Academics > The Preparatory Program > Achievement Scale and Interpretation

Achievement Scale and Interpretation


Preparatory Program Achievement Scale and Interpretation

The Preparatory Program achievement scale is the range of possible levels of language ability as represented by the levels of the courses from Pre-Beginner to Advanced. The interpretation of the scale is provided in the descriptors below which represent the achieved level of proficiency as described by the student learning outcomes. The student learning outcomes appear in the syllabus for each course and are drawn from the Curriculum Handbook. As an additional aid for users, the courses are also aligned with IELTS and CEFR, full descriptors of which are provided at the end of this document.

Prep Level CEFR Level IELTS Level Writing Skills Course Communication Skills Course

Pre-Beginner

A1 to low A2

Basic User

4.0 Overall

Writing
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. write basic sentences introducing themselves or others and write simple descriptions of people, places, everyday objects, and daily routines
  2. write simple descriptions about their and other people’s activities happening at the time of speaking
  3. write a short text (6-8 sentences / 50-70 words) about their and other people’s likes, dislikes, abilities, hobbies, and interests
  4. use capital letters and basic punctuation appropriately in simple sentences
  5. use basic cohesive devices
  6. use level-appropriate grammar to produce simple phrases and sentences
  7. use level-appropriate vocabulary to communicate meaning

Speaking
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. By the end of the course, the students will be able to:
  2. use simple language to express needs and ask questions in the context of classroom communication
  3. use simple language to give basic personal information and information about others and to describe people, places and everyday objects
  4. use simple language to talk about their own and other people’s daily routines, likes and dislikes, abilities, hobbies, and interests
  5. answer simple questions on common everyday topics
  6. use basic cohesive devices
  7. use level-appropriate grammar to produce simple phrases and sentences
  8. use level-appropriate vocabulary to communicate meaning
  9. use simple language to describe their and other people’s activities happening at the time of speaking

Pre-Beginner

A1 to low A2

Basic User

4.0 Overall

Reading
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. follow commonly used directions for classroom exercises
  2. recognize phrases and content words related to personal information and information about others as well as in simple descriptions of people, places and everyday objects
  3. recognize phrases and content words in short written texts about people’s daily routines, likes and dislikes, abilities, hobbies and interests
  4. identify main ideas and factual and numeric information related to basic personal information as well as in simple descriptions of people, places and everyday objects.
  5. identify main ideas and factual and numeric information in simple written texts about people’s daily routines, likes and dislikes, abilities, hobbies

Listening
By the end of the course the students will be able to:

  1. follow basic classroom instructions
  2. recognize phrases and content words related to basic personal information as well as in simple descriptions of people, places, and everyday objects
  3. recognize phrases and content words in short spoken texts and conversations about people’s daily routines, likes and dislikes, abilities, and hobbies and interests
  4. identify main ideas and factual information related to basic personal information as well as in simple descriptions of people, places, and everyday objects
  5. identify main ideas and factual information in short spoken texts and conversations about people’s daily routines, likes and dislikes, abilities, hobbies, and interests

Beginner

A2 to low B1

Indepen-dent
User

4.5 Overall

Writing
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. compose descriptive paragraphs (100-120 words / 8-10 sentences)
  2. demonstrate organization of ideas within a paragraph through the use of relevant topic sentence, supporting sentences, and concluding sentence.
  3. use basic linking devices to sequence, add, and illustrate ideas as well as show cause-effect
  4. apply basic formatting
  5. use a sufficient amount of level-appropriate vocabulary to produce basic descriptions
  6. use grammatical structures to produce simple, complex and compound sentences.

Speaking
By the end of the course, the students will be able to:

  1. use simple language to express needs and ask questions in the context of classroom communication
  2. use simple language to give basic personal information and information about others and to describe people, places and everyday objects
  3. use simple language to talk about their own and other people’s daily routines, likes and dislikes, abilities, hobbies, and interests
  4. answer simple questions on common everyday topics
  5. use basic cohesive devices
  6. use level-appropriate grammar to produce simple phrases and sentences
  7. use level-appropriate vocabulary to communicate meaning
  8. use simple language to describe their and other people’s activities happening at the time of speaking

Beginner

A2 to low B1

Indepen-dent
User

4.5 Overall

Reading
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. identify the main idea in short reading passages.
  2. identify the purpose of short reading passages.
  3. identify specific details in short reading passages.
  4. make basic inferences or predictions about text content from headings, titles or headlines
  5. predict the meaning of vocabulary from context
  6. recognize pronoun referents

Listening
By the end of the course the students will be able to:

  1. follow basic classroom instructions
  2. recognize phrases and content words related to basic personal information as well as in simple descriptions of people, places, and everyday objects
  3. recognize phrases and content words in short spoken texts and conversations about people’s daily routines, likes and dislikes, abilities, and hobbies and interests
  4. identify main ideas and factual information related to basic personal information as well as in simple descriptions of people, places, and everyday objects
  5. identify main ideas and factual information in short spoken texts and conversations about people’s daily routines, likes and dislikes, abilities, hobbies, and interests

Intermediate

Low to high B1

Indepen-dent
User

 

5
Overall

Writing
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. compose developed, cohesive, and coherent opinion and narrative paragraphs on course-related subjects (120- 150 words / 9-12 sentences)
  2. prepare a simple outline to organize ideas and information
  3. write level-appropriate grammatically and mechanically complete sentences.
  4. use level-appropriate vocabulary
  5. format paragraphs according to basic academic norms.

Speaking
By the end of the course, the students will be able to:

  1. give effective and well-organized presentations on topics (2- 5 minutes)
  2. describe past events and experiences, including feelings and reactions
  3. express opinions
  4. state advantages and disadvantages
  5. demonstrate adequate grammatical knowledge to speak effectively
  6. interpret a basic infographic
  7. employ level-appropriate collocations and vocabulary

Intermediate

Low to high B1

Indepen-dent
User

 

5
Overall

Reading
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. distinguish between main ideas and supporting details.
  2. make simple inferences.
  3. identify cause and effect
  4. distinguish fact from opinion
  5. derive the meaning of unknown words from context
  6. recognize pronoun referents
  7. identify problems-solutions

Listening
By the end of the course, the students will be able to:

  1. distinguish the main idea and key details in spoken discourse
  2. understand vocabulary in context
  3. infer opinions from a simple presentation or conversations
  4. demonstrate note-taking skills

Advanced

High B1 to high B2

Indepen-
dent
User

6
Overall

Writing
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. write well-constructed and developed paragraphs and essays with appropriate unity, coherence, and cohesion on course-related academic subjects (150+ / 250+ and 12-15 sentences / 4 paragraphs)
  2. apply a process approach to writing by brainstorming, outlining, editing and revising
  3. use level-appropriate vocabulary and for context
  4. write a variety of level-appropriate grammatically and mechanically correct sentence types
  5. format writing according to academic norms

 

Speaking
By the end of the course, the students will be able to:

  1. give effective and well-organized presentations on topics (2- 5 minutes)
  2. describe past events and experiences, including feelings and reactions
  3. express opinions
  4. state advantages and disadvantages
  5. demonstrate adequate grammatical knowledge to speak effectively
  6. interpret a basic infographic
  7. employ level-appropriate collocations and vocabulary

Advanced

High B1 to high B2

Indepen-
dent
User

6
Overall

Reading
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. distinguish between main idea and supporting details in a simple academic text
  2. interact with a short academic text in order to make contextualized inferences
  3. interact with a short academic text in order to distinguish between different viewpoints
  4. interact with a short academic text in order to recognize fact and opinion
  5. interact with a short academic text in order to distinguish between cause and effect relationships
  6. interact with a short academic text in order to identify problem and solution relationships
  7. interact with a short academic text in order to identify the writer's purpose
  8. use visual, context, and morphological clues to understand new vocabulary

Listening
By the end of the course, the students will be able to:

  1. distinguish the main idea and key details in spoken discourse
  2. understand vocabulary in context
  3. infer opinions from a simple presentation or conversations
  4. demonstrate note-taking skills

In addition to its main achievement scale, the Prep program also provides the following achievement scale and interpretation for its study skills courses, which are taken separately from the basic communications and writing skills courses.

Study Skills I and II (Theories and Applications of Learning I and II)
Achievement Scale and Interpretation

Study Skills I

(Taken simultaneously with Intermediate – level English)

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the students will:

  1. Employ basic functions of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint for class assignments and projects, specifically academic paragraphs and emails.
  2. Demonstrate the ability take notes and organize notes and assignments into folders.
  3. Select reading strategies to improve learning and comprehension.
  4. Apply basic typing skills with a goal of achieving at least 30 words per minute with moderate accuracy.
  5. Apply basic strategies for taking tests of varying question styles, such as multiple-choice, short answers, and essays.

Study Skills II

(Taken simultaneously with Advanced-level English)

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate basic computer literacy including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and email systems using Microsoft Office.
  2. Identify strategies for effective group work and team building to promote communication and collaboration.
  3. Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to find and evaluate sources of information.
  4. Apply basic APA formatting to papers and assignments.
  5. Define academic honesty, recognize instances of plagiarism, and take steps to take to avoid academic dishonesty.
  6. Identify first semester Core courses by following the degree plan for their major.
  7. List the benefits of working/studying in a diverse environment.

 


Guidelines for Level Advancement

The final grade for the level is composed of the grade in the Writing Skills course (60%) and the Communication Skills course (40%) Students must achieve a final grade of 70% or above for the level to advance to the next level or to Core university courses.

A or A+ Students who receive this grade have scores of 90–100%, They have largely mastered the level’s student learning outcomes. They advance to the next level or Core university courses.
B or B+ Students who receive this grade have scores of 80–89%. They have a good command of student learning outcomes. They advance to the next level or Core university courses, but may need to focus on a few areas to increase likelihood of excelling at the next level.
C or C+ Students who receive this grade have scores of 70– 79%. They have a generally sufficient mastery of student learning outcomes. They advance to the next level or Core university courses. They have essential skills but should continue to review some skills, vocabulary, and grammar in order to do well at the next level.
D or D+ or F Students who receive this grade have scores of 60–69% (D or D+) or 0-59% (F). They have insufficient mastery to succeed in the next level. They do not advance to the next level or Core university courses.

Preparatory Program Course Alignment with CEFR and IELTS

The interpretation of the Preparatory Program achievement scale is based on the achieved level of proficiency as described by the student learning outcomes. However, as an additional aid for users, the courses are also aligned with IELTS and CEFR. Full descriptors of CEFR and IELTS levels are provided below.

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, an international, standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. Bandwidths (levels) range from 0 to 9. 4 = Limited User 5 = Modest User 6 = Competent User
The CEFR is the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, a system used to describe learners’ language achievements at six levels from beginner to advanced. The levels are labeled A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. Prep uses four levels from A1 (beginner) to B2 (independent user.) CEFR Level Descriptors are adapted from: CEFR Global Scale - Table 1 (CEFR 3.3) Common Reference Levels
A1 Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
A2 Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment/university). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
B1 Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
B2 Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

Updated June 15, 2022