The General English Proficiency Test, developed and administered by the LTTC, targets English learners at all levels in Taiwan. This test corresponds to Taiwan’s English education framework, meets the specific needs of English learners in Taiwan for self-assessment, and provides institutions or schools with a reference for evaluating the English proficiency levels of their job applicants, employees, or students. The GEPT promotes a balanced English learning process, covering the four language skills of listening, reading, writing, and speaking with the goal of improving the general English proficiency level of Taiwanese learners.
In 1997, the LTTC invited scholars and experts in English language teaching and testing from tertiary institutions around Taiwan to form a Testing Research Committee and a Testing Advisory Committee. In 1999, the project received support from the MOE, which recognized that the LTTC’s work on the GEPT was in accord with its goal of promoting lifelong learning and encouraging the study of English. With the MOE’s support, guidance from consultants and research committee members, and the administration of multiple pilot tests, the GEPT development project came to completion in July 2002.
Since its launch in 2000, the GEPT has reliably tested the English proficiency of over 9 million test-takers. The test is administered not only at nearly 200 different venues in Taiwan’s major cities but also on the outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu. This allows test-takers to choose the test location most convenient for them. The GEPT has generated positive washback effects on English learning and teaching in Taiwan in the form of increased emphasis on communication skills and the nurturing of speaking and listening skills.
As the GEPT enters its third decade, the LTTC is launching a new generation of the GEPT in 2021, in order to align with the reformed educational curriculum that the MOE introduced in 2019. In tandem with the launch of the new GEPT, an enhanced score reporting service, “Dr. GEPT”, has been developed to support self-directed learning. “Dr. GEPT” provides individualized feedback to test-takers, who receive information on their strengths and weaknesses as well as advice for future preparation. The LTTC will continue in its efforts to maintain the relevance and usefulness of the test in the sociocultural contexts of English education in Taiwan while meeting international quality standards.