Supporting research in English language testing

We are conducting research, using independent researchers, to inform the development and validation of PTE Academic. A Technical Advisory Group, comprising experts from both language testing and psychometrics, also provides feedback, advice and critical assessment.

Our in-house research includes:

  • Developing item writer guidelines derived from the CEFR

  • Relating item difficulty and lexical cohesion

  • The Pearson International Corpus of International English (PICAE)

  • Developing marking criteria based on the CEFR

  • Investigating the effect of partner scores in paired oral assessment

  • Assessing academic English listening

  • Concordance studies (relating PTE Academic scores to predictions of scores on other high stakes tests)

Scoring research

Read about how we score PTE Academic, and our concordance with IELTS Academic.

Scoring comparison

We set scores against the Global Scale of English on a grade of 10–90, which gives an accurate and granular assessment of a person’s English ability.

Find out more about our scoring and the concordance between PTE Academic and IELTS Academic scores.

Research call: invitation to tender

About the Research Call

The annual Research Call is published by the Global Scale of English unit at Pearson English. One of Pearson’s main principles is to ensure our teaching and testing materials comply with the highest standards and quality.

At Pearson, research is carried out as part of our ongoing validation program, with the aim of obtaining independent advice and assessment of our products by experts in the areas of language testing, second/foreign language education, linguistics, applied linguistics, and other related fields.

How to apply

Faculty members, doctoral students, and qualified freelance researchers are invited to submit proposals to investigate the validity of the Global Scale of English (Pearson’s metric of English language proficiency, aligned to the CEFR) and its related learning, teaching, and assessment resources or products.