Formerly known as the Spoken English Tests (SET), Versant  tests are the only completely automated tests of spoken and written languages. Using the patented Ordinate  speech processing technology and Knowledge Analysis Technologies  text engine, Versant tests can be taken on a telephone or a computer and scores are available online within minutes.

Ordinate, creator of the Versant test, is now a part of Pearson

Ordinate Corporation, creator of the Versant tests, has been combined with Pearson's Knowledge Technologies group. In 1996, two Stanford University professors created Ordinate to develop and patent a spoken language testing system using speech processing technology and the advanced science of linguistics. The Versant tests are the first to leverage a completely automated method for testing spoken language. Ordinate Corporation was acquired by Pearson in January, 2008.

The Versant tests are the result of years of research in speech recognition, statistical modeling, linguistics, and testing theory. Since 1996, over 150 million telephone and computer-delivered test questions have been delivered to, responded to, and automatically scored for individuals from over 100 countries around the world. The patented speech testing technologies are applied to its Versant language tests and customized tests. Sample projects include:

   - the assessment of spoken Spanish for the US Department of Homeland Security
   - a test of aviation English, co-developed with the Federal Aviation Administration, to certify that pilots and air traffic controllers meet the language requirements set forth by International Civil Aeronautics Organization (ICAO)
   - a test of Dutch language and culture for the Justice Ministry's Immigration and Naturalisation Service in the Netherlands
    - the assessment grading technology for children's oral reading fluency to support the US No Child Left Behind and Reading First initiatives

Pearson is committed to the best practices in the development, use, and administration of language tests. Each member of the test development team strives to achieve the highest standards in test publishing and test practice. As applicable, Pearson follows the guidelines propounded in the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, and the Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Measurement.

The Knowledge Technologies group is part of the Pearson Education business of Pearson (NYSE: PSO - News; LSE: PSON - News), the international media company, whose businesses also include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. Ordinate is a registered trademark and Versant is a trademark of Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliate(s).

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