Guidelines for Proficiency Test
Applicants to the University are required to take a Proficiency Test in English which is scheduled for Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 (for entry academic year 2017-2018). The test will be held from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. at the CLICO building, The University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, Cave Hill, St. Michael.
Applicants are asked to:
- Please bring your receipt and valid picture identification (eg. National Identification card or passport etc.) with you on the day of the examination.
- Arrive at UWI, at least half an hour before the commencement of the test.
Please note that cellular phones and/or other electronic devices are not permitted.
The above information will also be advertised in the local press during the month of April.
Exemptions from the Test
Possession of one of the following will exempt you from taking the test:
- Grade I in CXC General Proficiency in English A
- Grade I or 2 in CAPE Communications Studies Examination
- Grade A in the Cambridge GCE 'O' Level English Language examination
- Grade A or B in the Alternative/Ordinary General Paper
- Entrants to the Faculty of Law, who already hold a degree or a pass in English Literature at Advanced Level.
- Grade B or above in CORE 100 English and Communication from the Barbados Community College
Those who pass, or are exempted from the test, may proceed to register for the Level 1 Foundation Language courses as required in their degree programme. Please refer to the Handbook of the faculty for which you are applying.
Failure in the Test
Persons who failed or did not take the test without being exempted are required to pass the remedial course FOUN 0100: Fundamentals of Written English BEFORE registering for the two Level I Foundation Courses. FOUN 0100 Fundamentals of Written English is coordinated by the Language Learning Centre of the Faculty of Humanities and Education and is offered in both semesters and Summer School for a fee of Bds $500. Note that this fee is additional to any other tuition fees.
About the test
The test lasts for two hours and covers the following areas:
Candidates are required to answer alternative/ multiple choice items on any or all of the following :
- Grammar of the simple sentence
- Grammar of complex/compound sentences
- Idiomatic usage
- Mechanics of writing and spelling
The focus is on the candidate’s ability to distinguish between correct and incorrect structures rather than on their knowledge of formal grammar.
- Candidates should be able to detect differences in meaning based on punctuation and should also be able to recognise ambiguous sentences and be able to rewrite them in a way that disambiguates their meanings.
- Candidates must demonstrate an understanding of idiomatic English (idioms, proverbs, figurative expressions)
Candidates will be required to read three or four passages and to critically analyse the passages to summarise the main ideas.
Candidates are required to write a 750-800 word essay in which they have to demonstrate satisfactory performance in the following areas: