The Achievements of the National Center for Measurement and Assessment in Higher Education
(Fiscal Year 1431 – 1432 AH)
In its ninth 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:
· 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).
· Arabic and English Standard Achievement Admission 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.
· General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders: It is a test written for postgraduate 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.
This test was particularly beneficial to the students applying to master's or PhD programs as well as graduates applying to security and military colleges.
· STEP Test: This test is similar to the known international TOEFL and IELTS tests. It is constructed in accordance with the standards of the Common European Framework and 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.
· Tests for identifying gifted and creative students: They are a group of original tests that measure the mental and creative abilities and the personality traits of primary and intermediate school candidates. They are a result of knowledge accumulation in the area of talent and creativity which adds a lot to its precision. These tests go under an agreement with King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhibah).
· 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 and then licensing them.
· Teacher Competency Tests: They are a group of tests written 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. These tests have been administered for the second year in a row.
The Center has also started an ambitious project in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and King Abdullah's Project for Public Education Development. This project aims at utilizing national and international standards in developing national standards for the teaching profession on which different tests will be based. This project involves coordinating with the relevant authorities such as universities and other bodies concerned with teacher professional development and providing them with the necessary indicators for identifying their academic, training and educational needs. Employing the best international standards suitable for our environment is the first phase in implementing the project.
· The Professional Test for the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution: This test is designed to measure the mental, personal and social dimensions of candidates with law and religion as their majors in order to determine whether or not they have the qualities and skills required for the profession. The test was constructed in accordance with the requirements of the Bureau based on an analysis of the skills, competencies and personal traits that each employee in the Bureau should have.
· Career Aptitude Test: Interest is not enough for one to take on and succeed in a certain job. Some jobs require certain levels of competence and mental abilities. Sometimes interest captivates the person that he/ she has different expectations for a profession. Therefore, it is necessary to have a three-dimension scale when judging how suitable the chosen professions are for the candidates. These dimensions are: interest, job expectations and competence. Measuring the above-mentioned dimensions helps decision-takers guide applicants to their suitable professions.
· Arabic Language Proficiency Tests for non-native speakers of Arabic: Because of its significance, the Centre provides a test on the Arabic language for non-native speakers. It is designed to measure the test-takers' basic competence of Arabic in areas such as structure, writing, style, listening and reading comprehension.
II. Preparing Candidates:
The following table illustrates the number of test-takers of all the tests the Center provided all over the kingdom during the year 1431 -1432.
GAT – male students
SAAT – male students
GAT – female students
GAT & SAAT – female students
English – male students
English – female students
General Aptitude Tests for university male students
General Aptitude Tests for university female students
Teacher Competency Test
The Professional Test for the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution
Talent Identification Tests (Mawhibah)
Career Aptitude Tests