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A Comparison between the Test of English as a Foreign Language and the Michigan English Test




Scope of the assessments

Non-native English speakers

It has four different tests. The most common is the TOEFL iBT (authorized center, Home, and the Paper Edition.

Assesses the four components of language. Each section is scored out of 30 pts. to have a total of 120 pts.

It is the most accepted language assessment used in universities of +150 countries.

English learners who not necessarily are non-native speakers

It has six different tests. The most known is the MET (flexible multi-level exam for people 16+)

It aligns with levels A2 to C1 of the CEFR.

Is offered as a 4-skill (digital) or a 2-skill test. (digital/paper)

Aligns with the CEFR and the ACTFL.

Assess the four components of language. Shorter than TOEFL and the language is less academic than TOEFL.


content & structure of the assessments


content & structure of the assessments

Both exams are placement tests and have as a purpose the assessment of the test taker’s ability to speak, understand, construct, and convey comprehensive messages, thoughts, and ideas through the English language.

Analysis / critique

Both are valid tests because its content is accurate with what they are intended to meassure (Gottlieb, 2016)Both tests are reliable due to their consistency of meassurement across items, forms, and raters (Gottlieb, 2016)Hamp-Lyons (1995) said the holistic score system of the MET writing section does not provideenough information about the examinee's performance, because the answer can be incongruent, but its quality is adequate or viceversa.


For the MET, the same section can have a possitve washback on students because Orjuela Roa & Huertas (2018) argued that when students interact with native speakers before they take the exam, they can perform better on the day of the exam. This is because of the type of language they use and the exam expect them to have.


The speaking section can have a negative washback for test takers because they can't interact with a human person. Sayyadi & Rezvan (2021) stated that to avoid this negative effect it would be necessary for this section to be more heuristic and imaginative for students to not believe everything they see/hear and be more curious and critique.


Analysis / critique

The MET cannot be an authentic test because the multiple choice questions they use do not represent an academic enviroment (Gottlieb, 2016), and most of the times these questions are aimed at the assessment of separate subskills instead of the considering the assessment of the whole linguistic ability.I don't think there is any improvement in both tests because they evaluate what they were created for and having - for example - an interactive speaking section in the TOEFL could be almost impossible due to the enormous scope and demand that this test has worldwide.

Taufiq et. al (2018) ensure that the TOEFL exam is authentic as an English proficiency test due to the use of a language that is natural and contextual for all the examinees.