The listening and grammar, cloze, vocabulary, and reading (GCVR) sections of the ECPE are scored electronically at CaMLA. Each correct answer carries equal weight within each section and there are no points deducted for wrong answers. A scaled score is calculated using an advanced mathematical model based on Item Response Theory (IRT). This method ensures that the ability required to pass a section, or to receive a high score, remains the same from year to year.
Read more about scaled scoring in Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Scaled Scores on the ECCE and ECPE (PDF)
The speaking and writing sections are graded according to scales established by CaMLA. The speaking section is conducted and assessed by two certified speaking examiners (see Speaking Test Examiner Qualifications [PDF]). The writing section ratings are assigned by raters trained and certified according to CaMLA standards. All essays are scored by at least two raters.
If a test taker's scores (the rating for speaking and writing; the scaled score for listening and GCVR) meet the cutoff level in a section, the test taker is given a pass for that section of the exam. Test takers who pass three sections with a Low Pass (or higher) and receive no less than a Borderline Fail in one section will be awarded an ECPE certificate. Those with Honors scores on all four sections are awarded a Certificate of Proficiency with Honors.
Procedures for Reporting Scores
All test takers receive an examination report that shows their overall performance as well as the levels for each test section. This report helps test takers determine how well they have done in each area as well as where they may need to improve. ECPE section scores are reported in five bands. These levels of performance, from highest to lowest, are:
|Writing & Speaking||Listening & GCVR|
|Honors (H)||A||840 –1000|
|Pass (P)||B||750 – 835|
|Low Pass (LP)||C||650 –745|
|Borderline Fail (BF)||D||610 – 645|
|Fail (F)||E||0 – 605|
Interpreting Your Results
The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) includes six common reference levels, ranging from basic user to master as defined by the Council of Europe (2001). The ECPE is aimed at the C2 (Mastery) level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Language users at this proficiency level:
Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express [themselves] spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations. (Council of Europe, 2001: 24)
Therefore, ECPE certificate holders are expected to be comfortable engaging with abstract ideas and concepts. They are interactive oral English speakers; they contribute to the development of a discussion, can generally understand conversational questions, can grasp both the gist and details of a conversation delivered in Standard American English, and can understand extended spoken discourse. They should also have a wide-ranging and flexible vocabulary as well as a sound grasp of English grammar. They can understand written materials that are encountered in both general and specialized professional contexts as well as in university-level reading. Additionally, they are able to communicate in standard written English with good expression and accuracy.
When interpreting an ECPE score report, it is important to remember that the ECPE estimates a test taker's true proficiency by approximating the kinds of tasks that may be encountered in real life. Also, temporary factors unrelated to an test taker's proficiency, such as fatigue, anxiety, or illness, may affect exam results.
If you wish to have your exam rescored, you can get a rescore request form from the test center where you took the test. Please fill out the form and turn it in at your test center, along with the corresponding fee.
- You have up to one month after your test results have been issued to request a rescore
- You will receive your rescore after we have processed the request and returned the information to your test center
- A fee of $25 U.S. is assessed for each section you want rescored
Using Test Scores for Decision Making
When using test scores for decision making, check the date the test was taken. While the certificate is valid for the holder’s lifetime, language ability changes over time. This ability can improve with active use and further study of the language, or it may diminish if the holder does not continue to study or to use English on a regular basis. It is also important to remember that test performance is only one aspect to be considered. Communicative language ability consists of both knowledge of language and knowledge of the world. Therefore, one would need to consider how factors other than language affect how well someone can communicate. For example, in the general context of using English in business, the ability to function effectively involves not only knowledge of English, but also other knowledge and skills such as intellectual knowledge and business skills.