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January 7, 2013

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Home » Metro » Education

Test delay may crush students' study plans

THOUSANDS of Chinese students may miss application deadlines for foreign universities after a delay in the results of the International English Language Testing System exams, according to test takers and test-preparation officials in China.

More than 20,000 people in mainland China took the test on December 15 and might be affected, test-preparation officials estimated. The test is given dozens of times a year around China.

A group of 16 test takers in China has hired a Shanghai lawyer and plan to sue IELTS testing authorities for the delay. While the test takers were told the results would be back on December 28, test administrators now say they will be returned more than three weeks late because of quality-control sampling.

Liu Siyu, a test taker, said he planned to apply for three universities, all of which require IELTS results, and now he will miss all three application deadlines - January 3, January 7 and January 10. That, he said, may cost him to lose a year.

The test center apologized and is offering to send candidates an official letter they can send to universities to confirm the results delay.

'Quality control' delay

However, test takers said they have contacted overseas education institutions and they won't accept the letter.

According to the China IELTS Candidate Rules given to the group when they registered for the December 15 test, "Candidates' Test Report Forms will be sent ... on the 10th working day after the written test." That would be December 28.

The rules, however, also state that the test administrator, "The British Council (operating in China as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy/Consulates-General), reserves the right to delay, withhold, or recall the Test Report Form." Officials are promising results by January 21.

"The delay is owing to quality control procedures in place to protect the integrity and security of the IELTS test," the test center said.

The group of 16 test takers have asked their lawyer, Sun Jianzhong, to sue for a refund of the 1,556 yuan (US$250) registration fee and an undisclosed amount of compensation because they have missed college application deadlines.


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