Recently I was checking about this test (before taking) and I have found a few things that I could not ignore and then I decided to open this topic.
First of all: what kind of test obligates you to be aware of the two types of English?
This test presents you 50% of each "American and British English" and I still cannot understand why they have to walk hand in hand, because through my whole life I never saw tests based on another languages like that, for example:
To take this test you have to know:
Portuguese: 50% Portugal - 50% Brasil.
Spanish: 50% Mexico - 50% Spain.
Italian: 50% Italian - 40% Dialets (and 10% hand gestures).
I know that from the moment you start learning the American English, you get to know a little of the B.E and vice-versa, but how will I know what will show up on the test to get it right?
I wouldn't be able to get the 50% of Portuguese from Portugal because I've never been there and never spoke to anyone from that country and the same happened to my American friend, after I have told him these details he decided to take the test and he got C1.
How can a native of English (41), with college degree that has been working in business (bank...) for more than 20 years got a level like that?
I would probably take the same on Portuguese Portugal...or less.
I also have seen lots of people here who took the test but don't show the score on their page and I'm pretty sure that if they had taken the C1 or C2 they would never hide that, so they might have scored a level much lower than they actually have or expected and got frustrated. I do not blame them
Here in Brazil we have 99% contact with the American English and other countries with the British one so why put them together on a test like this?
Not mentioning the choice you make before starting the test: it shows from the lower to the higher level, so it means that I can get C2 by taking the lower level? Or the fact I have chosen the lower level it's 100% already SURE that no matter how good I was at the test I would get A1 or A2? If it so, why try it?
I am not saying that this test is hard or easy, I am discussing it to get to know your point of view and also get from you what I couldn't see from it so far. So please speak it up. =)
Is there anyone here that got C2? Let me know, I would love talking to you.
I really wanna take this test but I'm not gonna waste my money on something I don't feel "fair enough" to try.
Rosangela, may I ask who told you that the OOPT is half British English and
half American English?
What I know for sure is that the OOPT is completely about British English!
It was prepared by Oxford press in The UK, and it has nothing to do with The US.
I took it to know my level because it was the only exam available, and I had B2.
The OOPT has 2 parts: one about the usage of English, and another about
listening. So if you are interested in British English, hopefully it'll give you
a close result to your level.
Italki said something about expecting another exam soon on their website
for American English, and I'm waiting for it because I'm more interested in
American English than British English and I understand it better.
I've done it and I got C2+. A native speaker from anywhere won't breeze that test without tuning a little into the style of language test comprehension questions. Not every native English-speaking college graduate would get C2 anyway, in my opinion.
Also, if no one else but Oxford does the test, then it's not their fault. Oxford may have commercial reasons for not offering a US English version of their test, and perhaps US institutions have good reasons for not offering an online placement test like the OOPT.
I think it's good to be aware of both types of a language. I am learning Portuguese and I have consciously chosen to have both an exchange partner from Portugal and one from Brazil.
So I know "Eu pego o onibus," and "Eu apanho o autocarro," and I know that, in Portugal, a "motorista," only applies to somebody who drives for a living, whereas, in Brazil, any driver can be so described.
From the OOPT website:
"You can use the Oxford Online Placement Test to test British or American English, and choose a mix of accents in the Listening section. For the Use of English section, you choose whether to test your students in British or American English. In the Listening section, you select a mix of accents for them to hear within the same test, or restrict them to either a British or American accent."
So it is not necessarily 50/50 British/American, but the testing institution can choose, how they want to have it.
Also, I am guessing that most English learners, who really have C2 level can understand both accents with ease.