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Reliability in Language Assessment

  1. Carol A. Chapelle

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal1003

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Chapelle, C. A. 2012. Reliability in Language Assessment. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


Almost any test user will readily agree that tests should be valid and reliable, but if asked to explain what “reliability” means, most test users would be hard pressed, despite the widespread use of this measure in the documentation that accompanies language tests. Assessment experts would also agree that reliability is a central concern for interpreting assessment results, even to the point that it is an important part of most validity arguments. However, the experts would also point out that reliability is not a characteristic of a test, but rather a characteristic of test scores obtained from a given test administration or administrations.


  • assessment methods in applied linguistics;
  • assessment;
  • language testing