In order to provide assessments that result in fair and valid measurements, ACTFL Assessment Policies serve as guidelines for test development, administration, scoring, maintenance, and refreshment of ACTFL assessments. These policies ensure that the assessments elicit and measure what they are intended to measure, provide equitable and fair access to the assessments, maintain test taker personal information and scores, and maintain the integrity of the proficiency-based nature of ACTFL assessments.
ACTFL is strongly committed to facilitating equal access to its assessments and providing reasonable accommodations to all individuals seeking to assess world language abilities. To this end, ACTFL assessments are available with accommodations that are appropriate for each candidate’s conditions and needs. ACTFL’s Accommodations Policy serves as guidance to Language Testing International (LTI), exclusive licensee of ACTFL assessments.
Assessment Integrity Policy
Test takers are required to review a Test Taker Integrity Policy prior to taking an ACTFL assessment. ACTFL proficiency-based assessments are designed to evaluate spontaneous, unrehearsed language. Any responses provided by the test taker are assessed by certified ACTFL raters with that in mind; likewise, the machine-scored assessments account for this in the respective scoring algorithms. ACTFL’s Assessment Integrity Policy outlines test taker actions that undermine the intended use of ACTFL’s assessments of language proficiency and outlines the consequences of such actions.
Record Retention and Test Taker Confidentiality Policy
Test taker confidentiality and secure record retention is a priority for the ACTFL Assessment Program. Based on ACTFL’s Record Retention and Test Taker Confidentiality Policy serves as guidance for Language Testing International (LTI), the exclusive licensee of ACTFL assessments, for their administration and scoring of ACTFL assessments.
Because ACTFL assessments are proficiency-based, language use and language learning over time are integral factors for the progression of proficiency as measured by an ACTFL assessment. As such, ACTFL does not generally permit test takers to retake an assessment within 90 days of a test administration. In addition, familiarization with the content of the assessment creates a test effect, which also affects the assessment of proficiency. In order to provide an accurate measurement of language proficiency, an extended time period must elapse between successive administrations of an assessment. ACTFL’s Re-Test Policy provides information about re-testing and exceptions to the Re-Test Policy.
Test Maintenance and Refresh Policy
ACTFL’s Test Maintenance and Refresh Policy outlines the maintenance and refresh plans to ensure that the test remains valid and reliable throughout the duration of its use. Maintenance documents include the specifications for evaluation of test performance and review processes, as well as for item performance and tester/rater certification and calibration. Refreshment documents include the process and metrics for refreshing test content. Validity and reliability evidence documents are retained in perpetuity, dating as far back as the original validity and reliability review.
Test Security Policy
Test security is high priority for ACTFL in order to protect the integrity, validity, and content of its assessments. ACTFL’s Test Security Policy serves as guidance to Language Testing International (LTI), exclusive licensee of ACTFL assessments, for security measures to safeguard ACTFL assessments. In the event of a security breach, the exposed prompt(s) or item(s) are pulled from the assessment and new or alternate items are inserted.