Journal of Foreign Language Education and Technology

How similar is YDS to UDS?

Abstract

Meral Ozturk

OSYM’s decision to publish only 10% of tests made it difficult to prepare for the YDS, the Foreign Language Proficiency Test, as there is only one previous test published in full that can be used as study material. The present study considers the possibility of using previous UDS tests made available on the OSYM’s website before the decision for that purpose. The single YDS test published in full was compared in terms of lexical content to nine UDS tests in social sciences administered between 2006-2013. The comparison considered lexical similarity, lexical difficulty and readability of the tests, for which several online analysis software were used. Lexical similarity was analysed using Text_Lex Compare and lexical difficulty with VocabProfile on the Compleat Lexical Tutor Website. Readability was measured using Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level indices. These analyses suggested that the YDS test was sufficiently similar to the UDS tests with respect to vocabulary to grant their use as study material towards YDS. The YDS turned out to have a slightly lighter vocabulary load but to be slightly more difficult to read although both tests were university level texts in terms of difficulty and required knowledge of the most frequent 5,000 words of English as a minimum. Both tests were comparable in terms of lexical content to similar proficiency tests in other countries.

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