ACTFL Listening and Reading Computer Adaptive Test® (ACTFL L&Rcat)
The ACTFL L&Rcat is an Internet‐delivered version of the ACTFL English Listening and Reading Proficiency
Tests (LPT and RPT). This is a computer‐based test that adapts to the test‐taker's ability level. It
successively selects questions for the purpose of maximizing the precision of the exam based on what is
known about the test‐taker from previous questions. Adaptive tests are comprised of items selected
from a collection of items, known as an item bank. These items have been piloted and their "difficulty
level" calculated through extensive analysis.
In the simplest terms, the L&Rcat is a dynamic test that selects test items based on what it learns about
the test‐taker's proficiency from his or her responses to questions. From the point‐of‐view of the test‐
taker, it customizes the texts and passages based on the test‐taker's own reading and/or listening ability
to create a unique testing experience.
The L&Rcat randomly selects items and then adapts the random selection based on the test‐taker's demonstrated ability.
This prevents test‐takers from receiving prompts that are too easy or too hard.
The L&Rcat database maintains a record of items a candidate receives. For retests, candidates
receive new items.
This provides less exposure of test prompts to the public, which provides greater test security and increased assurance that the ratings are accurate.
The ACTFL L&Rcat lasts a maximum of 110 minutes. Its questions are based on a range of informal and
formal material on general, social, professional, and academic topics, such as daily interactions,
announcements, emails, instructions, newspaper articles, technical reports, literary texts, discussions,
lectures, broadcasts, etc. These are real‐world examples of spoken and written language that surpass
the scope of traditional fixed tests.
Test‐takers will be assessed on their ability to respond to questions about what they hear, read, and
understand in real time rather than what they have memorized prior to beginning the test. The result is
a greater, more useful assessment of a test‐taker’s language skills.
An ACTFL rating is assigned immediately upon completion of the test. The Common European
Framework of Reference (CEFR) and Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) ratings are also available (by
request before test administration).
The ACTFL L&Rcat is currently offered in English.