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Trial test for state-run English exam Saturday

Some 4,000 adults will sit a trial version of a state-run English test Saturday, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said Friday.

The National English Ability Test, or NEAT, is currently under development to be introduced as early as 2012.

The online test is to be divided into three different levels ― one adult level to substitute TOEIC and TOEFL, and two student levels to substitute the English language section of the College Scholastic Ability Test.

The 145-minute exam consists of four sections including listening, reading, speaking and writing. The number of test questions is to vary depending on the level taken.

The Education Ministry plans to make a final decision in 2012 on whether the test will substitute the CSAT English section.

Should the state-run test be confirmed as an adequate alternative, it is also to be recognized as reference material in the rolling admission to universities from 2013.

Now the NEAT is being developed by a consortium in which the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry and four major universities have participated.

The adult level test ― a business English test reflecting English usage in larger conglomerates, public corporations and multinational companies ― is to be held Saturday.

Developers will then adjust the level of difficulty and other operational details such as the Internet-based testing tools and grading system according to the test results.

An additional two preliminary tests are planned to be held within the year.

By Lee Ji-yoon (
Korea Herald daum