TOEFL® Academic Speaking Test: Setting a Cut Score for International Teaching Assistants

Wylie, Caroline E.; Tannenbaum, Richard J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
Document Type:
Subject/Key Words:
Authentic language tests cut scores international teaching assistants speaking skills assessment standard setting Test of Spoken English (TSE) TOEFL TOEFL Academic Speaking Test (TAST) TSE-50 equivalent score


The purpose of this study was to establish cut scores for international teaching assistants (ITAs) on the new TOEFL® Academic Speaking Test (TAST), which is the stand-alone equivalent of the speaking section of the TOEFL Internet-based test (TOEFL iBT). Two separate cut scores were established: first, a cut score for minimally acceptable speaking skills in order to have the lowest level of ITA contact with undergraduate students; and second, a cut score to establish a TAST score that corresponds to the Test of Spoken English™ (TSE®) score of 50. A panel consisting of 18 experts was convened to participate in the standard-setting study. In conducting this study, the panel employed the benchmark method (Faggen, 1994), which is similar to the examinee paper selection method (Hambleton, Jaeger, Plake, & Mills, 2000). As a result of two rounds of judgments with discussion in between, the cut score for the TAST was set as 23 out of 30 scaled score points, and the TSE-50 equivalent score was established as 26 out of 30 scaled score points.


Find a Publication

Advanced Search

Closing the Achievement Gap

Closing the Achievement GapLearn more about ETS's commitment to closing the achievement gap through rigorous research, thought-provoking forums and more.