width=280Test achieves approval from UK Border Agency as standard of English language proficiency under Tier 4 of the Points Based System

LONDON - 22 July 2010:- Pearson announced today, that the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has formally approved Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) as fully satisfying the Government's criteria for English language proficiency tests for student visas under Tier 4 of the Points Based System.

Under the terms of the new legislation, foreign students applying to come to the UK under the Tier 4 (General) category for courses below degree level (except foundation degree and English language courses), have to demonstrate that their level of English is up to a specific standard. This is equivalent to a score of 43 on the PTE Academic score scale.
One of the main areas of concern set out in the Home Office announcement in February 2010 was test security.  To meet this concern, Pearson's new test uses multiple layers of biometric and other cutting-edge technology. This process, which eliminates a paper trail and local marking, includes the capture of three types of biometrics (palm vein scanning, digital signatures and test day digital photographs of applicants) and an online verification database of candidate results and speech samples, to ensure the authenticity of both the individual taking the test and the results.  Automated scoring further provides a secure, standardised assessment of language proficiency to make certain that subjective judgements do not come into play when assessing a candidate's language abilities.

Emma Stubbs, Global Vice President, Sales and Marketing from Pearson Language Tests, explains: The British Government wants language tests that are secure and rigorous enough to ensure the integrity of our immigration system.  Pearson is using biometric technology to raise the bar and set a new standard in English language testing, as we believe the advantages offered by our test are of real benefit to students, institutions and governments. PTE Academic is already accepted for Tiers 1 and 2 of the Points Based System, and Pearson is extremely pleased to achieve approval for Tier 4.