motivated them to make a greater effort to learn English. Many students seemed to be willing to put more effort on the language skills most heavily weighted in the CET. About half of the students reported a higher level of self-efficacy in regard to their overall English ability and some specific English skills as a result of taking or preparing for the CET. However, many students also reported experiencing increased pressure and anxiety in relation to learning English. This study provides important evidence about how the CET influences college students' English learning in China, and directions for further research are also suggested.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Li, H., Zhong, Q. & Suen, H.K. Students' Perceptions of the Impact of the College English Test. Language Testing in Asia 2, 77 (2012).

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