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Registration for Common English Proficiency Assessment Scheme for 2007-08 begins


The University Grants Committee (UGC) announced today (April 3) that students of UGC-funded undergraduate degree programmes who expect to graduate at the end of the 2007-08 academic year can register for the Common English Proficiency Assessment Scheme (CEPAS) from today until 7:00 pm on October 19, 2007.

"To provide more convenience and an additional option to students, the UGC introduced online registration service last year. Since then, the online system has operated smoothly, and we will continue to offer online registration service for this round of CEPAS. Students can register online by visiting the CEPAS website (www.ugccepa.com), where the dates and availability of each testing session can be obtained," Mr Michael Stone, the Secretary-General, UGC said.

"With the assistance of the institutions, we will arrange a series of testing sessions from July 2007 to May 2008 under the Scheme for all students of UGC-funded undergraduate degree programme who will be in their final year in 2007-08 academic year.

"We began to offer summer testing sessions two years ago, and will continue to offer testing sessions from July to October this year. We believe that both job-seekers and employers who need to know CEPAS results at an earlier date will benefit from having this option. In order further to facilitate students and employers, the first testing session will be advanced from late July to early July this year."

"This year, the registration period is from April 3 to 7:00pm on October 19, 2007. Students who want to register for the testing sessions from July to October 2007 should do so by 7:00pm on April 27, 2007. Students may check these dates by visiting the CEPAS website. Students are encouraged to register as early as possible as the seats are on a first-come, first-served basis, and some testing sessions may become full during the registration period," Mr Stone added.

As in the past five years, participating students are eligible for reimbursement of the test fee (once only), if they agree to have a statement printed on their transcript indicating that they have participated in the Scheme. The statement only indicates participation; it does not contain the actual score.

"Despite its voluntary nature, close to 10,000 final-year students, which was a record high, participated in the Scheme last year. This year, we again encourage each and every eligible student to take part in the Scheme. In addition, we shall continue to strengthen our efforts in promoting the CEPAS targeting at employers, students, as well as the wider community," Mr Stone said.

For more detailed information, students can visit the CEPAS website, call the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) hotline at 2620 0321 or contact the Registrar's Offices of the eight UGC-funded institutions.

CEPAS is a voluntary assessment scheme intended to encourage students to be more aware of the importance of proficiency in English and to provide a common framework for assessing and documenting graduating students' English proficiency. Through the assessment, the UGC aims to benchmark the English proficiency of local tertiary students against a reliable, internationally validated instrument which will serve as useful reference for students when they enter the workforce after they graduate or when they pursue further studies.

The UGC announced the adoption of IELTS as the testing instrument for CEPAS in July 2002. IELTS is an internationally validated English testing instrument. In recent years, over 700 000 candidates took the IELTS test annually around the world. It covers all the four skills in English language, namely listening, reading, writing and speaking. Its results are reported on a band scale from 0 to 9.

An overall band of 6.5 or above with no subject score below band 6 obtained in one sitting in IELTS is accepted as equivalent to a pass in the Use of English paper of the Hong Kong Government's Common Recruitment Examination within two years from the date of the IELTS test.

UGC Secretariat

3 April 2007