Cambridge ESOL is starting a comprehensive review of its Proficiency exam to ensure it continues to meet test taker and teacher needs in the 21 century. A revised version of this prestigious, high-level qualification is due to be introduced in 2013 on the hundredth anniversary of the exam. The review process kicked off with a meeting in Cambridge in November with senior consultants who chair the item writing teams and act as principal examiners for each of the papers.
The meeting considered a range of options for developing the exam to make it attractive and relevant to universities and employers, as well as to candidates who need to demonstrate a very high level of skills in English. One likely development will be a reduction in the overall length of the exam, without compromising either the rigour and thoroughness of the assessment or the level of the test; this has been a particularly popular feature of the revised First Certificate in English (FCE) and Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) exams introduced last year.