Absence of bias
According to Kunnan’s fairness framework, absence of bias refers to the use of test content or language, unfair penalization based on test-takers’ background and different resulting outcomes by test-takers who are from various group memberships.
In the case of IELTS, test bias, as is introduced in this test, is avoided, because it is used as a test taken by candidates with different cultural backgrounds. However, it has been noted that although IELTS assesses international English, the evaluation of candidates’ writing tasks is based on western writing standard regardless of candidates’ specific cultural rhetorical patterns. This is thought to be unfair and reflected “a mono-cultural view”. And Taylor (2004) suggests that one solution is to figure out writing features based on IELTS corpus database and make a description of the international argumentative writing construct.
The concept of test access includes educational, financial, geographical, personal access ad equipment and condition familiarity.
Focusing on academic module of IELTS, it functions as a language test which is closely tied to admission to English-medium universities. Ross (2008) points out that candidate who have more capacity to pay for fee of IELTS and the relevant test preparation course are more advantageous. Take Mainland China for example, test fee is 1,450 yuan and is thought to be expensive for the average Chinese families. Though students can take IELTS whenever they feel ready, in terms of equal access, it would be unrealistic for candidates from such families to take IELTS repeatedly in order to achieve the desirable scores.
IELTS exerts a tremendous social consequence owing to its large number of international test-takers who are either in their pursuit of overseas educational or employment. It is used to measure English proficiency of test-takers. With regard to the correlation of IELTS scores and students’ academic performance...