THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
Hanoi, October 7, 2021
Promulgating the Regulation on Vietnamese language proficiency tests according to the Vietnamese Language Competency Framework for Foreigners
Pursuant to the June 14, 2019 Law on Education;
Pursuant to the June 18, 2021 Law on Higher Education and the November 19, 2018 Law Amending and Supplementing a Number of Articles of the Law on Higher Education;
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No. 69/2017/ND-CP of May 25, 2017, defining the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the Ministry of Education and Training;
At the proposal of the Director of the Education Quality Management Agency;
The Minister of Education and Training promulgates the Circular promulgating the Regulation on Vietnamese language proficiency tests according to the Vietnamese Language Competency Framework for Foreigners.
Article 1. To promulgate together with this Circular the Regulation on Vietnamese language proficiency tests according to the Vietnamese Language Competency Framework for Foreigners.
Article 2. This Circular takes effect on November 22, 2021.
Article 3. Directors of provincial-level Departments of Education and Training, the Director of the Department of Education, Science and Technology of Bac Lieu province, heads of higher education institutions, and related units and individuals shall implement this Circular.-
For the Minister of Education and Training
NGUYEN HUU DO
THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
Independence - Freedom - Happiness
On Vietnamese language proficiency tests according to the Vietnamese Language Competency Framework for Foreigners
(Promulgated together with the Minister of Education and Training’s Circular
No. 27/2021/TT-BDGDT of October 7, 2021)
Article 1. Scope of regulation and subjects of application
1. This Regulation prescribes Vietnamese language proficiency tests according to the Vietnamese Language Competency framework for Foreigners (below referred to as the Vietnamese language proficiency tests), covering: purposes, principles; exam formats; certificates; exam organizing units; exam candidates, registration for exams, and Exam Councils; exam questions; organization of exams; marking and review of answer scripts; approval of exam results, management of certificates, reporting and storage of exam records; and inspection, examination, and handling of violations.
2. This Regulation applies to higher education institutions that provide training in the disciplines of literature, literature teacher training, and Vietnamese language and culture; provincial-level Departments of Education and Training; units assigned by competent state agencies to provide Vietnamese language training and further training for foreigners; and related organizations and individuals.
Article 2. Purposes and principles
1. Vietnamese language proficiency tests are organized with a view to assessing the Vietnamese language proficiency of persons who wish to have their Vietnamese language proficiency assessed according to the Vietnamese Language Competency Framework for Foreigners.
2. The organization of Vietnamese language proficiency tests must adhere to the principles of honesty, accuracy, objectivity and transparency, accurately reflecting the Vietnamese language proficiency of the persons being assessed regarding 4 (four) language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Article 3. Exam formats
1. Listening, reading and writing skills shall be assessed through paper-based or computer-based exams.
2. Speaking skill shall be assessed through face-to-face interviews with examiners or computer-based exams.
3. For each exam series, the concerned exam organizing unit shall make an announcement of whether the exams will take the form of paper-based or computer-based exams and whether the speaking skill will be assessed through face-to-face interviews with examiners or computer-based exams for candidates to know these information before registering for the exams.
Article 4. Vietnamese language certificates
1. Vietnamese language certificates shall be issued to candidates who meet the corresponding requirements of Level 1 to Level 6 of the Vietnamese Language Competency Framework for Foreigners.
2. The Ministry of Education and Training shall provide the form of Vietnamese language certificates. The validity period of a Vietnamese language certificate shall be decided by the agency or unit using the certificate.
UNITS ORGANIZING VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY TESTS
Article 5. Units organizing Vietnamese language proficiency tests
Units entitled to organize Vietnamese language proficiency tests (below referred to as exam organizing units) include: higher education institutions providing training in the disciplines of literature, literature teacher training, and Vietnamese language and culture; and units assigned by competent state agencies to provide Vietnamese language training and further training for foreigners.
Article 6. Conditions on units entitled to organize Vietnamese language proficiency tests
1. Having sufficient and qualified personnel in charge of managing and compiling exam questions and question packs and technical staff for organizing Vietnamese language proficiency tests; these persons must be either public employees recruited, employed and managed in accordance with the law on public employees or employees having signed indefinite-term contracts under the Labor Code, including:
a/ At least 10 persons to perform the task of compiling exam questions and question packs and marking answer scripts who must possess at least a master’s degree in the discipline group of Vietnamese linguistics, literature and culture or the discipline of literature or the major of literature/Vietnamese language in the discipline group of educational sciences;
b/ Technical staff who are capable of using informatics, audio and video equipment in service of the organization of exams and marking of answer scripts.
2. Having sufficient physical facilities, specifically as follows:
a/ The exam area must meet requirements regarding security, safety and fire and explosion prevention and fighting. There must be sufficient exam rooms and functional rooms to organize listening, speaking, reading and writing exams for at least 30 candidates at one session;
b/ Exam rooms must be adequately illuminated and equipped with sufficient desks, chairs, chalks or markers, blackboards or projection screens; a surveillance camera system without internet connection capable of recording all happenings at exam rooms during the exam; a clock for all candidates to keep track of time during the exam; and sufficient audio recorders, audio players and video recorders;
c/ There must be security inspection equipment (magnetic gates or handheld devices) to control and prevent illegal bringing of materials and items into exam rooms;
d/ There must be devices to preserve candidates’ belongings outside exam rooms;
dd/ The working room of the Exam Council must have sufficient necessary equipment and utensils in service of persons on duty for the exam, delivery and receipt of question papers and answer scripts; and have a lockable box, cabinet or safe to preserve question papers and answer scripts;
e/ There must be a website providing information on the exam organizing unit’s schemes on organization of Vietnamese language proficiency tests; format of question packs, illustrative question packs; exam formats, and list of candidates registering for exams; exam timetables and venues, exam results and certificates;
g/ There must be a separate area reserved for generation of question packs so as to ensure security, safety and confidentiality for these activities.
3. Having a question bank for Vietnamese language proficiency tests (below referred to as the question bank) to serve the generation of question packs meeting the requirements specified in Article 12 of this Regulation; the question bank must have sufficient exam questions to generate at least 30 question packs in accordance with the prescribed exam format, in which the number of repeated questions must not exceed 10%.
4. Additional conditions applicable to computer-based exams:
a/ Having a computer system including servers, workstations, data storage devices, uninterruptible power supplies, backup power supplies, and auxiliary equipment up to technical requirements so as to test at least 30 candidates in one session;
b/ Having software for organizing Vietnamese language proficiency tests (below referred to as exam organization software) installed on computers that meets the following requirements: having an interface which is friendly, easy to install and easy to use; being capable of receiving exam question data from the question bank software to generate question packs according to regulations; being capable of disconnecting computers with application software and external devices; ensuring convenience for candidates to log in to the software by themselves to take the exams with their own exam accounts; having the functions of taking photos of candidates and including them in exam data; having a countdown timer and the functions of previewing the next question, counting answered questions, automatically marking multiple-choice answer sheets; and automatically saving exam results of candidates immediately upon occurrence of incidents (such as power failure, disconnection to the server, etc.) or when the exam period is over or when the candidate presses the “Finish” button; and enabling examiners to enter results of speaking and writing tests, and print the results of the whole answer scripts of the candidates;
c/ The exam organization software may be integrated with the question bank management software but must meet confidentiality requirements and have a use process approved by the head of the exam organizing unit.
5. Having a scheme on organization of Vietnamese language proficiency tests which must provide sufficient information and prove the satisfaction of requirements on organization of Vietnamese language proficiency tests as specified in Clauses 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this Article. Exam organizing units shall give explanation about the contents of the schemes.
Article 7. Notification of exam organizing units’ eligibility for organizing Vietnamese language proficiency tests
An unit that wishes to organize Vietnamese language proficiency tests shall formulate a scheme and report it to the Ministry of Education and Training (via the Education Quality Management Agency) for inspection and certification of satisfaction of conditions for assurance of quality of exam organization according to the requirements specified in Article 6 of this Regulation. The Education Quality Management Agency shall notify the unit of its eligibility for organizing Vietnamese language proficiency tests for the unit to implement the scheme in accordance with this Regulation.
EXAM CANDIDATES, REGISTRATION FOR PARTICIPATION IN EXAMS AND EXAM COUNCIL
Article 8. Exam candidates and registration for participation in exams
1. Exam candidates: Individuals wishing to have their Vietnamese language proficiency assessed and obtain Vietnamese language certificates:
a/ Having a valid dossier of registration for exams; fully paying exam fees and fees for issuance of certificates according to regulations;
b/ Not being banned from taking exams under Point g, Clause 2, Article 29 of this Regulation.
2. Registration for participation in exams:
a/ A dossier of registration for participation in exams must comprise 2 photos of 4x6 (cm) size taken no more than 6 months before the date of registration with their back inscribed with the candidate’s full name and date of birth; a copy of the candidate’s valid passport; an exam registration form (covering information on the full name, date of birth, citizenship, serial number and date of issuance of passport, registered exam time and venue, and other necessary information);
b/ The registration for participation in exams shall be carried out in one of the following modes: Candidates make in-person registration with exam organizing units or online registration via the websites of exam organizing units; or candidates make registration with exam organizing units via organizations, agencies, enterprises or education institutions where they are working or studying.
Article 9. Responsibilities of candidates
1. To be present at exam venues at the specified time to receive instructions and participate in the exam. Candidates who arrive after the start-time of an exam session will not be allowed to take the exam.
2. To present a valid passport before entering the exam room.
3. To sit in the correct seat according to the candidate number specified in the exam room; to sign the list of candidates taking the exam for each skill.
4. To bring only personal identification papers, but not other materials, equipment and tools, into the exam room.
5. During the exam period, not to communicate or discuss with others or commit cheating acts; to keep order; when wishing to voice their opinions or go out of the exam room, to ask for permission and express opinions or go out of the exam room only after obtaining permission of the invigilator; when an abnormal event occurs, to follow the invigilator’s instructions.
6. After two-thirds of the period the exam for each skill has passed, candidates may submit their answer scripts (except for listening skill test), together with question papers and scratch papers, and can only leave the exam room when the invigilator so permits.
7. For paper-based exams:
a/ When receiving the question paper, to check the number of sheets of the question paper, and write the full name and candidate number on the question paper. If detecting that a sheet of the question paper is missing or torn, damaged or blurred or has some words missing, to immediately report such to the invigilator;
b/ To write and color the answer script with a pen provided by the Exam Council; not to mark or draw a sign on the answer script; to cross out and not to erase mistakes in any way; to erase mistakes (marked with a pencil) on multiple-choice answer sheets;
c/ When there is a signal showing that the exam period is over, all candidates must stop writing immediately to submit their answer scripts; specify the number of submitted answer sheets and sign for certification on the answer script collection slip (even in case of failure to complete the exam). Candidates may only leave exam rooms after obtaining invigilators’ permission.
8. For computer-based exams:
a/ Before registering for participation in exams, to carefully read the instructions for taking computer-based exams posted on the website of the exam organizing unit;
b/ To receive a computer, get acquainted with the computer, receive an account slip and log in to the account to take the exam on computer; to answer exam questions according to instructions for each exam section or skill; if encountering a computer-related problem or other abnormalities during the exam, to immediately notify thereof to the invigilator; not to log out of the account during the exam or restart the computer or link in any way; when there is a signal showing that the exam period is over, to proceed with the next step under the instructions of the invigilator; before leaving the exam room, to return the account slip, scratch papers, sign on the exam registration form and the list of exam results (if any);
c/ Not to contact with sealed positions on the computer. Not to copy exam questions and question papers in any way. During the exam period, to use only the exam organization software installed on the computer; not to use any other application software.
Article 10. Exam Councils
1. Exam Councils shall be established by the heads of exam organizing units, each consisting of members and boards below:
a/ Members of the Exam Council include the Council Chairperson who is a leader of the exam organizing unit; Council Vice Chairpersons and Council members, including invigilators, examiners, supervisors, technicians, medical staff, security guards, and service personnel; the members of the Council who are staff of the exam organizing unit or the coordinating unit (if any);
b/ Boards of the Exam Council include the Secretariat; Exam Question Board; Question Paper Printing and Copying Board; Invigilation Board; Marking Board; Score Review Board (to review exam results upon request). Members of Boards shall be selected from among the members of the Exam Council.
2. An Exam Council’s member must be a person with appropriate professional qualifications and having no relative (father, mother, spouse, natural child, adopted child, sibling, or sibling of the spouse) who is a candidate taking the exam at such Exam Council.
Article 11. Tasks of the Exam Council and its Boards
1. The Exam Council:
a/ The Council Chairperson: To administer the affairs of the Exam Council; to sign for approval the list of candidates registering for the exam; to receive and manage exam questions, answer keys, marking instructions; regulations on numbering candidates’ answer scripts so as to ensure safety and confidentiality; to sign for approval exam results and list of qualified candidates, and request competent authorities to issue certificates; to decide on disciplinary forms for violators of exam regulations;
b/ Council Vice Chairpersons shall perform the tasks assigned by the Council Chairperson and handle the affairs on behalf of the Council Chairperson when authorized by the latter;
c/ Council members shall obey the assignment of the leadership of the Exam Council;
d/ The person in charge of supervision shall work independently from the Boards of the Exam Council, supervise stages of the exam and be held responsible directly before the Council Chairperson for the results of his/her tasks performance;
dd/ Security guards, medical staff, and service personnel: To ensure security, order and safety during the exam and perform other tasks assigned by the Council Chairperson.
2. The Exam Question Board, for paper-based exams:
a/ To use question bank management software to create question pack codes as prescribed in Article 14 of this Regulation; to check question pack codes, ensure the correct format of question packs according to regulations, text format, and spelling; when detecting exam questions that do not meet the requirements, to replace them with others taken from the question bank to ensure the correct format of question packs; to hand over question packs according to regulations;
b/ Members of the Exam Question Board shall work in thorough isolation from the time they start working until the exam period is over, be held responsible for the confidentiality and safety of question packs within the ambit of their responsibilities and tasks according to current regulations.
3. The Question Paper Printing and Copying Board, for paper-based exams:
a/ To print out sufficient copies of question papers, meeting requirements on confidentiality and safety of question papers within the ambit of their responsibilities and tasks according to current regulations;
b/ To pack, seal and deliver question papers to the Chairperson of the Exam Council;
c/ Those who come into contact with the contents of question papers must be isolated thoroughly from the time they start working until the exam period is over;
d/ Depending on the actual situation, the Chairperson of the Exam Council may decide to assign the Exam Question Board to perform the task of printing and copying question papers.
4. Invigilation Board:
a/ General tasks: To arrange a sufficient number of invigilators, technicians, security guards and medical staff to meet the requirements for organization of the exam; to assign specific tasks to each member so as to organize the exam safely and in accordance with regulations;
b/ For paper-based exams: To receive, store and use question papers according to instructions; to collect answer scripts, seal answer scripts’ packages and exam dossiers and make a minutes of handover of answer scripts to the Secretariat according to Article 16 of this Regulation;
c/ For computer-based exams: To instruct and supervise candidates’ use of computers, answering and answer submission according to Article 20 of this Regulation.
5. The Marking Board:
a/ To receive all answer scripts (for paper-based exams) and dossiers in service of exam script marking handed over by the Secretariat and store them during the period of marking answer scripts;
b/ To organize the marking of answer scripts according to instructions, answer keys and scoring scale;
c/ To make general assessment of question packs, exam results, and quality of candidates’ answer scripts; to give comments on question packs, answer keys and scoring scale; to make recommendations on abnormalities in candidates’ exam results (if any) and propose the Chairperson of the Exam Council to handle them;
d/ To submit answer scripts and the score sheet according to candidate numbers to the Secretariat for the latter to summarize answer results.
6. The Score Review Board:
a/ To organize the re-marking of answer scripts, adhering to the principle that two independent examiners mark one answer script;
b/ To make minutes and list of candidates with re-marked scores and submit them to the Chairperson of the Exam Council for approval.
7. The Secretariat:
a/ To assist the Exam Council in drafting documents, making forms, building a database of candidates, make minutes of meetings of the Exam Council;
b/ To receive answer scripts and exam dossiers from the Invigilation Board; to preserve and count answer scripts; to compare the signatures of the invigilator or examiner on the answer script package with the signature on the answer script collection slip and the candidates’ answer scripts;
c/ To number answer scripts, cut off, seal and preserve answer scripts’ parts with candidates’ names and answer scripts’ numbers and hand over answer scripts without such parts to the Marking Board, reassemble the cut-off parts to answer scripts, and inscribe candidates’ scores (for paper-based exams); to make a list of candidates with exam scores. When making a list of candidates with exam scores, a person shall read aloud and another person shall write down the scores, then they shall switch position, a person shall read aloud the scores on the list for the other to check; the list must contain the signatures and full names of these two persons at its bottom;
d/ To sum up and analyze exam results; to make recommendations about abnormalities in exam results (if any), propose the Chairperson of the Exam Council to handle them;
dd/ To submit the exam results to the Chairperson of the Exam Council.
8. Confidentiality work of the Exam Council:
a/ Before participating in the organization of an exam, members of the Exam Council must sign a confidentiality commitment and properly perform their assignments and tasks; not reveal or leak exam questions; not bring question papers and candidates’ answer scripts out of the specified area, not use question papers and candidates’ answer scripts for any purposes other than those of the exam;
b/ The Chairperson of the Exam Council shall provide types of equipment, documents and exam data that need to be sealed and the time of sealing with a list of names and specimen signatures of those in charge of the sealing. When sealing/opening seals, a record must be made and signed by the participants.
Article 12. Requirements on question packs
1. Question packs, answer keys and marking instructions must meet the following requirements:
a/ Being capable of assessing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills according to the Vietnamese Language Competency Framework for Foreigners as prescribed by the Ministry of Education and Training;
b/ Ensuring accuracy, scientificity, and compliance with the format of question packs for assessment of Vietnamese language proficiency according to the Vietnamese Language Competency Framework for Foreigners as prescribed by the Ministry of Education and Training;
c/ Question packs, answer keys, and marking instructions must be kept confidential during the process of organizing the exam.
2. Question packs for each exam series shall be randomly taken from the question bank management software.
Article 13. Printing, copying, packing and preservation of question papers for paper-based exams
1. The printing and copying of question papers must be done in a secure and safe place with security guards and supervisors outside such place.
2. Packing of question papers:
a/ For each exam series, question papers must be printed out in a sufficient and clear for each exam room. For each exam venue, there must be at least 1 contingency package of question papers of assorted question pack codes for use when necessary;
b/ Question papers must be packed in a way that ensures the sufficient number of question papers for each exam venue and each exam room and for the skill stated on the package;
c/ The exact name of the exam venue, exam room, exam subject, to-be-assessed skill, exam time and number of question papers must be written in each question paper package;
d/ The question paper packages must be made of safe materials that cannot be seen through, be fastened so as to ensure that they will not be peeled off, and sealed according to regulations;
dd/ After question papers are packed, to make a minutes of handover of question papers to the Chairperson of the Exam Council or the Head of the Invigilation Board in case the latter is authorized by the Chairperson of the Exam Council; at the same time, to destroy any redundant, damaged, blurred, damaged, torn, or dirty copies which have been weeded out.
3. Preservation and use of question papers:
a/ Question papers must be sealed according to regulations; preserved in a sealed lockable box, cabinet or safe with a lock which is protected by security guards. The key of the box, cabinet or safe shall be kept by the Head of the Invigilation Board;
b/ Question papers may only be opened at exam rooms at the exam time on the exam day serving the assessment of the proper skill under regulations of the Chairperson of the Exam Council for each exam series;
c/ It is required to prepare sufficient question papers for all candidates having registered for participation in the exam. In addition, there must be a set of original question papers kept at the Exam Council.
4. Records relating to question papers:
a/ The Question Paper Printing and Copying Board shall make a record of handover of sealed question paper packages to the Chairperson of the Exam Council or the Head of the Invigilation Board, in case the latter is authorized by the Chairperson of the Exam Council;
b/ The Invigilation Board shall make a record of opening the seal of the cabinet/box/safe containing question paper packages and hand over the sealed question paper packages to invigilators or examiners to the witness of the supervisor;
c/ The invigilator shall ask two candidates to witness and sign a record of confirmation that the question paper package is still sealed; open the question paper package, check the number of question papers; and deliver question papers to each candidate;
d/ Right after the exam starts, the invigilator shall make a record of sealing of redundant question papers in the exam room for handing them over to the Head of the Invigilation Board or the person authorized by the Head of the Invigilation Board;
dd/ After the exam period is over, the invigilator shall collect all question papers that have been delivered to candidates, make a record of handover of used question papers to the Head of the Invigilation Board along with the candidate’s answer scripts;
e/ The Head of the Invigilation Board shall seal up all used and unused question papers, and make a record of handover thereof to the Council Chairperson;
g/ Within 5 working days after marking question papers, reviewing answer scripts and making a list of candidates with their scores, the Chairperson of the Exam Council or the person authorized by the Chairperson of the Exam Council shall make a record and destroy all used materials (question papers, answer keys, marking instructions) under the supervision of the supervisor;
h/ The Chairperson of the Exam Council shall make a record of sealing the set of used original question papers under the supervision of the person in charge of supervising the exam for archive according to Article 26 of this Regulation.
Article 14. Building and use of question banks
1. Building a question bank:
a/ The compilation of exam questions, answer keys and marking instructions (for speaking and writing skills) must follow the steps below: formulating a matrix and structures of question packs in accordance with the prescribed format; compiling and reviewing exam questions, ensuring that there must be at least two independent criticism opinions for each exam question; editing exam questions after the review, ensuring exam organization requirements; and approving exam questions. It is required to clearly define the responsibilities of those participating in the building of the question bank;
b/ Those who give independent criticism opinions on exam questions must not be staff members of the exam organizing unit and must possess a master or higher degree in Vietnamese linguistics, literature and culture, or literature or the specialized discipline of literature/Vietnamese language in the group of educational sciences;
c/ Every year, exam organizing units shall review and adjust their question banks and add at least 10% of the number of exam questions for each skill;
d/ Exam organizing units may coordinate with other exam organizing units or organizations with the assessment function that have had a question bank or question packs built and managed in accordance with this Regulation in organizing exams and must clearly define the obligations and powers of the coordinating units and report thereon to the Ministry of Education and Training (via the Education Quality Management Agency), and at the same time clearly state such coordination in the Scheme on organization of Vietnamese language proficiency tests specified in Clause 5, Article 6 of this Regulation.
2. Use of the question bank to generate question packs for paper-based exams: In the isolation area, the Exam Question Board shall use the question bank management software to randomly generate exam pack codes, ensuring that each candidate in an exam room has a unique question pack code; print out, seal and hand over question papers to the Chairperson of the Exam Council for delivery to the Question Paper Printing and Copying Board for the latter to print and make copies of question papers according to regulations.
3. Use of the question bank to generate question packs for computer-based exams: No sooner than 90 minutes before the exam starts, in the server room/area, the Chairperson of the Exam Council shall use the question bank management software to randomly generate question pack codes, ensuring that each candidate in an exam room has a unique question pack code. In case the exam organization software does not integrate or directly connect with the question bank management software, the Chairperson of the Exam Council shall encrypt question pack codes and save them to a storage device to transfer exam data to the exam organization software server and proceed with subsequent steps according to regulations.
4. Management of the question bank
a/ The question bank shall be managed by software and stored on an independent server; the software must have the function of managing the updating, addition and selection of exam questions to randomly generate question packs according to the prescribed format, ensuring confidentiality and user permission requirements;
b/ Exam organizing units shall issue regulations on the management and use of question banks and related equipment, ensuring confidentiality requirements.
ORGANIZATION OF EXAMS
Article 15. Making of lists of candidates and arrangement of exam rooms
1. To make a list of candidates; to number candidates in the alphabetical order based on their names. A candidate’s number consists of 6 characters in which the first 2 characters are the code of the exam series and the subsequent 4 characters are the candidate’s ordinal number in the list. To arrange candidates to exam rooms.
2. To arrange invigilators for listening, reading and writing exams as follows:
a/ Each exam room must have at least 2 invigilators, ensuring that one invigilator shall take charge of no more than 20 candidates;
b/ Exam room supervisors: Each person shall take charge of supervising no more than 3 exam rooms.
3. Each exam room must have a list of candidates, together with their photos. The exam room’s internal rules and list of candidates shall be displayed on the room’s entrance door.
4. Candidates’ seats in an exam room shall be arranged in a way that ensures that the spacing between 2 candidates in horizontal row is at least 1.2 meters.
5. At each exam room (with no more than 30 candidates), there must be an audio player device and, at the same time, a set of audio player devices at least equaling 20% of the total number of necessary devices shall be prepared so as to respond to eventualities.
Article 16. Process of invigilation of listening, reading and writing exams
1. At least 1 day before the exam day, the Chairperson, Vice Chairpersons, Invigilation Board, secretary and technical staff of the Exam Council shall come to the exam venue to:
a/ Check the preparation for the exam series, including physical facilities, equipment and instruments serving the exam organization;
b/ Post the list of candidates and exam rooms’ internal rules; and seal exam rooms.
2. Before the exam starts:
a/ Invigilators shall check and open the exam room’s seal; inscribe candidates’ numbers on their seats according to the plan specified by the Head of the Invigilation Board; invite candidates to the exam room, check their personal identification papers and belongings and check candidates’ photos in their exam registration dossiers; and make sure that candidates are seated at the right positions according to their candidate numbers;
b/ Invigilators shall receive question papers, answer sheets, multiple-choice answer sheets, scratch papers and pens from the Head of the Invigilation Board or the person authorized by the Head of the Invigilation Board;
c/ Invigilators shall sign and write their names on answer sheets, multiple-choice answer sheets and scratch papers and hand them out to candidates, guide candidates to fill necessary information in answer sheets, multiple-choice answer sheets and scratch papers according to regulations;
d/ Invigilators shall hand out question papers to candidates upon receiving the order therefor;
dd/ The Chairperson of the Exam Council shall prescribe the start-time of listening exams.
3. During the exam:
a/ Invigilators shall closely invigilate exam rooms; not allow candidates to communicate or discuss with others or commit cheating acts in exam rooms; invigilators must not read question papers, intentionally discuss the contents of question papers with candidates; and not allow candidates to copy exam questions or question packs in any form;
b/ When it is necessary to permit candidates to go out of exam rooms, invigilators shall only permit each candidate to go out at each time and notify thereof to supervisors in charge of the exam rooms;
c/ In case a candidate violates exam regulations, an invigilator shall make a record and report thereof to the Head of the Invigilation Board for timely application of appropriate handling measures;
d/ Exam room supervisors shall supervise candidates, invigilators, speaking examiners and technical staff when the latter enter the exam rooms; concurrently supervise candidates who go out of exam rooms (if any) and not allow them to contact at areas under their management as assigned by the Head of the Invigilation Board.
4. When the exam finishes:
a/ Invigilators shall ask all candidates to stop writing immediately after receiving the order, collect candidates’ answer scripts in turn (check the number of answer sheets and multiple-question answer sheets of each candidate and request candidates to sign in the answer script collection slip). They shall allow candidates to leave the exam rooms only after having checked and collected sufficient answer scripts and questions papers;
b/ Exam room supervisors shall supervise candidates and invigilators and assist invigilators in maintaining order in exam rooms during the process of collecting candidates’ answer scripts; and supervise the process from the time invigilators bring candidates’ answer scripts out of exam rooms till the time they hand over these answer scripts to leaders of the Invigilation Board.
5. Packaging and handover of candidates’ answer scripts:
a/ Invigilators shall hand over candidates’ answer scripts, together with answer script collection slips, to the Head of the Invigilation Board or the person authorized by the Head of the Invigilation Board for sealing. Answer script packages, which have been sealed, must have signatures of invigilators, exam room supervisors and persons directly receiving answer scripts, on their covers;
b/ As soon as the exams finish, the Invigilation Board shall hand over answer scripts and exam dossiers, which have been sealed, to the Secretariat.
6. Handover of exam supervision data: Exam room camera footages shall be fully stored, sealed and handed over to the Secretariat.
Article 17. Speaking tests in the form of face-to-face interviews with examiners
1. Preparation of exam rooms:
a/ At each exam venue, there must be at least a separate exam room and a waiting room for candidates before entering the exam room (below referred to as waiting room);
b/ Waiting rooms and speaking exam rooms shall be located close to each other in a separate area in order to ensure that the speaking exam is not affected by other activities;
c/ At each interview table, there must be 1 audio recorder for official use and a number of spare audio recorders; the total number of audio recorders must be at least 1.2 times the number of interview tables of the exam series. Technical staff and examiners shall check the operation of audio recorders to ensure their uninterrupted operation during the exam.
2. Arrangement of examiners and exam room supervisors:
a/ In exam rooms, to arrange 2 examiners at each interview table;
b/ To arrange at least 1 supervisor outside exam rooms;
c/ At each waiting room, to arrange 1 invigilator and 1 supervisor.
3. Exam process:
a/ Candidates shall gather in waiting rooms to prepare for the exam;
b/ After receiving the order, candidates shall be invited according to candidate number to interview tables. For each candidate, examiners shall check the candidate’s personal identification paper; hand out a question paper to the candidate or let the candidate to draw a question paper; and hand out scratch papers, which contains their signatures, to the candidate; the candidate shall give his/her answer when the examiner notifies that the recording has started;
c/ During the exam, the exam room supervisor shall supervise candidates and examiners in exam rooms; supervise candidates’ moving from waiting rooms to exam rooms and vice versa, ensuring that candidates do not contact with any others. Invigilators in waiting rooms shall keep silence and direct the candidates’ activities;
d/ After receiving the question paper, the candidate shall give his/her answer; candidates shall speak in front of examiners and the whole answer shall be recorded by the examiners;
dd/ After the candidate finishes his/her answer, the examiners shall request him/her to sign in the answer script collection slip or exam attendance slip (even in case the candidate did not say anything for recording); score the candidate’s performance according to Clause 4, Article 21 of this Regulation; permit the candidate to leave the exam room and invite the next candidate until the last candidate
on the list.
4. Packaging and sealing candidates’ answer scripts, questions papers and exam data:
a/ Examiners shall seal audio recorders or storage devices containing data on candidates’ interviews and hand them, together with the answer script collection slip or exam attendance slip and the speaking exam marking record to the Head of the Invigilation Board or the person authorized by the Head of the Supervision Board. The devices containing exam data shall be sealed with signatures of examiners, exam room supervisors and the person directly receiving such devices;
b/ As soon as the exam finishes, the Invigilation Board shall hand over answer scripts, surveillance camera footages and exam dossiers, which have been sealed, to the Secretariat; hand over question papers, which have been sealed, to the Chairperson of the Exam Council;
c/ The Secretariat shall hand over all question papers and exam dossiers, which have been packed in sealed bags, to the Marking Board; and surveillance camera footages, which have been sealed, to the Chairperson of the Exam Council.
Article 18. Making of lists of exam rooms and arrangement of exam rooms
The making of a list of exam rooms and arrangement of exam rooms must comply with Article 15 of this Regulation and concurrently satisfy the following conditions:
1. Each candidate shall use a separate computer. Each exam room must have spare computers in a number at least equaling 5% of the total number of candidates in the exam room. Computers in a exam room shall be arranged with a rational spacing so as to ensure that candidates cannot see the contents on others’ computer monitors.
2. Requirements on computers used in exam rooms:
a/ Computers must have equivalent configurations so as to ensure stable operation and each must be installed with a camera, a headphone and a microphone up to quality requirements;
b/ During the exam period, computers shall be connected only to the server and not be connected to any other devices and means inside and outside the exam room; set with the correct date and time in the system and be scanned for viruses;
c/ Apart from the exam management software, computers must not be installed with any application software or other materials relating to exam contents.
3. There must be a server to store information on candidates’ answers.
4. Workstations installed in the exam venue shall be connected to the server or secondary server on LAN but must not be connected to the Internet.
5. There must be at least 1 technical staff member per 20 candidates; technical staffs must keep watch outside exam rooms; when a technical problem occurs, invigilators or examiners shall notify it to technical staff so that the latter shall enter exam rooms to provide technical support.
Article 19. Preparation of exam rooms for computer-based speaking exams
1. Each candidate shall be arranged a separate computer which is installed with the exam management software. Computers in speaking exam rooms shall be arranged in a rational spacing so as to ensure quality of audio recordings.
2. Headphones and recording microphones must be prepared and checked before the exam and the number of spare headphones and recording microphones must at least equal 10% of the total number of candidates in the exam room.
Article 20. Exam invigilation process
1. At least 1 day prior to the exam day, the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Invigilation Board, and secretary and technical staff of the Exam Council shall be present at the exam venue to perform the jobs specified in Clause 1, Article 16 of this Regulation. It is necessary to pay attention to checking the installation of software on computers, the network system and the connection of LAN with the server system, sealing computers’ ports, disconnecting or disabling wireless devices (wifi, Bluetooth, etc.) to ensure that it is impossible to use any devices to connect to the system from outside; check the power system and equipment; test the loading of the power grid, receive diagrams of the networks, the room installed with intermediary switches (if any), the main circuit breaker and circuit breakers of each building/story.
2. Before the exam starts:
a/ Invigilators shall receive scratch papers and account slips of each candidate from the Head of the Invigilation Board or the person authorized by the Head of the Invigilation Board; check the sealing of the exam room, power source and sealing of computers; start computers and exam program; invite candidates to the exam room, check candidates’ personal identification papers and belongings and check candidates’ photos in their registration files; ensure that candidates are seated at the right positions according to candidates’ numbers; sign on scratch papers and hand them out to candidates; inform candidates of exam regulations and notices during the exam; request candidates to check computers, keyboards, mouses, headphones, microphones and cameras;
b/ When the order is given, the Chairperson of the Exam Council or the person authorized by the Chairperson of the Exam Council shall activate the exam on the exam management software; invigilators shall permit candidates to access their given accounts to receive question packs from the server and start doing the exam.
3. During the exam, both invigilators and candidates shall comply with Clause 3, Article 16 of this Regulation. If a candidate encounters a technical problem related to his/her account, software or computer, the invigilator shall notify thereof to technical staff for the latter to enter the exam room to fix or provide technical support. In case of failure to fix the technical problem, affecting the candidate’s exam, the invigilator shall report thereof to the Head of the Invigilation Board for timely handling.
4. When the exam is over:
a/ Invigilators shall ask candidates to take actions to end their exam and log out of their accounts according to instructions;
b/ With the support of technical staff, invigilators shall ask each candidate to review their exam submission results and sign in the answer submission record. For the speaking exam, technical staff, invigilators and candidates shall together check recording files stored on the server;
c/ Exam room supervisors shall supervise candidates, invigilators and technical staff in exam rooms and help keep order in areas under their management as assigned by the Head of the Invigilation Board.
5. Packaging and hand over of candidates’ exam answers:
a/ Invigilators and technical staff shall store exam answers of candidates in each exam room according to the process set up in the exam management software;
b/ All answer data shall be copied in 2 files in separate storage devices that must meet technical standards, have their outer covers inscribed with adequate information on the exam series and be sealed, for handover the Secretariat;
c/ After checking the saving of candidates’ answers, invigilators and technical staff shall permanently delete all exam data on each computer used in the exam; power off, seal and preserve the server.
6. The handover of supervision footages must comply with Clause 6, Article 16 of this Regulation.
ANSWER SCRIPT MARKING AND SCORE REVIEW
Article 21. Answer script marking
1. General requirements:
a/ The marking of answer scripts shall be done by the Exam Council in a safe and isolated area installed with cameras capable of monitoring the marking process and protected by security guards and supervisors;
b/ Before marking writing and speaking exam results (except cases of speaking exams in the form of face-to-face interviews with examiners), the Head of the Marking Board shall gather all examiners for them to discuss and thoroughly grasp marking instructions, answer keys and scoring scale and jointly mark at least 10 answer scripts and reach a consensus on application of marking instructions;
c/ Members of the Marking Board shall comply with the assignment of its Head and mark answer scripts according to marking instructions, answer keys and scoring scale. For writing or speaking exams, each candidate’s answer script or performance shall be independently marked twice by two examiners;
d/ Handling of marking results and making of marking records: The score given for each skill shall be rounded up or down to the nearest 0.5 on a 10-point scale (between 0.25 and under 0.75 shall be rounded to 0.5; between 0.75 and under 1.25 shall be rounded to 1); if the difference in the score given by two examiners for an answer script is under 1, the two examiners shall agree with each other to take the average of their scores as the final result; if the difference in the score given by two examiners is 1 or higher, the two examiners shall re-mark the answer script; after the re-marking, if still failing to reach agreement, the two examiners shall report thereof to the Head of the Marking Board for consideration and decision;
dd/ The scoring sheet, made based on answer script numbers, to be handed over to the Secretariat must contain the signatures of two examiners and the Head of the Marking Board; the Secretariat shall match answer script numbers with candidate numbers and make a scoring sheet according to Clause 7, Article 11 of this Regulation.
2. For paper-based exams:
For skills of which the assessment is conducted in the form of answering on multiple-choice questions on answer papers, the marking shall be conducted by examiners according to the process specified in Clause 1 of this Article. For skills of which the assessment is conducted in the form of answering the multiple-choice answer sheets, answer sheets shall be scored totally by computers with specialized software:
a/ A multiple-choice answer sheet processing team shall be set up by the Chairperson of the Exam Council and subject to the direct administration of the Head of the Marking Board;
b/ The multiple-choice answer sheet processing team shall be composed of a leader of the Marking Board as its Head, technical staff members as its members; and a member of the supervisory division designated by the Chairperson of the Exam Council as supervisor;
c/ The whole marking process must be placed under direct and continuous supervision. Members of the multiple-choice answer sheet processing team may neither bring pencils or erasers into the answer script marking room nor modify, add or cut details of candidates’ multiple-choice answer sheets for any reason. Any abnormal phenomena must be immediately reported to the supervisory division and the team’s head for joint confirmation and making of a record. After being marked, all multiple-choice answer sheets and answer sheet collection slips shall be sealed and kept safely;
d/ As soon as the marking process finishes, it is required to save files on processing data and marking multiple-choice answer sheets on CDs, then seal such CDs and hand them over to the Chairperson of the Exam Council for storage.
3. For computer-based exams:
a/ The Head of the Marking Board and technical staff shall encode and number each candidates’ answer sheets according to the process set by the exam management software; exams in the form of answering multiple-choice questions shall be automatically scored by the software; exams in other forms shall be marked by examiners;
b/ Examiners shall mark answer sheets and give scores according to candidates’ answer sheet numbers. The scoring sheet made based on candidates’ answer sheet numbers to be submitted to the Secretariat must contain the signatures of two examiners and the Head of the Marking Board;
c/ The Head of the Marking Board, the Secretariat and technical staff shall match candidates’ answer sheet numbers with candidate numbers on computer according to the process set by the exam management software.
4. Marking speaking exams in the form of face-to-face interviews with examiners:
a/ Each examiner shall give his/her score to each candidate as soon as the latter finishes his/her speaking exam. When the last candidate finishes his/her performance, the examiners shall discuss and reach agreement on the score of each candidate;
b/ Candidates’ speaking exam scores must be recorded in a speaking exam marking record which must contain the signatures and full names of the examiners.
5. Summing up of exam results: After obtaining the scores of 4 skills, the Head of the Marking Board shall hand over exam results to the Secretariat for summarization and reporting to the Chairperson of the Exam Council for the announcement of exam results.
Article 22. Score review
1. The Score Review Board shall be set up by the Chairperson of the Exam Council and consist of a head, a secretary and examiners. Those who have participated in the marking may not join the Score Review Board of the same exam series; the process of score review must comply with Article 21 of this Regulation; particularly for speaking exams in the form of face-to-face interviews with examiners, scores shall be reviewed by using CDs containing audio recordings of candidates’ performance.
2. score review process:
a/ A candidate who wishes to have his/her score reviewed shall send a request to the exam organizing unit within 7 working days after the exam results are announced;
b/ The Secretariat shall make a list of requesters for score review, clearly stating the scores of each skill requested for review, then for transfer such list to the Score Review Board;
c/ For each exam series, score review shall be carried out only once in a safe and isolated area which is equipped with cameras for monitoring all happenings;
d/ For each skill, in case the difference between the review result and the initial score (announced) is 0.5 or higher (according to the 10-point scale), the score shall be revised; in case the difference between the review result and the initial score is 1 or higher, a direct dialogue shall be held between the first-time examiners and review examiners, and contents of the dialogue must be inscribed in a record. Any negative phenomena, if detected, shall be handled according to regulations;
dd/ The review results shall be published within 15 working days from the deadline for the receipt of requests for score review.
APPROVAL OF EXAM RESULTS, MANAGEMENT OF CERTIFICATE ISSUANCE, REPORTING REGIME AND DOSSIER STORAGE
Article 23. Approval of exam results
1. Within 5 (five) working days after obtaining review results, the Exam Council shall sum up exam results and grade candidates’ Vietnamese proficiency according to the Ministry of Education and Training’s regulations on conversion of scores into Vietnamese proficiency grades and submit them to the head of exam organizing unit for approval. A dossier of request for approval of exam results must comprise:
a/ A list of candidates’ specific exam results of each skill, stating the Vietnamese proficiency grades achieved by candidates who have attended exams for 4 skills in the exam series;
b/ A request for approval of exam results, accompanied with general statistics on the exam series.
2. The head of exam organizing unit shall approve the exam results within 7 (seven) working days after receiving the request.
3. After the exam results are approved, the exam organizing unit shall announce the exam results on its website.
Article 24. Certificate management
1. Heads of the exam organizing units specified in Article 4 of this Regulation shall issue certificates to qualified candidates in which their Vietnamese proficiency grades are clearly stated.
2. The management, issuance and revocation of certificates must comply with current regulations of the Ministry of Education and Training.
Article 25. Reporting regime
1. Exam organizing units shall send a report on exam organization to the Ministry of Education and Training (through the Education Quality Management Agency) prior to each exam series; make periodical or extraordinary reports at the request of superior state management agencies.
2. Within 20 working days after final results of an exam series are announced, the exam organizing unit shall send data on candidates’ scores of each skill, overall scores and attained certificates to the general system under the guidance of the Ministry of Education and Training.
3. Before January 31 every year, an exam organizing unit shall report to the Ministry of Education and Training (through the Education Quality Management Agency) on the following contents:
a/ Characteristics and the situation of the exam organizing unit and its coordinating units (if any);
b/ List of exam venues;
c/ Summarized data on results of organization of Vietnamese language proficiency tests in the previous year;
d/ Plan on organization of Vietnamese language proficiency tests in the reporting year;
dd/ Proposals and recommendations (if any).
Article 26. Storage of dossiers at exam organizing units
a/ To be permanently stored: list of participating candidates, detailed scoring sheets and list of candidates eligible for issuance of certificates.
b/ To be stored for at least 2 years: original question papers, candidates’ answer scripts, exam room surveillance camera footages and records made during the exams.
INSPECTION, EXAMINATION, AND HANDLING OF VIOLATIONS
Article 27. Inspection and examination
1. The Ministry of Education and Training shall direct and conduct examination and inspection of the operation of exam organizing units under current regulations.
2. Exam organizing units shall regularly self-inspect and review conditions on organization of exams and supervise their specialized divisions assigned to organize exams so as to ensure the compliance with this Regulation.
Article 28. Handling of exam organizing units, persons taking part in exam organization and other related individuals that violate exam regulations
1. For an exam organizing unit violating this Regulation:
a/ Depending on the severity of the violation, the Ministry of Education and Training shall suspend the unit from exam organization for a period of between 6 months and 12 months or terminate its exam organization;
b/ The Ministry of Education and Training shall announce on its website names of exam organizing units violating regulations and decisions on suspension or termination of exam organization for the units;
c/ Past the suspension duration, based on the results of inspection and certification of remediation of the violation, the Ministry of Education and Training shall notify whether the unit is eligible for organizing exams;
d/ In case an unit subject to termination of exam organization wishes to organize exams, it shall formulate an exam organization scheme for reporting to the Ministry of Education and Training (via the Education Quality Management Agency) according to Article 6 of this Regulation.
2. Persons taking part in exam organization and other related individuals that violate exam regulations (detected during or after an exam series) shall be handled in accordance with current law.
Article 29. Handling of candidates violating exam regulations
1. For each violation, a record shall be made, the violation shall be handled and the violation-handling result shall be notified to the concerned candidate.
2. Forms of handling:
a/ Reprimand shall be applied to candidates who commit the following violation once: looking at others’ answers or communicating with others. The form of reprimand shall be decided by the invigilator in the record.
b/ Warning shall be applied to candidates who commit one of the following violations: having been reprimanded once but still committing a violation which is subject to reprimand during the exam session; exchanging their answers or scratch papers with others; copying others’ answers or allowing others to copy their answers. The form of warning shall be decided by the invigilator in the record, enclosed with exhibits (if any).
c/ Suspension shall be applied to candidates who commit one of the following violations: having been reprimanded once but still committing a violation which is reprimand or warning during the exam session; bringing unauthorized materials or utensil to the exam room; leaking exam questions out of the exam room or receiving answers from the outside; writing or drawing irrelevant contents in their answer papers; showing aggressive or threatening acts to exam organizers or other candidates. Invigilators shall make records and seize exhibits (if any) and report thereof to the Head of the Invigilation Board. The Head of the Invigilation Board shall report the cases to the Chairperson of the Exam Council for the latter to decide to suspend the violator from the exam. The candidate who is subject to exam suspension shall submit answer script, question paper, and scratch papers to invigilators and leave the exam room immediately after the exam suspension decision is issued and only permitted to leave the exam area after 2/3 (two-thirds) of the exam period has passed;
d/ Deduction of exam scores: A candidate subject to reprimand in the exam session for a skill shall have the score of such skill test deducted by 25%; a candidate subject to warning in the exam session for a skill shall have the score of such skill test deducted by 50%, answer scripts that are intentionally marked by candidates, if detected during the marking process, will have their overall scores deducted by 50%;
dd/ Score 0 (zero) shall be given in one of the following cases: answer scripts are copied from unauthorized materials brought into exam rooms; answer scripts contain the handwriting of two or more persons; answers are written on scratch papers or papers other than the prescribed answer sheets;
e/ Cancellation of exams results shall be applied to candidates who are subject to exam suspension; write or draw irrelevant contents on their answer scripts; let others take the exam on their behalves or take the exam on others’ behalves in any form; modify or add or cut details of their answer scripts after submission; submit others’ answer scripts;
g/ Candidates shall be banned from taking Vietnamese language proficiency tests nationwide in the next 2 years if committing one of the following violations: letting others take the exam on their behalves or taking the exams on others’ behalves in any form; committing acts of disrupting or sabotaging the exam series; or assaulting exam organizers or other candidates.
3. Those committing other violations shall, depending on the nature and severity of their violations, be handled according to current regulations.
4. Surveillance camera footages constitute one of the official grounds for consideration and handling of violations of exam regulations.
ORGANIZATION OF IMPLEMENTATION
Article 30. The Education Quality Management Agency
1. To assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with functional agencies of the Ministry of Education and Training in, guiding, inspecting and certifying the conditions on assurance of quality of organizing Vietnamese language proficiency tests of units registering for organizing exams and issuing Vietnamese language certificates according the Vietnamese Language Competency Framework for Foreigners under this Regulation; to post the list of units eligible for organization of exams and issuance of Vietnamese language certificates according to the Vietnamese Language Competency Framework for Foreigners on the website of the Ministry of Education of Training; to inspect exam organization and issuance of Vietnamese language certificates by exam organizing units.
2. To provide professional instructions for exam organizing units to properly implement with this Regulation.
Article 31. Exam organizing units
1. To ensure and maintain the conditions on organization of the Vietnamese language proficiency tests specified in Chapter II of this Regulation.
2. To organize exams, assess and issue Vietnamese language certificates according to the Vietnamese Language Competency Framework for Foreigners under this Regulation; post information on exam series on their websites as specified at Point e, Clause 2, Article 6 of this Regulation.
3. To ensure compliance with regulations promulgated by competent state agencies regarding revenues from and expenditures for Vietnamese language proficiency assessment activities.
4. To implement reporting regime specified in Article 25 of this Regulation.-
For the Minister of Education and Training
NGUYEN HUU DO
 Công Báo Nos 861-862 (23/10/2021)