Financial Report 2011
Fiscal Year Annual Report
(Fiscal Year 1432 – 1433 AH)
 In its tenth 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 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 1432 -1433 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 increasing work and tasks were well handed by the Center due to the new organizational chart. The activation of the new departments had the greatest impact on quality and work organization. The Center started to implement project management systems, quality procedures and follow-up actions. It also took serious steps to draw up its Strategic Plan.
As some of the testing projects that had been completed paid off, the Center started implementing other strategic projects that deeply root its role and improve education and the professions related.
The past year also witnessed a breakthrough in terms of cooperating with other institutions, exchanging experiences and utilizing state-of-the-art technology in attending conferences and specialized seminars, holding meetings and giving presentations worldwide.
The Center held a scientific symposium for the first time in the field of teacher professional standards under the umbrella of the King Abdullah Education Development Project (Tatweer). In addition, it has signed an agreement for a strategic project with the Ministry of Higher Education for measuring the outcomes of higher education. This project will handle seven engineering majors.
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. The project has come a long way as it adopts the best international standards suitable for our environment.
·        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.          Written Tests:
 
Throughout this year (1432), the Centre wrote a considerable number of new tests, namely:
 
 
Test Type
Number of Tests
Number of Samples
Number of Questions
1
GAT – male students
26
130
3718
2
GAT – female students
12
60
1248
3
General Aptitude Tests
2
10
252
4
SAAT – male students
3
15
520
5
SAAT – female students
3
15
468
6
Theoretical  SAAT – female students
3
15
468
7
GAT –
(in English)
3
1
288
8
SAAT – (in English)
1
1
129
9
STEP
4
5
238
10
EPT
2
5
176
11
Arabic Language Proficiency Test for non-native speakers
2
5
268
12
Teacher Tests
21
40
1800
13
Gifted Tests
12
-
2000
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total number of tests written: 82
Total number of sample tests: 317
Total of all questions written for all tests including pilot ones: 11,600 approximately.
 
III.              Tests Held:
1.     The number of all the test-takers in the academic year 1431 – 1432 was (1,127,000) students i.e. 20% more than the ones of the previous academic year (1430 – 1431) in which (940,000) students sat for the tests in (37) test cycles.

 
The Number of Candidates of Other Tests in the Year 1432 – 1433
 
Tests
Number of Male Students
Number of Female Students
Total
1
STEP
19,207
11,147
30,354
2
Teacher Competency Tests
29,283
0
29,283
3
The Professional Tests for the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution
1,109
0
1,109
4
Gifted Tests
13,400
14,005
27,405
5
Career Aptitude Tests
7,589
0
7,589
6
Mawhibah Pilot Test
6,403
5,950
12,353
7
Standardizing Mawhibah Test
9,931
9,919
19,850
8
Linking Mawhibah Test
540
498
1,038
9
Pilot Creativity Test
2,695
2,709
5,404
10
Creativity Test for excellent Candidates
346
436
782
11
GAT - Bahrain
2,204
2,920
5,124
12
Arabic Language Proficiency Tests for Non-Native Speakers of Arabic - Indonesia
973
648
1,621
13
Exceptional Tests
4,882
372
5,254
Total
98,562
48,604
147,166
 
Test Cycles for the Academic Year 1431-1432
 
Test Type
Gender
Date
1
GAT
Males
Muharram, 1432
2
GAT
Females
Rabi II, 1432
3
GAT
Males
Jumada II, 1432
4
SAAT
Males
Rajab, 1432
5
GAT and SAAT
Females
Rajab, 1432
6
General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders
Males
Dhul Hijjah, 1431
7
General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders
Females
Dhul Hijjah, 1431
8
General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders
Males
Rabi II, 1432
9
General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders
Females
Rabi II, 1432
10
General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders
Males
Sha'aban, 1432
11
General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders
Females
Sha'aban, 1432
12
STEP
Males
Dhul hijjah, 1431
13
STEP
Females
Dhul hijjah, 1431
14
STEP
Males
Rabi II, 1432
15
STEP
Females
Rabi II, 1432
16
STEP
Males
Sha'aban, 1432
17
STEP
Females
Sha'aban, 1432
18
Teacher Competency Test (Exceptional)
Males
Dhul hijjah, 1431
19
Teacher Competency Test
Males
Rabi I, 1432
20
Teacher Competency Test (Exceptional)
Males
Rajab, 1432
21
Mawhibah International Testing Programs
Males
Dhul Qi'adah, 1431
22
Mawhibah International Testing Programs
Females
Dhul Qi'adah, 1431
23
Mawhibah Tests
Males
Jumada I, 1432
24
Mawhibah Tests
Females
Jumada I, 1432
25
GAT (Exceptional)
Males
Sha'aban, 1432
26
GAT (Exceptional)
Males
Sha'aban, 1432
27
SAAT (Exceptional)
Males
Sha'aban, 1432
28
GAT and SAAT (Exceptional)
Females
Sha'aban, 1432
29
GAT and SAAT (Exceptional)
Females
Sha'aban, 1432
30
General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders (Exceptional)
Males
Ramadan, 1432
31
GAT (Exceptional)
Males
Sha'aban, 1432
32
The Professional Test for the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution
Males
Dhul Qi'adah, 1431
33
The Professional Test for the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution
Males
Jumada I, 1432
34
Arabic Language Proficiency Tests for non-native speakers of Arabic (External Tests held in Indonesia)
Males
Jumada II, 1432
35
Arabic Language Proficiency Tests for non-native speakers of Arabic (External Tests held in Indonesia)
Females
Jumada II, 1432
36
GAT (External Tests held in Bahrain)
General
Sha'aban, 1432
37
GAT (External Tests held in Bahrain)
General
Ramadan, 1432
38
General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders
Males
Dhul Qi'adah, 1432
39
General Aptitude Tests for bachelor's degree holders (Exceptional)
Females
Dhul Qi'adah, 1432
 
IV.   System and Infrastructure Development:
The Center has spared no effort to succeed in developing and administering tests. Therefore, it started utilizing some new developed systems such as:
·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 (1,700) schools with (123,208) students. Only (25, 505) students had their national ID cards in the schools visited.  The project was implemented in two months in which (15,319) students received their smart cards from the test centers.
·Printing Test Booklets: Due to the big expansion in tests, the increase in test-takers and the availability of suitable venues, modern printing machines and technical teams, the Center was  able to meet the needs of the test centers by printing out nearly (1,640,000) booklets i.e. 37% more than the year before. In addition, it also printed out procedural handbooks.
·The project of developing the technical infrastructure of the Centre: This project included:
o   Upgrading and configuring the intranet to host the new high-technology systems for transferring data.
o   Connecting to the governmental integrative system "Yusr" and participating as a beneficiary and data provider.
o   Developing the HR, ERP and AX Project for the Center.
o    Signing the E-Training System agreement on 9th Sha'aban, 1432.
o   Developing the project of test registration management.
o   Signing the agreement of interactive messages (Short Code).
·        Computer-Based Tests: Based on the memorandum of understanding between Pearson Vu (which is an international leading corporation in the field of computer-based tests) and the Center, a computer-based test headquarters was established to accommodate 30 test takers. This computer-based test center is considered a prototype for the other centers Qiyas intends to establish across the Kingdom. The agreement also states that Qiyas can make use of Pearson Vu centers all over the world to administer its tests.
V.  Research and Statistical Studies:
·     Statistical Studies: The Center conducted statistical studies on all the tests administered last year. The descriptive properties had been investigated for each test as well as their reliability. All of the tests satisfied the international standards. The tests were also scrutinized in terms of difficulty and assessment.
·     Research Studies: The Center enlisted a group of academic and scientific research in its annual plan, some of which were:
1.     Studying the ways of test equating to choose the best way in terms of precision and ease of application.
2.     Investigating the attitudes of society towards the tests administered by the Center. This involves analyzing the contents of articles written about the Center throughout the year. It aims at identifying the attitudes towards the Center and its tests as well as pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of its relationship with society.
3.     Studying the relationship between the GAT and Achievement Tests and the American SAT tests. It is one of the studies that address the validity of the tests administered by the Center.
4.     Studying the relationship between STEP and EPT.
5.     Studying the relationship between Teacher Competency Test and GAT, General Aptitude Test and GPAs. This study aims at checking the validity of teacher tests.
The Center is done with conducting all the above-mentioned studies and will soon publish them on its website. 
VI.       Projects:
1.     Signing a contract with the Ministry of Higher Education for measuring the outcomes of seven engineering majors. This involved setting the standards and indicators to be measured and then writing the tests.
2.     Performing job analyses for governmental authorities and national companies and drafting standards for their majors such as:
                                                              i.      Standards for selecting religious police officers for the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.
                                                            ii.      Professional standards and tests for selecting and assessing judges for the Supreme Council of Judiciary.
                                                          iii.      Standards for road traffic safety for Saudi Aramco.
VII.     Media Advisory Board:
To convey the right message about Qiyas and its tests, clarify Qiyas-related issues to the public, help the Center take the right actions towards the campaigns that overlooked the Center's noble aims, the Center formed a specialized committee concerned with media issues. The Media Advising Board is in charge of providing consulting services and support in terms of the relationships between beneficiaries and their guardians with the Center and using all the channels to communicate with society. It also works on assessing the different media plans, projects and programs.
VIII.  Symposiums, Conferences, Meetings and Exhibitions:
 


Throughout the past year, the Center held and participated in the following symposiums, conferences, meetings and exhibitions:
1.     A symposium on Professional Standards for Teachers: It was held under the patronage of the Minister of Education on 5th Dhul Qi'adah in the Intercontinental Hotel, Riyadh. It was organized in collaboration with Tatweer Project under the umbrella of Teacher Professional Standards and Assessment Tools Project. Among the participants were the Director of Assessment at the USA National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the Executive Director of the Project of Professional Standards for New Teachers in Chile and other experts. More than (300) participants attended this symposium.
2.     A High School Gathering held in Jeddah on 25th Rabi I, 1432.
3.     A Webcast lecture on "Lessons in Test Security" given by Caveon Test Security held in USA on 12 Rabi II, 1432.
4.     An exhibition by the Ministry of Education in Riyadh from 14th to 17th Rabi II, 1432.
5.     The Third Annual Conference for the Educational Research Center held in Beirut on 20th Rabi II, 1432.
6.     A symposium entitled "Measurement and Society" held in the Center's headquarters in Riyadh on 24th Rabi II, 1432.
7.     Webcasting a conference held by the National American Association for Education Assessment in New Orleans, USA,  on the basis of writing tests for different levels.
8.     An Exhibition by the Ministry of Higher Education held in Riyadh from 15th to 18th Jumada I, 1432.
9.     A symposium entitled "Measurement and Society" held in AlJubail on 20th Jumada I, 1432.
10.                         An open meeting with the Teachers College students held in Riyadh on 14th Jumada II, 1432.
11.                         The Third Meeting for Academic Consultations held in Effat University, Jeddah, on 14th Jumada II, 1432.
12.                         A symposium entitled "Measurement and Society" held in AlGhat on 15th Jumada II, 1432.
13.                         A lecture on tests and applications held in the headquarters of the Center in Riyadh on 22nd Sha'aban, 1432.
14.                         An exhibition and meeting of the gifted held in Salalah, Oman from 22nd to 26th Sha'aban, 1432.
15.                         A lecture on the Structure of Tests Measuring Verbal Ability in GAT held in the headquarters of the Center, Riyadh, on 24th Sha'aban, 1432.
16.                         A lecture on the basis of writing tests for different levels held in the headquarters of the Center, Riyadh, on 2nd Ramadan, 1432.
 

 
IX.              Visits:
 
The Center visited the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), which is the biggest institution concerned with tests and assessment in Australia, to discuss future cooperation. A meeting was held with the Consultant of the Teacher Test Project to discuss the first report of the framework of the teacher tests from 28th Jumada I to 2nd Jumada II, 1432.
The Center also made other visits and attended meetings to introduce or give presentation about the Center and its activities.
 
 X.    Workshops:

Throughout the past year, the Center held the following workshops:
1.       A workshop on assessing writing in the Arabic language tests for non-speakers of Arabic held in the Center's headquarters in Riyadh from 13th to 14th Jumada I, 1432. There were (12) participants.
2.       A workshop for writing teacher tests that was held in the Center's headquarters in Riyadh from 21st to 23rd Jumada I, 1432 with (53) participants.
3.       A workshop for writing the quantitative part of the GAT held from 14th to 15th Jumada II, 1432. It was held in the Center's headquarters in Riyadh and the number of participants reached (22) participants.
4.       A hands-on workshop for the techniques of writing questions for reading comprehension (the verbal part) of the GAT that was held in the Center's headquarters in Riyadh from 17th to 18th of Shawwal, 1432. The number of participants was (9) experts.
5.       A workshop for refereeing the questions of teacher tests held in the Center with that participation of (44) participants from 21st to 23rd Shawwal, 1432.
6.       A workshop for teacher professional standards held in the headquarters of the Center from 6th to 7th Dhul Qia'dah, 1432. The number of participants was (120) participants.
 
XI.  Beneficiaries Services:
1.     Call and E-Mail Center: From 20th Safar to 30th Shawwal 1432,  the total number of phone calls answered was (158,312) calls. (523,177) callers were helped through IVRs.  The number of emails answered was (23,050) emails in addition to (3,200) faxes.
2.     Online Preparation and Training Project: Among the free services the Center provides to students to help them review the basics of language and mathematics, the Center will launch the online preparation and training project that will spare the students the useless courses given by institutions. The service will be available for users in Rabi II, 1433. This system will be the cornerstone for the other similar services the center will provide.
3.     Writing STEP Manual: This manual was written to train candidates on the level of difficulty of the test and the different questions included. The manual will be available for users in hard- and softcopies.
XII.            Strategic Plan:
To determine its priorities and future orientations for the next phase, the Center was aware of the need to draw up a strategic plan. In this regard, the Center entered into an agreement with King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals as a consulting and supporting body. It also had another agreement with a national specialized consulting firm to develop its strategic plan and future orientations.
XIII.         Activating the Organizational Chart Approved by the Board of Directors:
When the Board of Directors had approved the new organizational chart in its last meeting, much effort was exerted to activate it. The following are some of the achievements:
·        Establishing new independent departments which enhanced the work flow and quality control.
·        Establishing supporting units  such as:
o   Quality and Follow-Up Unit
o   Project Management Unit
o   HR Unit
o   Consultation and Training Unit
·         Entering into an agreement with  a law firm to help the Center's Legal Consultant in preparing, editing and proofreading the following:
o   Reviewing the Center's systems, laws and regulations.
o   Reviewing a number of national and international agreements.
o   Protecting the intellectual property of the Center.
o   Reviewing all the memos and lawsuits filed by or against the Center.
o   Providing legal advice when needed.