Merhaba Misafir

YDS as a benchmark in Turkey: The difficulty levels of reading comprehension questions


The ability to speak a language covers all skills, namely reading, writing, speaking, and listening, together with a reasonable degree of performance and competence knowledge. Specializing over a single skill by overlooking the others may hinder speaker proficiency. In other words, all skills equally weigh; hence, the tests that aim to measure language proficiency should be able to gauge all skills in a good balance. In spite of that reality, YDS (Foreign Language Exam) in Turkey scores test-takers only through reading questions, and accordingly, this test may not be a good benchmark for Turkey because reading questions do not seem to have a stable difficulty level. The exam is composed of different kinds of questions which are vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, dialogue, and reading. The reading questions take up the biggest portion in the exam -20 out of 80 questions-; therefore, they highly determine the test-takers’ scores. This study investigated eleven YDS tests held in the last 5 years. In total eleven YDS tests (220 reading questions) were analysed. Coleman-Liau Index was used to measure how difficult each test is. This study aims to reveal whether reading questions of YDS have a similar difficulty level by calculating the Coleman-Liau Index. This study is of great importance because YDS is a crucial benchmark test in Turkey that determines the English proficiency level of those who take it, and any discrepancy in difficulty levels may negatively affect the reliability of the test. The results showed that the reading questions are in a large range of difficulty, and do not follow a stable track of difficulty.

Yayınlandığı Kaynak : EKEV Akademi Dergisi
  • Yıl : 2019
  • DOI : 10.17753/Ekev1272
  • Cilt : 23
  • ISSN : 1301-6229
  • Sayı : 80
  • eISSN : 2148-0710
  • Sayfa Aralığı : 95-112
  • IO Kayıt No : 107436
  • Yayıncı : EKEV Yayınevi