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The English reading comprehension part of the Swedish Scholastic Achievement Test - ELF

Research project
Active research
Project period
1992 - ongoing
Project owner
Göteborgs universitet

Short description

In 1992, an English reading comprehension part, ELF, was introduced into the Swedish Scholastic Achievement Test, SweSAT, and ever since, the responsibility for the development of this test has been with the University of Gothenburg, commissioned by the Swedish Council for Higher Education.

The research conducted within the ELF project is closely connected to the constant development striving to increase the potential of the test to serve as a powerful selection tool for higher education. A central issue in this regard concerns differences in results between male and female test takers, age-related differences, and differences due to ethnic background. Possible effects of the test on the English teaching in upper secondary school have also been investigated. More specifically, the importance of the text content for results for, for instance, male and female test takers, has been studied and compared with the more general language and reading comprehension proficiency that the ELF test aims at measuring. A related issue in this regard is how variation – grammatical and lexical – in the answer alternatives in the multiple choice format of the ELF test influences the outcome.

Project group

Liss Kerstin Sylvén (project leader), Åsa Berndtsson, Maria Hulthén, John Löwenadler, Sölve Ohlander


Ohlander, Sölve (2006). Etnisk bias i högskoleprovet? Engelsk läsförståelse jämfört med andra delprov. (Ethnic bias in higher education examination? English reading comprehension compared with other test components) In Ulrika Tornberg (ed.) Mångkulturella aspekter på språkundervisningens kommunikativa aspekter. En konferensrapport. (Multicultural aspects of communicative aspects of language instruction: A conference report) Örebro: Örebro University.

Reuterberg, Sven-Eric (2003). Vilken betydelse har utländsk bakgrund för resultatet på högskoleprovet? (II). (What impact does foreign background have the outcome of the higher education entrance examination) National Agency for Higher Education Report Series 2003: 23 R. National Agency for Higher Education.

Reuterberg, Sven-Eric & Sölve Ohlander (1999). Engelsk läsförståelse i högskoleprovet. En analys av reguljärprov och utprövningsversioner hösten 1998. (English reading comprehension in the higher education examination: An analysis of regular tests and trial versions, autumn 1998) GU Dept. of Education Report 1999:09. Göteborg University, Department of Education.