عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
The Ph.D. entrance examinations of Islamic Azad University in Iran are administered annually to select the best applicants for Ph.D. programs. In consideration of the important decisions, which are made on the basis of the results of these examinations, the present study was conducted to provide a qualitative evaluation of field-specific language subtests (FLSs) of four entrance examinations administered in 2003. In order to accomplish the objectives of the study, the views of four different groups of participants -- field-specialists, Ph.D. students, language testers, and applied linguists -- were obtained with respect to Ph.D. students' general-academic language needs, suitability of the current FLSs of Ph.D. entrance examinations of seventeen fields of Humanities with regard to their construction, use, and scoring procedures, and the desirable characteristics of a new general-academic English subtest. Furthermore, this study involved the qualitative analysis of the content and 'structure of the items appearing on FLSs of Ph.D. entrance examinations of four fields of Humanities. The results indicated that FLSs were not consistent with Ph.D. students' general-academic language needs. Moreover, there was no commonly agreed code of practice or set of standards, which was followed by examination boards in the processes of test construction, use, and scoring. The results further indicated the need for developing a standardized Performance-based Genera! Academic (PGAE) test battery to be administered alongside existing FLSs in Ph.D. entrance examinations. This need could be due to the fact that current tests alone could not cover the full range of general academic language ability required in Ph.D. programs and thus were not appropriate measures for admissions decisions.