STAMP 4S Frequently Asked Questions
Avant STAMP (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency) 4S determines language proficiency in 4 domains (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking,) for grades 7-16. Avant STAMP 4S is web-based and computer-adaptive, with real-world questions on topics selected to be level-appropriate based on research into topics taught at each level. The questions engage learners, and because Avant STAMP 4S is adaptive, students are able to demonstrate their own actual proficiency level without any pre-set upper limits. Avant STAMP was originally developed by the Center for Applied Second Language Studies, a National Foreign Language Resource Center at the University of Oregon and funded by the US Department of Education. Avant STAMP 4S has been validated by field testing and expert panels. It is a secure test that requires a proctor during administration.
Avant STAMP 4S is used by educators to measure student growth and evaluate programs, empowering informed decision-making around professional development and instructional planning. It is also used by students who can use it to qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy, or for credit by exam in a number of states and districts.
Avant STAMP 4S (4-Skills, grades 7-adult) is available in Arabic, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin (simplified and traditional), Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian & Spanish.
Avant STAMP 3S (3-Skills, grades 7-adult) is available in Swahili and Yoruba.
Avant STAMP 4S is targeted for learners in grades 7 through adult.
Avant STAMP 4S is not timed. Students may pause and resume Avant STAMP 4S at any point. On average, students take around 120 minutes to fully complete the assessment. Test-takers are not allowed to use pencils and paper during testing. The STAMP test is designed to enable students to show what they can do with their language in an unrehearsed and spontaneous way in a real world context.
Reading: approximately 30 multiple choice questions Writing: 3 prompts Listening: approximately 30 multiple choice questions Speaking: 3 prompts
If the test taker does not attempt a response such as only entering one letter, number, space or only writes/speaks one target language word, the response will be rated as a Zero and that will affect the overall score for that section. We encourage test takers to do their best and to submit as much language as possible for each prompt so that they can receive an accurate score.
Please refer to the Reporting Guide to see the reasons for Not Ratable (NR) and Zero (0) scores.
If the test taker leaves the response blank, they will not be able to move to the next prompt and complete the section.
Reading: 35-40 minutes. Writing: 20-25 minutes. Listening: 35-40 minutes. Speaking: 20-25 minutes.
Avant STAMP 4S is computer-adaptive, meaning that the level of question difficulty that a student is presented with is based on the number of correct answers they have logged so far in the assessment. The testing engine automatically adapts to each student’s level, up or down, as the test progresses. In addition, prompts for the productive skills (Writing and Speaking) are based on the proficiency level attained for the corresponding receptive skills (Reading and Listening). This approach was pioneered at Avant Assessment, the first company to develop commercial-grade, multi-stage, computer-adaptive tests for language learning, beginning in 2001.
All data is accessed via results viewing codes, available at the following levels:
District/organization-wide – Allows access to Avant STAMP 4S testing results for all testing groups within the organization (usually school district or university)
School/sub-organization-wide – Allows access to Avant STAMP 4S testing results for all testing groups within the sub-organization (usually school or university department)
Class/Testing Group – Allows access to Avant STAMP 4S testing results for all test takers associated with a specific testing group
Individual Reports – Individual reports show the Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking levels attained on the Avant STAMP 4S for each test taker.
Line Item Summary Download – The line item summary download creates a Microsoft Excel file that includes student profile information along with the individual’s test results and other test-taking data.
Summary Chart Download – If you prefer to create a different style of chart or graph, the summary chart download makes it easy to create a Microsoft Excel file with the information from the summary charts.
Reading and Listening scores are available as soon as the test taker completes each section. Be sure to refresh the page for updates.
Writing and Speaking scores are typically available from 7 to 10 business days after test completion. Scores may be available sooner, so check the test results screen periodically to determine the rating progress. Click on any score to see additional details or to access Writing and Speaking responses. During busy testing times (March-June), scoring may take longer. Please plan accordingly.
Reading section / Listening section
- Approximately 15 – 25% of the items a student comes across will be refreshed on a yearly basis. For languages with fewer test takers, this percentage will be closer to the lower range, whereas for major languages it will be closer to the upper range.
- As part of the yearly refresh, the position of some items in the test will change, to reduce the amount of exposure of some items in the test.
- Statistical analysis of item and test characteristics will take place yearly, for every test, to ensure the consistent high reliability of the STAMP assessments.
- Given the real-time adaptive nature of the STAMP test (not fixed form), as students increase in proficiency year after year they will naturally come across different items as well.
Writing & Speaking sections
- 100% of all prompts in the operational test are refreshed in December of every year. Old prompts are retired and new ones are introduced into operational test.
- Refresh serves to reduce item exposure and ensure that test takers experience different tasks and scenarios each year, thus increasing engagement.
Please see our Assessment Technology Guide for overall system requirements and browser capabilities.
We strongly recommend using USB style headphones that completely cover the ears, blocking out much of the surrounding sound, with built-in microphones. Smaller earbuds or foam headsets that sit on top of the ear will not produce the best results in terms of sound quality.
Please see our Headset Guide for further information.
All of Avant’s tests include a Writing section in which learners will need to provide typed writing samples. The method for inputting the language sample may differ, depending on the target language for the test.
Please see our Writing Guide for language-specific directions.
- Contact your Account Representative or our Sales Team at: (888) 731-7887 within the United States, or +1 (541) 338-9090 from outside the United States, or submit a Contact Request Form, or email us at
- We will prepare a price quote for you outlining the details of the purchase arrangement
- Sign and return the Price Quote. Once the signed Price Quote has been received, we will email a Set-Up Form to you to organize your testing groups and testing dates
- Return the completed Set-up Form to Avant
- An Avant Support Representative will use the Set-Up Form information to create testing codes and assist you with preparing your networks and computer labs
- Please plan to allow 2 weeks for test code processing whenever possible
Avant has several resources that were designed to help prepare Administrators and Test Takers for the testing experience. A list of STAMP 4S resource guides can be found here
Yes! Our client support specialists are available for immediate testing support and can be reached via email or phone.
Please check here for our current phone support hours.
Yes! Avant provides onsite or online Professional Development offerings to help educators and administrators integrate our assessment solutions into curriculum, learn how to interpret data for program evaluation and to improve learning outcomes.
Contact us if you are interested in Professional Development:
Phone: (888) 731-7887
Updated April 2022