The Achievements of the National Center for Measurement and Assessment in Higher Education
(Fiscal Year 1430 – 1431 AH)
In its eighth year, the National Center for Measurement in Higher Education (Qiyas) has witnessed an ongoing development in all its academic programs and an expansion in its activities in order to meet the urgent needs of the educational community at the local and regional levels as well as the desire of many authorities, bodies and institutions in- and outside the Kingdom. Its tests are adopted by all the universities, military colleges and private universities in the Kingdom. In fact, it has become a perquisite for admission. The tests are also adopted by other national bodies and local companies such as the Public Institution for Social Security, the General Authority for Tourism, Aramco, SABIC and the Electricity Company as an admission criterion to their academic and training programs. Its tests are adopted as well in some Gulf Countries like the Kingdom of Bahrain. In addition, some foreign universities have Qiyas' tests as a criterion for admitting Saudi students.
In the Arab world, Qiyas' tests are used as a requirement for admitting students who obtained their high school degrees from Saudi Arabia when applying to Sudanese or Egyptian universities.
Throughout the 1431 -1432 fiscal year, the Center achieved a lot in terms of educational, linguistic and professional testing, research, studies, academic publishing, symposiums, community service and a number of other activities.
The achievements made throughout this fiscal year were:
The Center administered many tests relevant to its field of expertise. They were:
1. Arabic and English Graduate Assessment Test (GAT) for secondary school graduates: It is a test constructed for secondary school graduates who want to enroll in institutions of higher education. It measures a number of learning competences such as analytical skills and deductive reasoning in two parts: language (verbal) and mathematics (quantitative).
2. Achievement Test: It is a test used by universities and institutions of higher education for admission purposes so to assure fairness and equal chances for everyone in higher education. It focuses on the main concepts of the courses students study throughout the three years of secondary school.
3. Female Student Test for University Admission: It is a test administered to high school female graduates used by universities and institutions of Higher Education for admission. The Center administers two different tests for female students: one for female graduates from the scientific track applying for scientific programs and the other for female graduates from the humanities track applying for theoretical programs.
4. General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders: It is a test written for graduate students. It is similar in essence to the GRE test. It consists of two parts: verbal and quantitative ones of a higher level than the one administered to secondary school graduates, three other parts concerned with logic, critical thinking and questions on reasoning and result interpretation.
The Center administers this test to King Fahd Security College candidates. It was first applied to graduates applying to the parallel master's program in the College of Business Administration, King Saudi University.
5. STEP Test: This test is similar to the internationally known TOEFL test. It is administered to students who want to obtain certificates that specify their levels in English or to apply for English programs in Saudi universities or programs that require a certain level of English proficiency.
6. Tests for the gifted students: They are a group of tests that measure the mental abilities of elementary, intermediate and high school students for the programs implemented by King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhibah).
7. General Tour Guide Test: It is a test that measures the minimum competence of knowledge and skills candidates should have. It aims at measuring the skills and knowledge of each Saudi candidate applying for the position of general tourist guide.
8. Tourist Guide Test for Provinces: This test measures the minimum competence of knowledge and skills candidates should have when applying for the position of tourist guide in one of the thirteen provinces in our Kingdom.
9. Teacher Competency Test: This test is administered by the Center for the first time this year. It is written specifically for candidates applying for a teaching position at the Ministry of Education. The test measures the minimum level of standards a candidate should have including all the knowledge and skills that cover the basic aspects of the profession. The results of the test are used by the authorities concerned at the Ministry of Education for screening the applicants. The test consists of four basic parts: educational, linguistic, numerical and specialized standards.
The following table illustrates the number of test-takers who sat for the different tests administered by the Center:
Arabic and English Graduate Assessment Test (GAT) for secondary school graduates
Female Student Test for University Admission
General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders
Tests for the Gifted Students
General Tour Guide Test
Tourist Guide Test for Provinces
Teacher Competency Test
1. The Project of Selecting Students for (Mawhibah) Programs: This project aims at writing the tests that help identify gifted and creative students in all grades and developing a management information system and a comprehensive database to follow up with students once they register in the system. The system also screens all the promising students starting from the third grade. Implementing the third and fourth stages of the project is in progress as this will mark the completion of it.
2. The Project of Assessing Interests and Professional Abilities – Human Resources Development Fund: This project aims at measuring the interests and professional abilities of job seekers with intermediate or high school certificates applying for the Human Resources Development Fund and King Fahd Center for Employment to help them choose the career that best suit their abilities and interests. In essence, the test consists of three main parts namely:
a. Professional interest: It is a questionnaire designed based on Holland's theory of personalities in work environments. It is based on six personality types. These types are the realistic, social, artistic, investigative, enterprising and conventional types.
b. Professional abilities: They are measured by a test that consists of four parts: language, mechanics, mathematics and spatial relationships.
c. Job Appreciation: This is represented in a list of many professional fields which job-seekers rearrange according to their preference and interest. This project is now in the implementation stage.
3. The Project of Assessing Professional Competence for the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution: This project aims at selecting the best candidates applying for investigation and public prosecution positions at the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This test is based on the methods of job analysis which consist of four main dimensions namely, interpersonal skills, personality traits and the ethical and mental-cognitive dimensions. Standards were set to measure these dimensions objectively. This project is now in the process of initial implementation.
4. The Project of Teacher Test Development: This project is the result of the cooperation among the National Center for Measurement and Assessment, the Ministry of Education and King Abdullah's Project for Public Education Development. It aims at developing the mechanisms of selecting teachers and employing its results for the purpose of job promotion. This will enhance the academic and professional levels of the new teachers by coordinating with the concerned authorities, such as universities, to develop their skills and provide the necessary indicators to identify the training and the skills required for the profession. Implementation of this project is still in its first stages.
III. Studies and Research:
Throughout the Fiscal Year 1430 – 1431, the Center conducted a number of studies as follows:
1- (10) Periodical reports and studies tackling tests and their results and performance such as:
§ Conducting statistical studies on the performance of all the pilot and real tests administered by the Center.
§ Undertaking the statistical analyses necessary to calculate the standard score equation that helps ensure fairness in every stage tests administered.
§ Studying the statistical indicators of all the tests administered by the Center.
§ Studying the descriptive properties of tests and differences among the scores achieved by the students who retook the GAT.
2- (15) Journals, reports and research plans such as:
§ A report on the Tourist Guide Test after one year of application.
§ A report on the results of Teacher Competency Tests in the United Arab Emirates.
§ Working on the project of Teacher Tests.
§ Indicators of GAT and SAAT tests in secondary school education: A research paper presented in the Scientific Symposium of Secondary School Education.
§ Conducting a field study on how much faculty members know about measurement and assessment tools.
Hence, the number of studies and reports conducted by the Center was (25) papers in addition to other studies in progress.
IV. Library and Programs:
This year, the Center kept on providing the Research and Studies Unit's library with Arabic and foreign references and programs. The number of references added was (1309) references. As for computer programs, there were (21) programs added such as Power. PRE Meta Analysis, Assistat Pardism and Lertap 5 Applied Conquest as well as twenty programs to measure a number of different abilities (including intelligence, special abilities, creativity and achievement) such as Raven's Progressive Matrices, Standford-Binet Intelligence Scales "5th edition", Kauffman Assessment Battery for measuring intelligence, Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, the Formal Test for Intelligence in addition to subscribing to four scientific periodicals specialized in assessment and measurement.
The number of published works by the Center for the Fiscal Year 1430 – 1431 is (7) publications which was printed out in (2,100,000) copies.
VI. Workshops and Training Programs:
Throughout the Fiscal Year 1430 – 1431, the Center held two four-day workshops on writing questions for (85) competent trainees with different majors. The workshops focused on the goals of tests and the ways and techniques of writing questions for STEP and achievement tests.
In addition, the Center held three other workshops on the new standards to prepare writers of the Career Aptitude Tests, the Professional Test for the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution and the Tests for identifying gifted and creative students for Mawhibah Project.
The Center also held an online training session for the committee members of the Female Student Tests for University Admission on 7th Dhul Qi'adah, 1430. The number of viewers was (2000) members.
The Center also has many other activities in the media. It participated in programs, interviews and dialogues on national TV, radio and in newspapers as well as on a few international TV channels.
VII. E-Systems Development:
The Center developed its computer systems and e-transactions throughout this Fiscal Year 1430 – 1431 as follows:
1. Correction System: The Center uses an upgraded version of the test correction and score-recording system. The system has all the features required for processing students' data with optimum performance. This helps the Center increase its precision and publish students' results in record time.
2. SADAD Service: This service has been launched to work hand in hand with the previous payment system provided by Alrajhi Bank. It has facilitated the process of paying the fees electronically for candidates.
3. Direct-Check Service: This service directly checks the data of Saudi and non-Saudi candidates such as national IDs. It is a new service provided by Alalam Company, the official data provider of the National Information Center in the Ministry of Interior. This service enabled the Center to automatically check the data of each candidate once he/ she register.
4. Registration System: The Center has developed its registration system to include all the above-mentioned new features and services. These features enabled customized processing of students' files ranging from third graders to university students.
5. Fingerprint Smart Cards: Field work teams had been formed for issuing fingerprint smart cards for female students, who had no national ID cards, in their schools. The project covered most of the schools in the areas and provinces that hosted the test administration for the students. The approximate number of schools visited this year was (700) schools with (62,100) students in addition to (43,500) cards issued by test centers for the same number of female students.
6. Call and E-Mail Center: To serve students by answering their questions, the Center's Communication and Relations Unit answers the incoming calls through the Call System during the official working hours and some extra periods. The Center has also entered into a contract with an additional call center to specifically support the process of answering incoming calls during the AM periods, PM periods and holidays with two supporting teams: for male and female students separately. The total number of calls answered was (190,000) incoming calls: (102,000) by male students and (88,000) by female students. In addition, the number of IVR calls was (650,000) calls. As for e-mails, the number of e-mails answered was (40,000) e-mails while the number of SMS sent by the Center to candidates was (4,500,000) messages.
A number of new projects have been started recently. They include setting new standards and tests as follows:
1. The Project of Tests for the Gifted
2. Career Aptitude Test Project
3. The Project of the Professional Test for the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution
4. Teacher Competency Test Project
5. The Project of the Arabic Language Proficiency Tests for Non-Native Speakers of Arabic
IX. Conferences and Symposiums:
Throughout the Fiscal Year 1430 – 1431, the Center participated in (10) scientific and specialized conferences and symposiums in- and outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
X. Visits and Meetings:
The Center made some visits and attended meetings that aim at introducing the Center and its activities to our society by giving presentations about what the Center has to offer. The Center also received delegations and hosted meetings for the same purpose. The number of these events was (10) meetings and visits.