About the Center

In 1421 AH, the National Center for Measurement and Assessment in Higher Education was established as a non-profitable independent educational institution specializing in measurement and assessment. The establishment of such an entity was meant to achieve a number of goals and most importantly to develop accurate scientific tools that can be used as standards for admission in institutions of higher education in addition to the high school diploma. In this regard, the Center introduced its best product, in 1423 AH, namely the General Aptitude Test (GAT) followed by another test, in 1424 AH, that measured the academic achievement of high school graduates to serve as a third standard for university admission. Afterwards, a number of educational, linguistic and professional tests were developed.

 

The tests of the Center have gained more recognition and been used more and more due to their quality that was built on accurate and fair internationally-recognized standards. Throughout the past 13 years, those tests have given the chance to the Center to contact the greatest and oldest bodies that develop such tests including EST, ACT and Pearson in USA and ACER in Australia. They have also tempted other institutions such as CITO in Netherland to visit the Center to share their experience in this vital field. It is, then, no surprise that various bodies, including ministries, universities, colleges, institutes, establishments and companies ask the Center to provide them with customized tests to meet their needs in employment. This has resulted in about 70 tests. The number of test-takers reached about a million and a half in 2012 -2013.
 
Linguistic tests have been given much attention by the Center whether to measure the proficiency or linguistic competence of the candidates. The following are some examples for these tests:
 
·        Standardized Test for English Proficiency (STEP)
·        English Placement Test (EPT).
·        Standardized Test for Arabic Proficiency for Non-Speakers of Arabic.
 
With the help of experts, the Center also spares no effort to link its linguistic tests to the CEFR which is one of the international frameworks for teaching languages to non-speakers. It has assumed the responsibility of taking care of the Arabic language in the assessment field by developing the Standardized Test for Arabic Proficiency for Non-Speakers of Arabic which is expected to become an international test just like TOEFL and IELTS because this test is built on the same standards as those of its international counterparts. Today, the Center is sparing no effort to turn this test into a computer-based one to make it easier for test-takers all over the world. The test is also expected to be a notable addition world-wide to the programs teaching Arabic. It is also hoped that the test will help improve the inputs, outputs and outcomes of these programs and will measure the proficiency of their learners.
 
Furthermore, the Center is working on supporting the Arabic language by building a framework of reference which includes developing a standardized test for measuring Arabic proficiency. This will help improve the inputs, outputs and outcomes of the academic programs that teach Arabic in universities and other institutions of Higher Education. With more effort exerted, this can be applied to elementary, middle and high school students. In addition, the test can identify the problems new teachers have with teaching Arabic which will motivate the departments teaching Arabic to compete in producing graduates that can satisfy the needs of the labor market.
Such development projects and new tests are the result of the Strategic Plan which has been developed recently for the Center in the light of an international ambitious vision and a comprehensive mission.