This article will introduce and explain our independent test's function and purpose.
Developed independently by experienced teachers from Prepworks and Oxford International, our Scholarship Benchmark Test (SBT) provides an avenue for applicants to prove their skills in English and Mathematics. Questions are written to suit the level of the student and the relevant topics they encounter in school. The test is multiple choice, but has randomized questions from our question pool to prevent applicants from getting papers that are too similar.
Each test has 42 questions from varying levels of difficulty and topics, and scales in difficulty as the applicant progresses through the test. Applicants will have 60 minutes to complete the test and will only be allowed to retake the test after 90 days. The English test will look into an applicant’s reading comprehension, knowledge on the subject and logical reasoning. The Maths test has direct questions and questions that require applicants to apply their mathematical skills in the context of problem solving.
Applicants who take the test will be sorted into bands, which will represent which group they belong to. For instance, applicants in Band 9 are considered the top 10% compared to the rest of the applicants. Additionally, the time they take will also be included in their report to show how long they took to complete the test. Marks will be awarded for correct answers. For incorrect answers, marks will not be deducted, but the applicant will not be awarded any marks.
As applicants come from different countries and different education systems, the results they get may not truly reflect their abilities. The lack of standardization can mean that some students end up missing out on scholarship offers despite their skills. Our SBT aims to fill that gap and provide applicants an opportunity to show institutions what they are capable of.
Questions in our test are suitable for all applicants from different cultural and educational backgrounds. These questions are randomly selected from our question pool in accordance with the applicant’s level. As these are multiple-choice questions, scores given are as objective as possible, unaffected by possible biases of an examiner. However, this does not mean that the SBT is an easy test to take. It is formulated to be a challenging test that will push applicants to think critically and answer quickly.
The process is easy: institutions can make it compulsory for applicants to take the SBT or invite applicants to take a test. An applicant’s SBT banding can be viewed in their profile when institutions are processing their application.