Listening and Reading Computer Adaptive Test

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The ACTFL Listening and Reading Computer-Adaptive Test (L&RCAT) is a computer-adaptive, proficiency-based test for the global assessment of listening and reading ability in English. It is an assessment of the Interpretive mode of communication as described in the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages. The listening section of the L&RCAT measures how well the test taker spontaneously understands spoken language, without the ability to re-listen or ask for clarification. The reading section of the L&RCAT measures how well the test taker understands written language without access to dictionaries, reference grammar, or other language resources.

The L&RCAT assesses general language proficiency, not what is learned in a specific program, class, school, or university. It is not tied to a particular teaching method or curriculum. Rather than assessing what a person “knows” about the language, the L&RCAT an assessment of how well a person can understand spoken language and written texts in English.

Test Format & Length

As a computer-adaptive test, the L&RCAT adapts to the test taker’s listening and reading abilities; the computer algorithm successively selects questions based on the test taker’s performance on previous questions for the purpose of maximizing the precision of the exam. This additionally makes the test efficient in both time and effort. Typically, test takers can complete the test in between 50 and 105 minutes. This test is administered online with a remote proctor.

Proficiency Ranges 

The L&RCAT assesses Interpretive Listening and Interpretive Reading in English across a range of ACTFL Proficiency levels, from Novice to Superior.


Test takers’ listening and reading abilities assessed on the L&RCAT are automatically scored according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines – Listening and Reading.


Prior to taking the ACTFL L&RCAT, candidates are encouraged to read the L&RCAT Familiarization Guide.