It started out as a simple email exchange. An online acquaintenance said he’d like to attempt to learn Spanish using No-Work Spanish and oh, by the way, could I recommend a good online Spanish test that he could use to measure his progress.
That SOUNDED simple enough. There are lots of online Spanish tests or quizzes. So I figured I’d poke around and find a good one. Here is what I found:
Many free online Spanish tests had a big emphasis on grammar. For example, a multiple choice question would ask the proper form of the verb “to walk” in a sentence, not determine whether the test taker knew the word for walking in Spanish.
Verb tense obsession I found Spanish tests asking you to identify verb tenses, such as “Is the following sentence in the past tense or past perfect tense?” Seriously? I’m not sure I could answer that correctly for some English sentences. Which I think I’m moderately proficient in.
Tests that take too long to complete, or ones that it wasn’t clear how far through them I was, making me quit partway through.
Tests that required my email address to sign up. I’m not saying that these websites had any evil intent, but I didn’t like the overhead of creating an account in order to take a short Spanish quiz and didn’t really like the idea that I might end up with my email address on one more mailing list. I get tired of unsubscribing and deleting mail with every email login.
Test results that made it difficult to determine which questions you got wrong or why. Too many tests saved all the grading for last and then just showed me a report that looked something like:
1) A X Correct answer C
4) B x Correct answer A
and there was no easy way to go back and view what question 1 or its choices were.
And very few of the online Spanish tests had a listening element, despite the fact that almost 40% of people surveyed report understanding a language when it was spoken as being the most difficult part of learning a new language.
So…. finally I decided to create a free online Spanish test of my own. It a fairly simple format of reading a word, phrase or short sentence and then providing four possible meanings and the test taker has to choose the correct one. Check it out and let me know what you think!