Listening comprehension tests in Germany and Austria

Research report and critical review


  • Sebastian Weirich
  • Antonia Bachinger
  • Matthias Trendtel
  • Michael Krelle



competency models, German language assessment, IRT models, large-scale assessment, listening comprehension, oracy


This article focuses on listening comprehension in large-scale assessments in Austria and Germany. L1 listening comprehension tests for elementary school students are part of the national educational as-sessment in both countries. The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the similarities and differences of these listening comprehension tests in Austria and Germany. Thus, we describe the educational poli-cies and the underlying construct for the assessments. We will show that although both assessments are based on the same theoretical frameworks, test developers and policy makers made some different decisions for example about test procedures, statistical models and performance level descriptions (PLDs). Moreover, we illustrate that the choice of an appropriate statistical model is driven by empirical as well as didactical needs, which are difficult to reconcile with each other. These insights are illustrated by exemplary tasks and empirical examples. We use data from large-scale assessments (LSAs) from both countries, the BIST-Ü pilot study conducted by the BIFIE in Austria (N=2,798) and the VERA-study con-ducted by the IQB in Germany (N=3,107). We then draw conclusions primarily focusing on improving future tests and possible joint studies.




How to Cite

Weirich, S., Bachinger, A., Trendtel, M., & Krelle, M. (2019). Listening comprehension tests in Germany and Austria: Research report and critical review. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 19(3), 1–26.