Financial Report 2010
The Achievements of the National Center for Measurement and Assessment in Higher Education
(Fiscal Year 1431 – 1432 AH)
 In its ninth year, the National Center for Measurement in Higher Education (Qiyas) has witnessed an ongoing development in all its academic programs and an expansion in its activities in order to meet the urgent needs of the educational community at the local and regional levels as well as the desire of many authorities, bodies and institutions in- and outside the Kingdom.  Its tests are adopted by all the universities, military colleges and private universities in the Kingdom. In fact, it has become a perquisite for admission. The tests are also adopted by other national bodies and local companies such as the Public Institution for Social Security, the General Authority for Tourism, Aramco, SABIC and the Electricity Company as an admission criterion to their academic and training programs. Its tests are adopted as well in some Gulf Countries like the Kingdom of Bahrain. In addition, some foreign universities have Qiyas' tests as a criterion for admitting Saudi students.
In the Arab world, Qiyas' tests are used as a requirement for admitting students who obtained their high school degrees from Saudi Arabia when applying to Sudanese or Egyptian universities.
Throughout the 1431 -1432 fiscal year, the Center achieved a lot in terms of educational, linguistic and professional testing, research, studies, academic publishing, symposiums, community service and a number of other activities.
The achievements made throughout this fiscal year were:
 
I. Tests:
The Center administered many tests relevant to its field of expertise. They were:
·        Arabic and English Graduate Assessment Test (GAT) for secondary school graduates: It is a test constructed for secondary school graduates who want to enroll in institutions of higher education. It measures a number of learning competences such as analytical skills and deductive reasoning in two parts: language (verbal) and mathematics (quantitative).
·        Arabic and English Standard Achievement Admission Test: It is a test used by universities and institutions of higher education for admission purposes so to assure fairness and equal chances for everyone in higher education. It focuses on the main concepts of the courses students study throughout the three years of secondary school.
·        General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders: It is a test written for postgraduate students.  It is similar in essence to the GRE test. It consists of two parts: verbal and quantitative ones of a higher level than the one administered to secondary school graduates, three other parts concerned with logic, critical thinking and questions on reasoning and result interpretation. 
This test was particularly beneficial to the students applying to master's or PhD programs as well as graduates applying to security and military colleges.
·        STEP Test: This test is similar to the known international TOEFL and IELTS tests. It is constructed in accordance with the standards of the Common European Framework and administered to students who want to obtain certificates that specify their levels in English or to apply for English programs in Saudi universities or programs that require a certain level of English proficiency.
·        Tests for identifying gifted and creative students: They are a group of original tests that measure the mental and creative abilities and the personality traits of primary and intermediate school candidates. They are a result of knowledge accumulation in the area of talent and creativity which adds a lot to its precision.  These tests go under an agreement with King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhibah).
·        General Tour Guide Test: It is a test that measures the minimum competence of knowledge and skills candidates should have. It aims at measuring the skills and knowledge of each Saudi candidate applying for the position of general tourist guide and then licensing them.
·         Teacher Competency Tests: They are a group of tests written for candidates applying for a teaching position at the Ministry of Education. The test measures the minimum level of standards a candidate should have including all the knowledge and skills that cover the basic aspects of the profession. The results of the test are used by the authorities concerned at the Ministry of Education for screening the applicants. The test consists of four basic parts: educational, linguistic, numerical and specialized standards. These tests have been administered for the second year in a row.
The Center has also started an ambitious project in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and King Abdullah's Project for Public Education Development. This project aims at utilizing national and international standards in developing national standards for the teaching profession on which different tests will be based. This project involves coordinating with the relevant authorities such as universities and other bodies concerned with teacher professional development and providing them with the necessary indicators for identifying their academic, training and educational needs. Employing the best international standards suitable for our environment is the first phase in implementing the project.
·        The Professional Test for the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution:  This test is designed to measure the mental, personal and social dimensions of candidates with law and religion as their majors in order to determine whether or not they have the qualities and skills required for the profession. The test was constructed in accordance with the requirements of the Bureau based on an analysis of the skills, competencies and personal traits that each employee in the Bureau should have.
·        Career Aptitude Test: Interest is not enough for one to take on and succeed in a certain job. Some jobs require certain levels of competence and mental abilities. Sometimes interest captivates the person that he/ she has different expectations for a profession. Therefore, it is necessary to have a three-dimension scale when judging how suitable the chosen professions are for the candidates. These dimensions are: interest, job expectations and competence. Measuring the above-mentioned dimensions helps decision-takers guide applicants to their suitable professions.
·        Arabic Language Proficiency Tests for non-native speakers of Arabic: Because of its significance, the Centre provides a test on the Arabic language for non-native speakers. It is designed to measure the test-takers' basic competence of Arabic in areas such as structure, writing, style, listening and reading comprehension.
II.          Preparing Candidates:
The following table illustrates the number of test-takers of all the tests the Center provided all over the kingdom during the year 1431 -1432.
 
 
Test Type
Number of Centers
Number of Tests
Number of Students
1
GAT – male students
79
1041
688,945
2
SAAT – male students
50
128
91,278
3
GAT – female students
2
10
252
4
GAT & SAAT – female students
3
15
520
5
English – male students
24
51
16,244
6
English – female students
12
26
6001
7
General Aptitude Tests for university  male students
14
29
17,847
8
General Aptitude Tests for university  female students
10
17
6,672
9
Teacher Competency Test
25
54
34,088
10
The Professional Test for the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution
6
2
1,565
11
Talent Identification Tests  (Mawhibah)
138
2
12,353
12
Career Aptitude Tests
20
2
8,890
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
III.        Research and Studies:
Throughout the Fiscal Year 1431 – 1432, the Center conducted a number of studies such as:
1.     Periodical reports and studies on the Center's questions, tests and results. It also monitored their performance by:
a.     Conducting statistical studies on the performance of the Center's pilot and real tests.
b.    Undertaking the statistical analyses necessary to calculate the standard score equation that helps ensure fairness in every stage tests administered.
c.      Studying the statistical indicators of all the tests administered by the Center.
d.    Studying the descriptive properties of tests and the difference among the scores achieved by the students who retook the GAT.
e.     Investigating the predictive validity of the GAT and SAAT.
2.     Surveys: The Center assigned faculty members to study and statistically analyze the content of articles written about the Center to identify and understand the attitudes towards the Center, its tests and activities.
3.     Studying test equations by comparing tests to arrive at the best ones that go in line with the nature of the Center.
4.     Studying the internal structure of the components of the linguistic part of GAT to explain performance differences among test-takers.
5.     Studying the relationship between the GAT and SAT, i.e. its American counterpart, which has great validity of 70 years. This study shows that the GAT test goes hand in hand with the SAT as the result reaches (0,7) which indicates the validity of GAT.
IV.              Conferences, Symposiums and Workshops:
The Center participated in a number of conferences and symposiums relevant to its field of expertise. This year, it held (12) workshops that had more than 500 participants. Those workshops tackled the how-to set standards, write questions and supervise tests. The Center also held more than (20) symposiums and lectures to clarify the role of the Center and its tests to the beneficiaries.
V.                The Center Development:
1.     Organizational Chart:
Due to the ongoing development in the past two years with the expansion in tests, standards, test cycles, and numbers of test-takers (more than one million test-takers annually) and based on the recommendations of the consulting firm the Center deals with, the Board of Directors approved the new organizational chart  of the Center to achieve the following goals:
·        Increasing the capacity of the Center to accommodate the growing numbers of high school students and the escalating demand on newer academic tests in order to cope with the rapid development of the educational sector.
·        Helping the Center to provide high-quality professional tests and satisfy the increasing need on this type of tests by the public and private sectors.
·        Enhancing the ability of the Center to provide training and counseling services to educational and professional institutions in- and outside the Kingdom in order to tap into the experience of the Center to support assessment and the educational process in the Kingdom and the neighboring countries.
2.     Issuing test admit cards for female students:
Field work teams had been formed for issuing smart cards for female students in their schools. The project covered most of the schools in the areas and provinces that hosted the test administration for the students. The approximate number of schools visited this year was (1,500) schools with (94,785) students. Only (28, 806) students had their national ID cards in the schools visited.  The project was implemented in two months in which (17,423) students received their smart cards from the test centers.
3.     Printing Test Booklets:
Due to the big expansion in tests, the increase in test-takers and the availability of suitable venues, the Center enhanced its printing ability by adding modern printing machines and utilizing new printing technology that meets the need for confidentiality. It is known that the Center has been in charge of printing test booklets since 1414 AH. In this fiscal year 1431 – 1432, the number of booklets printed was about (1,200,000) booklets. The allocated places for printing and storing the booklets in the new building resulted in better increased production. 
4.     The project of developing the technical infrastructure of the Centre: This project included:
·  Providing (38) servers for all the applications and service systems of the Center.
·   Supplying and installing the central memory unit for processing and storing the candidates and test-takers' data.
·  Developing the Center's dual intranet for faster, highly effective and more confidential data transfer.
·  Developing the security systems and firewalls for more effective data protection and archiving.
5.     E-Portal Project:
The Center's new electronic Microsoft Share Point 2010 portal is under construction. It encompasses:
·        An external portal for beneficiaries.
·        An internal portal for the Center's employees with homepages for each department and employee.
6.     The Project of Connecting to the Governmental Integrative System "Yusr":
This project involves developing the system that connects Qiyas to the governmental integrative system "Yusr" and participating as a beneficiary and a data provider in accordance with the protocols approved.
7.     Call and E-Mail Center:
To serve students by answering their questions, the system of the Call Center was developed in the new headquarters of the Center equipped with the required software, hardware and programs that are connected to the information system of the Center. The Center's Communication and Relations Unit answers the incoming calls through the system during the official working hours and some extra periods. The Center has also entered into a contract with an additional call center to specifically support the process of answering incoming calls during the AM periods, PM periods and holidays with two supporting teams: for male and female students separately.
The total number of calls answered throughout the last season was about (274,000) incoming calls. As for e-mails, the number of e-mails answered was approximately (72,000) e-mails while the number of faxes received was nearly (23,000) faxes.
VI.              Projects of Setting New Standards:
A number of new projects have been established lately which include setting new standards and writing new tests such as:
1-    The project of the professional test for the members of the Committee for The Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.
2-    The project of English placement test.
3-    The draft project of tests administered to graduates-to-be upon the completion of some majors.
4-    The draft project for standards of judges.
VII.           Visits and Meetings:
The Center attended some meetings that aimed at introducing the Center and its activities and giving specialized presentations about its achievements and what it has to offer. At the level of international visits, the Center paid a visit to Cambridge Assessment Center and Pearson Vue in the United Kingdom.
In addition, it received several delegations and held a number of meetings for the same purpose. These visits were by:
1-    A delegation from the Syrian Higher Education  to the Center on 1st Jumada II, 1431 to discuss future cooperation with the Center and particularly to study the establishment of a similar center in Syria.   
2-    The Pearson Corporation on 24th Jumada II, 1431 to discuss a partnership agreement.
3-    A delegation from the Bahraini Authority of Quality Assurance in Education and Training on 11th Rajab, 1431 to learn about the Center's experience.
4-    A delegation from the University of Manchester headed by the Director of Assessment and Measurement in the University on 4th Dhul Qi'adah, 1431.
5-    The Board of Directors of the Saudi Council of Engineers to activate the Agreement of Professional Tests signed by the Center and the Council.
6-    The President and members of the Supreme Judicial Council to take a look at the Center and discuss the proposal about judge selection programs.
7-    The Australian ACER delegation that administers school tests.
VIII.         Student Support:
The Center provides supporting services to the students to raise their awareness about the importance of the higher mental abilities for the different ages and to help them understand their interests. In this regard, the Center is keen on:
1-    Providing information brochures on all the tests for the students: The total number of publications for the Fiscal Year (1431 – 1432) was (15) items of which (2,800,000) printed copies were made to educate students and people in general about the tests administered by the Center.
2-    Providing the students with the online interest scale to help them identify and understand their interests as it provides them with reports on the fields they like.
3-    Providing online training programs that help students enhance their mental abilities.
4-    Administering surveys to students to learn about their views on several issues that concern them so that the Center can provide better services in terms of test timing, dealing with economically challenged students and handling "Sadad" system for paying the fees.
5-    Holding symposiums and seminars in several Provinces to educate the people about the tests administered by the Center.