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FAQs

LanguageCert USAL EsPro FAQ

Why choose LanguageCert USAL esPro?
  • There are three separate tests (Listening & Reading, Writing, Speaking) leading to three separate certificates. The tests can be taken together or independently according to your needs (e.g. Speaking can be taken as a standalone exam if only proof of speaking ability is required).
  • There is no "Pass" or "Fail" mark and you receive a grade on a scale of 0 to 100 aligned to the CEFR. If you achieve a grade of 10 or above, you will receive a Certificate placing you between A1 and C2 level, depending on your performance.
  • The Listening & Reading test is available as both paper-based and computer-based.
  • The computer-based version is a computer-based adaptive test.
  • You will receive a Test Report electronically, providing feedback on your performance by skill.
  • Provisional results for the Listening & Reading computer-based test are available immediately. Final results are available shortly after.
What are computer-based adaptive tests?

Computer-based adaptive tests consist of a wide range of questions that cover all levels of language proficiency (from basic, A1, to advanced, C2). Questions appear on the computer screen and candidates use their keyboard and mouse to respond. The adaptive feature uses state-of-the-art assessment technology and questions are automatically selected based on the candidate’s response, becoming progressively easier or more difficult, adapting uniquely to each candidate’s skills. If the candidate gives a wrong answer, an easier question follows, if the candidate gives a correct answer, the next question will be more difficult.

Should I take the paper-based or computer-based test?

LanguageCert USAL esPro Listening & Reading is offered as both a paper-based and a computer-based exam. The versions are equivalent to each other despite being delivered in different ways. Regardless of which version you choose, the results produced will be comparable, leading to a certificate based on your performance. However, please note that the computer-based exam duration is significantly shorter than the paper-based exam.

Where can find out more about LanguageCert USAL esPro?

To find all the information you need regarding LanguageCert USAL esPro tests, click here.

What is the difference between the LanguageCert USAL esPro tests?

LanguageCert USAL esPro offers the following three tests:

  • LanguageCert USAL esPro Listening & Reading: paper-based and computer-based
  • LanguageCert USAL esPro Writing: paper-based
  • LanguageCert USAL esPro Speaking: paper-based

Each test examines different skills: Listening & Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Candidates may these tests in any combination to meet their specific needs.

What can I use LanguageCert USAL esPro for?

LanguageCert USAL esPro qualifications can be used internationally for employment and career progression, and/or as entry credentials for undergraduate and postgraduate studies. For more information click here.

What does USAL stand for?

USAL stands for University of Salamanca, which through its Cursos Internacionales de la Universidad de Salamanca (CIUSAL), has partnered with LanguageCert for the delivery of Professional Spanish language exams worldwide. The two organisations have joined forces to continue offering the Spanish BULATS tests (Business Language Testing Service) under the new name LanguageCert USAL esPro. The tests continue to be developed by CIUSAL, however, they are administered by LanguageCert in both paper-based and computer-based form.

Is LanguageCert USAL esPro mapped to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)?

Yes. To find the full alignment, click here.

What is the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)?

The CEFR is a guideline used to assess and describe foreign language proficiency across Europe and, increasingly, worldwide. The six CEFR levels are widely accepted as the European and global standards for grading an individual's language proficiency.

To find more about the full alignment of LanguageCert USAL esPro to the CEFR levels, click here.

How can I tell which level the learner is at?

Teachers should be able to assess whether a student can cope with the demands of a certain exam level by:

Do I need to take a course to sit the LanguageCert USAL esPro?

You are not required to complete any course before taking LanguageCert USAL esPro. It is recommended however, that you take a short course explaining the exam tasks. All our LanguageCert USAL Approved Test Centres offer courses which prepare candidates for the exams. Contact the nearest Test Centre to enquire about available courses.

Do I need to follow a certain course book?

You should contact your nearest Test Centre for more information.

Where can I find sample exam papers?

To find a full suite of LanguageCert USAL esPro sample papers click here.

What’s the minimum/maximum age limit for candidates?

There is no age limit. However, since LanguageCert USAL esPro tests evaluate Spanish language skills level for professional purposes, it is recommended that young adult and adult candidates take the tests.

When and where can I take the tests?

To find your nearest Test Centre, please click here or contact us. Test Centres control the scheduling of the tests and can hold exams whenever it is suitable for them and their candidates.

How much do the tests cost and where does this need to be paid?

Please contact your nearest Test Centre for information on test fees.

What is the duration of each test?

Test

Duration

Computer-based

Listening & Reading

≃ 60 minutes

Paper-based

Listening & Reading

Listening: 50 minutes

Reading: 60 minutes

Writing

45 minutes

Speaking

≃ 15 minutes

 
Do paper-based and computer-based versions have the same duration?
The computer-based version is an adaptive test, which offers a testing session that is shorter in length than the paper-based version. This is because fewer questions are needed to determine the candidate’s level.
How is the Speaking test conducted?

Each candidate is examined individually so they can perform at their best. The Speaking test is conducted by an Interlocutor who does not assess. The evaluation takes place at a later stage by a Marker.

Can I take the 3 LanguageCert USAL esPro tests separately?

You can take the tests in any combination. For example, Speaking can be taken as a standalone test if all you need is proof of your speaking proficiency.

Can I use a dictionary in the exam?

You are not allowed to use dictionaries or any other aids during LanguageCert USAL esPro exams.

Why does the PeopleCert name and logo appear on screen during the LanguageCert USAL esPro computer-based test?

PeopleCert is LanguageCert’s parent company and is responsible for the administration of its exams.

What is the pass mark and which grades are awarded?

There is no “Pass” or “Fail” and all candidates receive a grade on a scale of 0 to 100 which is mapped to the CEFR. No matter which testing version you choose, you will receive a certificate from A1 to C2 level depending on your performance, provided your score is 10 or above.

Please note that for the computer-based test, if your score is between 0 and 9, the provisional results after finishing will show a score of 0.

Does the Test Centre get involved in the assessment?

Test Centres do not get involved in the assessment. Marking is carried out by LanguageCert.

How is the overall LanguageCert USAL esPro Listening & Reading test score calculated?

The overall score is not simply an average of the individual scores achieved in each test section (Listening & Reading). Each test section carries different weight, therefore, the average is calculated based on a specific scoring algorithm that identifies your language competence. For example, if the Listening score is 50 and the Reading score is 60, the overall score will not necessarily be 55.

Are LanguageCert USAL esPro tests recognised?

To find out who recognises LanguageCert USAL esPro tests, click here.

What will I receive upon completing a LanguageCert USAL esPro test?

After taking the LanguageCert USAL esPro test, you will receive a:

  • Test Report: This report clearly explains the candidate’s score for each test taken (Listening & Reading*, Writing, Speaking). A summary of “Can-Do” statements aligned with CEFR levels are also included in the report. These are functional/situational statements that describe what a candidate can be expected to do in the workplace based on their CEFR level in Spanish.
  • Certificate: The certificate presents results in relation to the relevant CEFR level (A1 to C2) for scores of 10 or above.

⃰ Candidates receive a Test Report which presents their overall score combining the two skills (Listening & Reading), as well as their separate scores.

How long does it take to receive LanguageCert USAL esPro certificates?
  • e-certificate: available upon release of final results.
  • Hard-copy certificate (available upon request): shipped within 5 days upon the release of results.
How long does it take to receive LanguageCert USAL esPro certificates?
  • e-certificate: available upon release of final results.
  • Hard-copy certificate (available upon request): shipped within 5 days upon the release of results.
Who informs me of my results?

You are informed of your results by LanguageCert or your Test Centre.

Will my certificate be sent directly to me?

Certificates can be sent directly to you or to the Test Centre.

How long are the certificates valid for?

LanguageCert USAL esPro certificates do not expire. However, it is recommended you check whether there are any specific requirements from receiving organisations.

Who do I contact if I lose my certificate?

You will need to contact the Test Centre where they took the exam or LanguageCert.

How can I verify the validity of my LanguageCert USAL esPro certificate?

To check the validity of a LanguageCert USAL esPro certificate, use the Online Certificate Verification Service.

Which skills are tested?

The computer-based LanguageCert USAL esPro Listening & Reading test assesses the candidates’ listening and reading skills, as well as their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in the Spanish language.

What is the test duration?

You are allowed a maximum of 60 minutes to complete the test. Depending on your performance, the test may have a shorter duration.

How many questions are there in total?

The total number of questions varies between 48 to 50, depending on your performance.

  • Listening: 18 questions
  • Reading: 30 to 32 questions

The questions will appear either in groups of 1 to 7 or individually.

How can I see my progress during the test?

A progress bar keeps you informed of the progress you have made throughout the computer-based Listening & Reading test. It indicates the number of questions answered and the number remaining.

My computer-based test results show a ‘0 out of 100’ score. What does this mean?

A ‘0 out of 100’ score appears for all candidates who do not achieve the minimum score corresponding to CEFR level A1. Therefore ‘0 out of 100’ means you have achieved a score of less than ‘10 out of 100’.

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