Prospective graduating students at the International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI) recently received word of how their proﬁciency matches up with other college students globally and the results were very encouraging.
The ETS Proﬁciency Proﬁle, a respected assessment test is an internationally benchmarked exam that many leading institutions use to determine their students’ learning levels in comparison to other students in the world.
The ETS exam is a timed essay designed to “articulate complex ideas clearly and effectively, state a position on a claim and provide supporting evidence, support ideas with relevant reasons and examples, sustain a well-focused, coherent discussion and control the elements of standard written English.”
Of the 46 students set to graduate in February 2016, 81% of ICCI prospective graduates scored well on the exam. “When I realized that I had ranked well in comparison to other students globally, I was very excited,” stated ICCI student Jordan Ebanks.
“I always feel accomplished when successfully passing a test with a high grade; however, those tests are not compared to other students outside of Cayman. I am immensely proud of myself for continuously seeking to enhance my writing skills. I now see that all my eﬀorts have indeed paid oﬀ .”
The exam is ranked from 6 to 0 with a 6 being the highest possible score, with anything 4 or higher considered a respectable ranking. While no ICCI students achieved a 6, 24% scored a 5, which exceeds the international percentage of 17% of the 5,000 students globally that took the test scoring a 5.
Additionally, of ICCI students taking the exam, 57% scored a 4. “We are very pleased that so many in this class performed so well,” commented ICCI President David Marshall. “This is the ﬁrst time in ICCI’s history that the college has conducted an internationally benchmarked and standardized review of 100 percent of the graduating class’ student writing samples. This lets us know where our students rank as they leave ICCI and what work we have to do in the future to move the needle for future graduating classes.”
Twenty percent of ICCI students scored a 3 but no students ranked below this. Dr Marshall stated that they will be conducting an audit to learn why 9 students scored a 3 on the exam. The overall ranking bodes well for students who will be entering the workplace after graduation.
In 2014, Dr Marshall surveyed local employers about qualities that were important components for the school to work on. Recommendations were made on writing, speaking and presentation skills.
Dr Marshall continued by stating, “Accordingly, to improve our graduates’ ability to land a job, earn a raise, or earn a promotion, we followed industry’s advice. Now each class including math and accounting requires a major writing component. Each week, students have to participate in written online discussions. Each class requires a major presentation to the class or an external audience.“We believe we are seeing the payoﬀ from this two-year emphasis on writing and speaking in our classes; these ETS score results provide some evidence of that.”
Students agree with the assessment. ICCI student Kimberly Young said, “I think being a great writer has made me a better professional. I am more conﬁdent and more successful when I prepare communications at work.” To learn more about the ETS Proficiency Proﬁle Essay please visit: https://www.ets.org/proﬁciencyproﬁle/about/essay/.