STAMP Guides for Testing Coordinators
What is Avant STAMP?
Avant STAMP is STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency. Currently, our assessments are based on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.
Avant provides a variety of assessments which tests variations of the four language skills: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking.
Assessments are offered in all four skills (STAMP 4S) or a variation/combination of those skills including one, two, or three skills.
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.
What is Avant STAMP 4S?
STAMP 4S determines language proficiency in four skills (Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking) for ages 13 through adult
For test takers in school/institution settings, STAMP 4S is typically for U.S. grades 7 through post-graduate.
Avant STAMP 4S is web-based and computer-adaptive. Test takers are given real-world texts and situations selected to be level-appropriate based on research surrounding the topics taught at each level. The questions and prompts engage learners. Due to the adaptive nature of Avant STAMP 4S, test takers are able to demonstrate their actual proficiency level without any pre-set upper limits.
Avant STAMP 4S has been validated by field testing and expert panels. It is a secure test that requires a proctor during administration.
What is Computer-Adaptive Testing?
Computer-adaptive means that the level of question or prompt difficulty that is presented during the test is based on the answers or responses test takers provide in previous answers or responses.
The testing engine automatically adapts to each test taker’s level--easier or more difficult-- as the test progresses.
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.
Who uses Avant STAMP?
Avant STAMP is used by anyone, including educators, employers, and government entities, who wish to understand the true language proficiency of students, employees and/or workers within the context of learning and/or their ability to perform job duties where more than one language is required or useful.
Avant STAMP is used to monitor progress, measure language learner growth, evaluate programs, and determine skill level. This model promotes informed decision-making around professional development, instructional planning, and employee duties and/or pay range.
Avant STAMP is used by both Immersion and FLES education programs across the nation to engage learners while determining their various language proficiencies and generating meaningful data that indicates how they would perform in the real world.
Avant STAMP is also used by students who wish to qualify for State and/or Global Seals of Biliteracy, or for credit by exam as allowed by their state and district.
What languages are offered in Avant STAMP?
You can see a full list of available languages on the STAMP page.
For which learners are Avant STAMP tests designed?
Avant STAMP is designed for learners ages 13 and older, including students in U.S. grades 7 through post-graduate through adult.
Is Avant STAMP Proctored?
How long does it take to complete the Avant STAMP?
Avant STAMP is not timed. Test takers may pause and resume the STAMP assessment at any point.
On average, STAMP 4S test takers need around 120 minutes to fully complete the assessment.
ASL: How long does it take to complete the Avant STAMP for ASL?
Avant STAMP for ASL is not timed. Test takers may pause and resume the assessment at any point.
On average, STAMP for ASL test takers need around 60 minutes to fully complete the assessment.
How long does each section of the Avant STAMP test take?
Reading: 35-40 minutes.
Writing: 20-25 minutes.
Listening: 35-40 minutes.
Speaking: 20-25 minutes.
Avant STAMP tests are not timed, and students may pause and resume the assessment at any point.
ASL: How long does each section of the STAMP for ASL test take?
Receptive: 35-40 minutes
Expressive: 20-25 minutes
How many questions will learners encounter on the Avant STAMP?
Avant STAMP provides a variety of assessments testing skills in Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking – either all four or a combination of these skills:
Reading: approximately 30 multiple choice questions.
Writing: 3 prompts.
Listening: approximately 30 multiple choice questions.
Speaking: 3 prompts.
ASL: How many questions will learners encounter on the Avant STAMP for ASL assessment?
Receptive: approximately 30 multiple choice questions
Expressive: 3 prompts
How long can the response be for the writing prompt?
How long can my response be for speaking prompts?
ASL: How long can my response be for expressive prompts?
Each response for a Expressive section prompt can be up to three (3) minutes long.
Are test takers penalized for leaving blank responses, or should they respond to every prompt?
If the test taker does not attempt a response to the prompt or only produces 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.
How are testing results accessed?
All data is accessed via results viewing codes, available at the following levels:
District/organization-wide – Allows access to Avant STAMP testing results for all testing groups within the organization (e.g. school district or university).
School/sub-organization-wide – Allows access to Avant STAMP testing results for all testing groups within the sub-organization (e.g. school or university department).
Class/Testing Group – Allows access to Avant STAMP testing results for all test takers associated with a specific testing group.
What reports are available for the Avant STAMP Results?
Individual Reports – Individual reports show the Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking levels attained (depending on the skills tested) for each test taker.
Line Item Summary Download – The line item summary download creates an Excel (.csv) file that includes test taker 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 an Excel file with the information from the summary charts. View our sample reports in our Reporting Guide.
When will I receive Avant STAMP results?
Reading and Listening scores are available as soon as the test taker completes each section. These are scored by the computer-adaptive engine. 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.
ASL: When will I receive Avant STAMP for ASL results?
Receptive section scores are available as soon as the test taker completes the section. It is scored by the computer-adaptive engine. Be sure to refresh the page for updates.
Expressive section scores are available from 20 to 22 business days after test completion. Scores may be available sooner, so check the test results screen periodically to determine the rating progress. During busy testing times (March-June), scoring may take longer. Please plan accordingly.
How often are the Avant STAMP questions and prompts updated?
Reading and Listening sections:
Approximately 15 – 25% of the questions a test taker 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 questions in the test will change, to reduce the amount of exposure of those questions in the test for all test takers.
Statistical analysis of question and test characteristics will take place yearly, for every test, to ensure the consistently high reliability of the STAMP assessments. Given the real-time adaptive nature of the STAMP test (i.e. not fixed form), as test takers increase in proficiency year after year they will naturally come across different, more challenging questions within the assessment.
Writing and Speaking sections:
100% of all prompts in the test are refreshed every year.
Old prompts are retired and new ones are introduced into the test. This does not apply to the Sample Tests.
The refresh serves to reduce prompt exposure and ensure that test takers experience different tasks and scenarios each year, thus increasing engagement.
What are the technology requirements?
Please see our Assessment Technology Guide for overall system, equipment requirements, and browser capabilities.
ASL: What are the system requirements for Avant STAMP for ASL?
Avant STAMP for ASL uses full motion video for both Receptive and Expressive skills, which requires a strong network connection and a current computer. A computer camera will be required for the signing-Expressive portion of the test.
Avant STAMP for ASL is currently compatible with only the Chrome browser (the latest version) on PCs, Macs and Chromebooks. Please see our Assessment Technology Guide for overall system, equipment requirements, and browser capabilities.
How are writing responses submitted for languages with accents and special characters?
All of Avant’s tests that include a Writing section will require test takers to provide typed written responses. The method for inputting the language response may differ, depending on the target language for the test.
Please see our Writing Guide for language-specific directions and activating online keyboards specific to the language you are testing. Handwritten writing responses may be an added option for a fee.
What is the cost of Avant STAMP?
For pricing information or to make a purchase, please call our account manager team at:
Within the United States: (888) 731-7887
Outside the United States: +1 (541) 338-9090
or email our account manager team.
How do I order assessments?
Contact your account representative or our account manager team at:
An account manager will work with you to prepare a package and pricing based on your needs as well as walk you through the process of purchase, set-up, and obtaining testing codes.
Do you provide guides for those arranging testing?
Avant has several resources that were designed to help prepare testing coordinators and test takers as well as guide them through the entire process. A list of STAMP resource guides can be found here.
Do you provide support during testings?
Is professional development available?
Yes! Avant provides onsite or virtual professional development offerings to help educators integrate our assessment solutions into curriculum, learn how to interpret data for program evaluation and to improve learning outcomes through Avant M.O.R.E. Learning. Training for professionals on day-to-day, classroom-based assessment and how to apply the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines is available through Avant ADVANCE. Additionally, data analysis training is available through our Research and Development team.
Contact us if you are interested in any of these options:
Phone: (888) 731-7887