The Turkish Proficiency Exam (TPE) is an exam developed by the Yunus Emre Institute Exam Center in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, for the purpose of assessing the language proficiency of individuals learning Turkish as a foreign or native language. Through the development of the TPE, the Yunus Emre Institute Exam Center also intends to create an internationally-recognized standard exam for Turkish, and to thereby facilitate the enrollment/admission of foreign students into Turkish educational institutions.
The TPE is of considerable importance in that it serves not only to reinforce foreign students’ interest in Turkey, but also facilitates the evaluation and enrollment/admission of these students by providing a more effective tool for assessment.
As an internationally-recognized exam for Turkish, the TPE also aims to standardize the language education provided by different Turkish-teaching institutions located outside of Turkey. The TPE thus reduces the differences between the teaching programs of different institutions abroad, and also between the education received by students attending different courses and institutions.
Following the coordination meeting performed at the Council of Higher Education (Yüksek Öğretim Kurumu, or YÖK) on October 6,2011,a Framework Program, intended as a guide for the development of the TPE, was first prepared at the Yunus Emre Institute by a working group consisting of field experts from the Ministry of National Education, and of academicians from the TÖMERs of Ankara, Ege, Gazi, and Hacettepe Universities.Following this, a “TPE Workshop” was conducted in Ankara between February 4-8, 2013 with the participation of education coordinators from the YETCCs; of Turkish instructors from the TÖMERs of universities cooperating with the Yunus Emre Institute for the preparation of the TPE; and of academicians who specialize in the field of Turkish teaching. During this workshop, theoretical and applied studies were performed on subjects such as “Question Preparation Techniques” and “Assessment and Evaluation.”Following the completion of this workshop, an exam model was developed at the Yunus Emre Institute Exam Center in accordance with the Framework Program, and tests were prepared by TPE Question Bank Writers (consisting of the workshop participants described above) for the Yunus Emre Institute Exam Center based on this model. These tests were then controlled and finalized by assessment and evaluation experts at the Exam Center.
The first implementation of the TPE at an international level was performed on May 24-25, 2013 in a total of 10 countries, which were Kosovo, Albania, Egypt, Iran, Azerbaijan, Japan, Georgia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Belgium, and Kazakhstan. TPE was implemented three times in a year.
The TPE, which is currently conducted in the form of a paper-based examination, assesses the reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills of candidates. Plans are also being made for the development of an online version of the TPE.