Assessing the Validity of the 12th Grade Ministerial Exam of English Language in Kurdistan


  • Awat Mustafa Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Erbil Technical Health College, Erbil Polytechnic University, Erbil, Iraq
  • Nadhim Azeez Department of Information and Communication Technology, Erbil Technology College, Erbil Polytechnic University, Erbil, Iraq
  • Rawand Ahmad ELT Department, Faculty of Education, Tishk International University



It has been almost a decade that the format of 12th grade ministerial exam questions has been changed to Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ). It has been claimed that language tests have to reflect what learners study in the class during the process of learning. It is the aim of this study to investigate the validity of the 12th ministerial exanimation in the light of the communicative language approach (CLA). For this purpose, the researchers designed a questionnaire for 100 freshly graduates of the 12th grade learners from Kurdistan Region schools. The overall results show that the test doesn’t follow the CLA testing principles. In addition, more than %85 of the learners reported that they had learned little English during their study year, and they mostly study on their teachers’ pamphlets rather than the course book. Nevertheless, the 12th grade learners are generally satisfied with the format of the ministerial examination of English and think that question items are easy to answer. 


Download data is not yet available.


Azis, A. (2012). Teachers’ conceptions and use of assessment in student learning. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics 2 (1), 41-51.

Bailey, K. M. (1998). Learning about language assessment: Dilemmas' decisions, and directions. Pacific Grove, CA: Heinle.

Beale, J. (2002). Is communicative language teaching a thing of the past?. TESOL, 37 (1), 12-16.

Brown, H. D. (2000). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. (4th ed.). NewYork: Pearson Education.

Brown, H.D. (2001). Teaching by Principles: An interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy (2nd Ed.). New York: Pearson Education.

Brown, H. D. (2003). Language assessment: Principles and classroom practices. White Plains, NY: Longman. 6th International Visible Conference on Educational Studies and Applied Linguistics - 2015 (373)

Brown, H. D. (2004). Language assessment: principles and classroom practices. New York: Pearson Education

Brown, J. D. (2005). Testing in language program. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Bruner, D. A., Sinwongsuwat, K., & Radic-Bojanic, B. (2015). EFL Oral Communication Teaching Practices: A Close Look at University Teachers and A2 Students' Perspectives in Thailand and a Critical Eye from Serbia. English Language Teaching, 8 (1), 11-20.

Canale, M., & Swain, M. (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and learning. Applied Linguistics, 1(1), 1-47.

Carroll, B. J. (1983). Communicative language tests: Tasks, enabling skills, formats, and measurement criteria. World Language English, 2(1), 37-39.

Fulcher, G and Davison, F. (2007) Language Testing and Assessment: An advanced resource book. Britain: Routledge. Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Harris, M. & McCann, P. (1994). Assessment (Handbook for the English classroom). Oxford: Heinemann Publishers.

Jeyasala, V. R. (2014). A prelude to practice: Interactive activities for effective communication in English. Alternative pedagogies in the English language & communication classroom, 164-170.

Katsumasa, S. (1997). Communicative language testing. [Principles and problems]. English Review, 12, 3-24. Retrieved from 693443/en/

Larsen-Freeman, D. (2000). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching (2nd ed.). UK: Oxford University Press.

Leung, C. (2005). Convivial communication: recontextualizing communicative competence. International Journal of Applied Linguistic, 15 (2), 119-143.

Littlewood, W. (2000). Communicative language teaching (20th ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Marsh, C. (2004). Key Concepts for Understanding Curriculum (3rd ed.). Routledge Falmer: London and New York.

Moss, D., & Ross-Feldman, L. (2003). Second language acquisition in adults: From research to practice. Retrieved from

Nunan, D. (1999). Second Language Teaching & Learning. Massachusetts.

Power, T. (2003). The Appeal and Poverty of CLT. Retrieved from esl0404.html

Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (2014). Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sabah, R. (2015). Assessing Sunrise 12 Ministerial Exam. 6th International Visible Conference on Educational Studies and Applied Linguistics.

Weir, C. J. (1990). Communicative language testing. New York: Prentice Hall.

Wesche, M. B. (1983). Communicative testing in a second language. The Modern Language Journal, 67(1), 41-55.



How to Cite

Mustafa, A., Azeez, N., & Ahmad, R. (2022). Assessing the Validity of the 12th Grade Ministerial Exam of English Language in Kurdistan. Academic Journal of Nawroz University, 11(1), 93–111.