FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
English Comprehension Level ECL Test
1. What does the ECL Test
It tests listening and reading comprehension in English;
it does not test speaking or writing ability.
2. Who can obtain ECL tests?
Only designated US Government representatives who
have an official requirement to obtain the tests. They are usually
US Military or State Department personnel, or US citizens who are
associated with them.
3. What is the difference
between the ECL and the ALCPT?
Both are multiple choice tests of listening and reading.
They are constructed using the same test design, but different items.
The major difference is in degree of control; as noted above, the
ECL can only be handled by US citizens who are employees of the
4. How long is an ECL score
It’s valid for 105 days.
5. Why only 105 days?
If a person takes the test and achieves his/her required
score, but then stops studying English, his/her language ability
may deteriorate over time.
6. How long does it take
to take the test?
It takes a little more than an hour.
7. What is the CAT ECL?
DLIELC has developed a computer adaptive version
of the ECL that shortens testing time and reduces test
8. How does the CAT ECL compare
to a paper-and-pencil ECL?
When the CAT ECL was validated at DLIELC, the correlation
with the paper-and-pencil ECL was .93.
9. Are some versions of the
ECL test easier than others?
No, the ECL forms are mathematically equated through
a statistical process called Rasch analysis.
10. Why can’t students take
the ECL as often as they want?
Regulations specify that the ECL can be administered
to a student only once a month. More frequent administrations to
the same person may reveal seesawing scores that result in
frustration, or improved scores that reflect test-wiseness rather
than an actual increase in proficiency. This activity may also lead
to compromise from overuse of tests.
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