Tips About Spanish Language Proficiency Testing
So, you say you've been studying Spanish for about a year now and you're wondering: "how much do I know?", "are we there yet?". That's where testing comes in. Read on to find out more...
I'd like to begin today's article with a question: "How's it going?" -- Specifically, how are things going with your goal of learning Spanish? Are you on track towards achieving your goal? Are you ahead of schedule? On schedule? Behind schedule?
Or, are you asking: "How do I know how much Spanish I know?" -- The answer to this question is you have to test yourself -- I realize a lot of people don't care much for the idea of testing, but the benefits definitely out-weigh the drawbacks. Read on for the benefits of testing.
Why Test -- Proficiency Testing Benefits
First, periodic testing will serve as a roadmap for you. It will tell you how close to or far away you are from you destination of knowing Spanish.
Second, a Spanish test will show you your current strengths and weaknesses. It'll give you a good snapshot of things you do well and not so well -- and you'll be able to use the snapshot of strengths and weaknesses to know where to focus you future learning. The idea is to use the test results to work toward making yourself a well-rounded Spanish speaker.
Finally, if you plan to ever use Spanish in a professional sense, such as being a translator, you could use the test results as credentials to show others your abilities.
Types of Spanish Proficiency Test Available
There is a wide variety of Spanish test available. As you go about selecting a test, keep in mind the best ones will test you in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Alternatively, you can take more than one test to get tested in these four key areas. If you're learning Spanish as a hobby, there are many quality tests you can take online. You can find online tests and printed ones, free and for a price. -- If you are learning Spanish for professional reasons (such as being a translator), you might be interested in certified tests like ACTFL.
Regardless of which test you decide to take there are a few general guidelines you can follow.
- Test every 6 to 12 months
- Use the same test, if possible
- Keep your results and compare them to the future tests
Your test results don't have to be shared with anyone else. Testing is a powerful tool you have to track the progress you make as you learn Spanish. Testing will guide you and tell you what things you will want to focus more attention to. Testing doesn't have to cost you anything, since there are many free tests available online and at the library.