Frequently Asked Questions

Why use an ACTFL Test?
Can you test against the ILR scale?
What is the relationship between ACTFL and LTI?
How long must I wait before I take another test?
What languages does LTI test in?
How much do the assessments cost?
I have questions about my rating – what can I do?
I want to know how well my staff is able to speak and interact with non-native speaking people – can you help?
How do I know how good the people in my organization need to be in order to successfully interact with non-native speaking populations?
Why can’t I have my own Spanish-speaking staff test my people?
Do you offer speaking tests?
Do you offer listening tests?
Do you offer reading tests?
Do you offer writing tests?
I took a test but I didn’t get, or lost, the certificate – can I get a replacement?
How do you ensure that the test-taker doesn’t cheat?
How long are your test results valid?
Have the tests been validated by independent, external reviewers?
I forgot my log-in and/or password to the Client Utility Site – where can I get help?
How do I set up an account?
Does it cost money to set up an account?
Is there a minimum volume of tests required to set up an account?
Does it matter where I learned my language?
Who are your testers?
What is on the tests?
Do you have an Accommodations Policy?

Why use an ACTFL Test?
When you really need to know, ACTFL/LTI provide the most widely recognized, reliable & defensible testing on the market. Many organizations specify that they will only accept ratings from ACTFL/LTI, because they know they can trust the results of the testing. For many years, ACTFL has been developing testing instruments and delivering proficiency ratings across academia, commerce and government – independent 3rd-party reviews of the tests, and of the raters, show beyond a shadow of a doubt that the testing is accurate, reliable and defensible.

Can you test against the ILR scale?
Yes – our ILR ratings are recognized as a test of record by many federal government organizations which are part of the ILR, including the Defense Language Institute and Defense Intelligence Agency. Our tests follow ILR protocols, and are rated directly against the ILR scale.

What is the relationship between ACTFL and LTI?
ACTFL trains and certifies testers. LTI delivers the testing. LTI is the exclusive licensee of ACTFL assessments, and is subject to rigorous, independent quality assurance.

How long must I wait before I take another test?
Standard retest policy dictates a waiting period of 90 days – we certainly recommend waiting until significant study, exposure or practice has had a chance to develop your skills. Measurable increases in proficiency can take a long time to achieve (How Long Can It Take?), and testing twice in rapid succession is not likely to show a different result.

What languages does LTI test in?
We test in a huge, and ever-growing, range of languages – to see if we test in the language you’re interested in, please click here.

How much do the assessments cost?
For commercial or academic prices, please contact us.

If you are a federal government agency, or other qualified buyer, you can buy on our GSA schedule, available here.

I have questions about my rating – what can I do?
If you have questions, you can request a diagnostic feedback report, which will explain the rating assigned and your performance.

I want to know how well my staff is able to speak and interact with non-native speaking people – can you help?
Yes – we can help you carry out a language audit of all your staff, in a wide range of languages. We can also help you determine how well your staff need to be able to speak in order to successfully carry out the tasks expected of them through a task analysis.

How do I know how good the people in my organization need to be in order to successfully interact with non-native speaking populations?
The easiest way to determine this is through a Task Analysis – more details are available here.

Why can’t I have my own Spanish-speaking staff test my people?
Assessing proficiency is a very complex task, and requires a great deal of training in order to ensure that assessments are reliable and are standardized. Using speakers of a language to assess proficiency runs the risk of making important decisions with unreliable information, and can lead to mis-allocation of resources and potential legal issues.

Do you offer speaking tests?
Yes – click here to find out the ways in which LTI can help you assess speaking skills.

Do you offer listening tests?
Yes – click here to find out the ways in which LTI can help you assess listening skills.

Do you offer reading tests?
Yes – click here to find out the ways in which LTI can help you assess reading skills.

Do you offer writing tests?
Yes – click here to find out the ways in which LTI can help you assess writing skills.

I took a test but I didn’t get, or lost, the certificate – can I get a replacement?
Replacements are available online – please contact us to request one.

How do you ensure that the test-taker doesn’t cheat?
There are numerous ways in which LTI tests are proctored – exact protocols differ depending upon the test and the client. In commercial testing, for example, the most common method involves having a trusted member of the Human Resources department in the requesting organization signing an agreement to guarantee the identity of the test-taker, and the conditions under which the test takes place.

How long are your test results valid?
Two years.

Have the tests been validated by independent, external reviewers?
The assessments provided by LTI have been researched and validated by independent researchers. A bibliography of studies of ACTFL/LTI assessments can be found here.

I want to get myself tested – how do I request an individual test?
The easiest way to access ACTFL/LTI testing as an individual is to request an Academic Assessment, which you can do by clicking here.

I forgot my log-in and/or password to the Client Utility Site – where can I get help?
Please send an e-mail to testing@languagetesting.com or call 914-963-7110 x 310 or 800-486-8444 for assistance.

How do I set up an account?
Account setup is free, easy and quick. Please click here to fill in an account request form.

Does it cost money to set up an account?
No – account setup is free, easy and quick. Please click here to fill in an account request form.

Is there a minimum volume of tests required to set up an account?
No – though we’ll ask you to provide some basic information about your expected volume, the only other information you’ll need to provide is the languages in which you expect to test, and contact information for operational and billing concerns

Does it matter where I learned my language?
No – ACTFL/LTI assessments are not geared towards a certain type of speaker. Whether you learned your language in school, as an adult, or in your family, the assessments measure your ability to perform real-world tasks.

Who are your testers?
ACTFL certified testers are highly specialized language professionals, from leading universities and government language programs. They have at least an M.A, and many have a Ph.D. They have completed a rigorous four-day face-to-face training process that concludes with a tester’s demonstrated ability to consistently elicit ratable speech samples and consistently rate samples with a high degree of reliability. They must take part in annual tester meetings and refresher workshops, and re-certify every four years.

What is on the tests?
The subjects covered in the assessments reflect real-world concerns, and cover a range of tasks one might be expected to handle in real life. For questions about a particular test, use ‘Find a Test’.