Cambridge introduces Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Language Testing

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Linguaskill Writing test technology

As the world is increasingly discussing the development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems, Cambridge Assessment English has already launched a language test capable of reliably “automarking” written language, something people did not think would be possible 10 years ago.

What is it?

The Linguaskill Writing test uses artificial intelligence known as an automarker. This technology can evaluate learners’ writing without the need for a human examiner. Among the areas the automarker looks at are:

  • Vocabulary use
  • Single words
  • Formulaic language
  • Diversity
  • Grammar and usage
  • Accuracy
  • Sophistication
  • Mechanics
  • Spelling, capitalisation, punctuation, etc.
  • Idea development
  • Length

How does it work?

The automarker is given thousands of examples of learners’ writing along with the level of writing of each piece. These examples are taken from the whole range of Cambridge Assessment English exams and tests.

Because the machine knows the CEFR level of each script it can associate the positive and negative features and patterns of features that correspond to different CEFR levels. The machine then applies what it has learnt to new scripts using an algorithm.

What are the benefits of using an automarker?

  • Enables fast turnaround of results (within 12 hours).
  • Because the test is taken online and automarked it is easy to set up and administer.
  • Due to the extensive trialling, the automarker can be trusted to give accurate results.

Linguaskill combines the latest technology with the reliability and quality you expect from Cambridge Assessment English.

How can it be trusted?

Extensive trialling of thousands of scripts from learners around the world has showed the results given by the automarker are as good as a human marker.


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