About the Dynamic Placement Test

This is an adaptive online test focusing on language elements (vocabulary and grammar in use), listening, and reading. The test takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and is randomised, so that test takers sitting next to each other will see different questions.

vast database

Vast database

Test accuracy is ensured through access to telc’s vast database of sample, validated items, as well as through ongoing item analysis and standard setting.

adaptive test

Adaptive test

Adaptive tests are more efficient, and deliver more precise outcomes in a shorter time frame across the range of test takers.

new question types

New question types

Sentence reconstruction and word placement questions take a holistic look at structures and syntax, so test takers engage with the language — and the test.

The test developers

dynamic placement test certificate

The content for this English level test has been devised, written and maintained by telc Language Tests, a non-profit subsidiary of the German Adult Education Association. Over 45 years telc has created and administered language tests based on international standards: fair, transparent and reliable.

Mia Aghajari, Content Developer

Why is this test different from other online tests? Beyond providing institutes and schools with an effective tool, we wanted to give added attention to those taking the test: the candidates. Mia Aghajari, Content Developer

Sean McDonald, Lead Content Developer

"I’m sorry to say at the moment people don’t take tests for fun... People are afraid of tests. But what is wrong with showing how good you are?" An interview with Sean McDonald, Lead Content Developer

Adrian Raper, Technical Director

A key objective was to devise a democratic test — a computer-based level test available to schools whatever their digital setup. Adrian Raper, Technical Director


Accuracy and the Dynamic Placement Test

Objectively valid and reliable

Objectively valid and reliable

The development team uses anchor items, item analysis and detailed data analysis to build up and maintain a valid and reliable item bank — and a delivery system that works for everyone.

Regular data-driven test refinement

Regular data-driven test refinement

With the constant influx of data from thousands of test takers, the team is able to confirm the validity of every item. This ensures every item is actively helping to determine a test taker's CEFR level.

Subjectively accurate and reliable

Subjectively accurate and reliable

The editorial team monitors test items for issues of cultural fairness, analyses feedback, and runs standard setting sessions where each question is examined by a team of assessment specialists.

Reliable technology

Reliable technology

Cloud delivery

ClarityEnglish delivered over 5 million sessions worldwide through the Cloud last year, with an uptime of over 99.9%. The system features multiple layers of servers that can scale to cover peaks in demand.

Robust connections

The test requires only minimal, intermittent connection to the Internet to run. Hundreds of test takers using their phones in an exam room can take advantage of pre-downloads and a mix of phone data and WiFi.


This is a multi-faceted approach: downloads are encrypted; test taker engagement with other apps is tracked; data storage follows Clarity's GDPR policies.

About placement testing

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Cultural fairness in a placement test

Defining a placement test

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Students can do the Dynamic Placement Tests with any device

To read more about placement testing please visit the Placement Testing section of Clarity's blog. Why not start with this post on testing and AI?