Arabic Proficiency Test (APT) Test Taker Guide

What is the Arabic Proficiency Test (APT)?

The APT is a web-based test that assesses Arabic language proficiency. The APT has four sections – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking – and the results of this test inform test takers and educators about learning progress and program effectiveness. Test items are based on real-world, everyday situations. APT measures a test taker’s language ability according to Language Proficiency Levels. Test results will indicate the level of proficiency achieved for each section of the test.

Preparing for the APT

We recommend that test takers read the Proficiency levels and Rubric/Scoring Guide for information about the skills you will need to demonstrate in order to achieve a certain proficiency level. Links to the Guide are provided in Arabic and English.

Rules for Taking the APT

The APT must be taken in a proctored environment, with a proctor who is authorized by the organization sponsoring the test.

  • No dictionaries, textbooks, cell phones or other support materials are allowed in the testing area during the Reading, Listening and Speaking sections of the test.

  • Test takers should have access to pens or pencils only during the Writing section of the test if it is being administered as handwritten.

  • No additional applications (e.g., Word, email, chat) or browser windows are allowed to be open during testing.

  • Avant graders review all written and spoken responses and any inappropriate responses (vulgar, violent, etc.) will not be scored and will be reported to your test administrator.

Logging in to the APT

  • Your teacher or proctor will provide the URL and the Test Code, Password, and Login Name to login to the APT.

  • Three fields are required on the Login page: Test CodePassword and Login Name.

  • Every test taker must have a unique Login Name.

  • Two fields are required for the Create Profile page: First Name and Last Name.

  • Your teacher or proctor will specify the order in which the test sections should be taken.

    • Buttons appear for selecting test sections: Reading/Writing and Listening/Speaking.

    • Reading must be taken before Writing; and Listening must be taken before Speaking.

Reading and Listening Sections

The Reading and Listening sections of the test are multiple-choice and computer-adaptive, meaning that each new question is selected based on previous responses. Don’t be frustrated if you encounter a topic or words that are unfamiliar to you. Do your best, and keep in mind that an incorrect answer on an unfamiliar topic is okay and provides the system with valuable information needed for determining proficiency. As your test progresses, you may see easier or more difficult questions based upon your earlier answers. Each test taker will follow a unique path as he/she moves through the test. You will see approximately 30 questions in each of the Reading and Listening sections. The sections take, on average, 45-60 minutes to complete each section. Either section may take longer for test takers who are getting many higher-level test items, which feature longer reading or listening passages. The speed of your Internet connection can also affect the length of the test.

Here are some tips:

  • Read the question and answers before you attempt to read or listen to the passage (this will help guide your reading/listening and help you move through the test more quickly).

  • In the Listening section, you can listen to each recording two times.

Writing and Speaking Sections

  1. The levels for the Speaking prompts (questions) are determined by your level on the Listening test, and the Writing prompts are determined by your level on the Reading test.

  2. Provide your responses using Modern Standard Arabic.

  3. Write or record at your highest possible level.

  4. Provide all detail requested in the question and enough detail to fully demonstrate your writing or speaking skills.

  5. Stay on topic.

  6. Pace yourself.

    • Allow sufficient time for all three of your Writing/Speaking items.

    • Complete responses for all items are needed to accurately determine your proficiency level.

  7. In these sections, click NEXT to submit the response and move to the next screen.

  8. After clicking NEXT, you will not be able to return to the question.

Writing Section

The Writing section consists of three test prompts (questions). You will need to switch to an Arabic language input system to type responses in Arabic. When done with your response, click NEXT to submit the response and move onto the next prompt. If you get logged out of the test working on your response, you can log back in with the same credentials to continue where you left off.

Handwritten Writing Section

If the test is being administered with a handwritten Writing section you will use pen and paper for your responses. Ask your Proctor to print off your writing prompts. Responses will be limited to one page for each prompt. There should be no part of the response on the back side of any page and there should be no scribbling in the QR code area, or damage that area in any way. Make your writing easy to read and dark enough for the scanned version to be readable. When done with all the prompts, submit all pages to your proctor.

Speaking Section

The Speaking section consists of three test prompts (questions).

  • Organize your thoughts before you start to record.

  • To record a response, click RECORD.

  • When finished recording, wait two or three seconds, and then click STOP.

  • After recording, click LISTEN to listen to your recording, you can then do one of the following:

    • If you want to add to the recording, click RECORD/ADD TO RECORDING.

    • If you want to delete the recording and start over, click START OVER.

  • Avoid long pauses when you are recording

    • Use the STOP and RECORD/ADD TO RECORDING buttons as needed.

  • When the recording is complete, click NEXT to save your response and move to the next test question or screen.


For the Speaking Section, click LISTEN after recording to verify that the response was recorded properly.

  • If the response is inaudible or of poor quality, DO NOT CLICK NEXT.

  • You can try recording again, but should contact the test proctor or teacher if there are headset issues, or if a problem persists

  • Never click NEXT to bypass the test item – if the problem cannot be resolved during the current testing session, click LOGOUT(and resume the test after the problem is resolved)

Following these procedures will prevent having a speaking response that cannot be graded. Keep in mind that Avant graders hear exactly what you are able to hear.

Completing the APT

  • If you are not completing the test in one session, follow the instructions from your teacher or proctor about when to click LOGOUT.

  • You have not completed APT until you see a screen that says “You have completed the test and your answers have been saved. You may now log out.”

  • If you need to finish the test at another time, plan to do so within the timelines specified by your teacher or proctor.

Resuming the APT

To resume a test, log in exactly as you did the first time using the same Test Code, Password and Login Name (all fields are case sensitive) but click on Continue Test after entering the test code and password. The test should resume at the point where you left off. Try logging in again or contact your test proctor or teacher for assistance.

Updated September 2018

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