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NEWL/Prototype AP Russian

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Metaphor Academic Center offers a special course that prepares high school students for the NEWL (Prototype AP) Russian test, which is administered right here at our school. Successfully passing the exam may give a student a major advantage while applying to a range of US colleges.

Read now: NEWL/Prototype AP Russian vs. World Languages Exam

Why should I take this exam?

The NEWL (Prototype AP) Russian test is intended for Russian language secondary students who wish to engage in rigorous university-level study before high school graduation. The exam is designed to provide a set of measures of functional proficiency in Russian for use as a predictive assessment for continued language study beyond high school, and as a placement tool by American colleges and universities for entering freshmen with prior study of Russian.

The National Examinations in World Languages (NEWL) was endorsed by the College Board®. It means that a larger amount of higher education schools will recognize the results of the examination, providing examinees with a certain amount of credits in the target language and/or advanced placement in World Language proficiency. You can find more information about NEWL Exam testing and assessment policy on American Councils website.

Exam construct & Scoring details:

NEWL® is an online language assessment, NEWL exams measure functional language proficiency across four skills: reading and listening comprehension, speaking, and writing.

The Prototype AP Russian Examination targets language skills at levels of difficulty that are appropriate for American second language learners of Russian, beginning with Novice High through Intermediate High levels.

The exam takes place in the end of April. Students can also take a practice exam two or three months prior to the actual exam. The practice exam is identical to the actual one and includes four subtests, all of which are aimed at the direct assessment of functional proficiency within interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication, based on authentic speech samples.

Each of the exam sections contributes equally to the overall final grade.

Duration of the Exam:

  • Listening (45 minutes);
  • Reading (60 minutes);
  • Speaking (45 minutes);
  • Writing (45 minutes).

Taking into account a short break between the second and third portions, the exam lasts about 3.5 hours.

Reading Comprehension

The reading comprehension section consists of short, authentic texts followed by one to three multiple- choice questions in English. Text types are varied and include a formatted layout, such as announcements, schedules, and brochures, as well as paragraph-length. The topics range from personal information, basic needs, social conventions, and routine tasks, to formal announcements, pamphlets, etc., as well as more advanced topics with lengthier prose text. Topics are those that will be of interest to high school students taking and are in keeping with the Fairness and Equity guidelines as put forth by Educational Testing Services.

Listening Comprehension

The listening comprehension closely parallels that of the reading comprehension section. Authentic spoken stimulus passages may include oral texts, conversations, announcements, radio clips or reports. For listening comprehension, the test-taker plays various roles, depending on the audio stimulus. For example, the test-taker may function as an over-hearer of a conversation or monologue, or may function as the addressee, if the audio is addressed to the test taker. Topics range from personal information, basic needs, social conventions, and routine tasks to formal announcements and reports over the media, to more advanced topics with extended discourse, such as interviews, short lectures, and news items. Similar to reading, topics will be of interest to the high school test-taker and are in keeping with the Fairness and Equity guidelines as put forth by Educational Testing Service.

Practice Exam

The practice exam will take a little over one hour to administer. The practice exam is a chance for proctors and students to become familiarized with the exam interface and administration. In addition, it allows your school an opportunity to work with our technical support staff with regards to the technical side of the administration. The practice exam will include Reading and Listening Comprehension multiple-choice items, and one scenario from an Integrated Task (writing for about 35 minutes).

Students enrolled in an advanced Russian course are not required to take the practice exam. While students in pre-advanced Russian courses have the option to take the practice exam, please keep in mind that students at beginner levels of Russian may not necessarily benefit from the practice exam, as the exam content targets students with at least two years of Russian language study.

Qualifications for Prototype AP Russian Exam:

The exam content of NEWL targets individuals who have completed a minimum of two to three years (or the equivalent) of academic work in the target language and culture. While both traditional and heritage learners are encouraged to take NEWL exams, American Councils only allows students who are enrolled in 9th grade or above, OR who have turned 14 before September 1, 2020, to take the 2021 scheduled NEWL exams. The NEWL exam is intended only for secondary school students who wish to engage in a rigorous university-level study before high school graduation.

Registration: This year’s exam will be held online.

Even though the American Councils website announces later registration closing dates, Metaphor will have to close registration earlier. We have to know the exact amount of examinees for both Practice and Main Exams in order to prepare our computer lab and be capable to include an appropriate amount of examinees.

April 18 – NEWL Main Exam registration closes. If you would like your child to take 2021 NEWL (former Prototype AP® Russian Language Exam), please email us at Events@MetaphorSchool.org .

Exam Administration Dates:

  • Workstation Setup Dates (Setup Week)

    Practice Exam: January 27 – February 2, 2021 Main Exam: April 19 – 26, 2021

  • In order to further ensure a secure testing site and adequate review of the testing guidelines for each test-taker, American Councils now holds mandatory pre-testing orientation sessions, comprised of a review of the new testing manuals and Zoom monitoring policies. All students must participate in a brief online Zoom orientation session on one of the dates listed below. Links for those sessions, as well as for instructions on how to join, will be sent to students a week prior to the scheduled dates.

    Practice Exam Orientation: January 26 – 27, 2021 Main Exam Orientation: April 23, 2021

  • Practice Exam: February 01-05, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.

    Note: The practice exam is optional, for training and practice purposes. We recommend all the examinees to take the practice exam for better performance during the main exam. The practice exam includes three computer-based parts except Oral Practice. The location of the practice exam – Metaphor, classroom 16, Ground floor.

  • Main Exam: May 5, 6 & 7, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.

    It includes four computer-based parts. Please be aware that the 2021 NEWL/Prototype Russian Exam will be held online. This means that participants will need to prepare workstations at home, please see more information below.

Exam Fees for School Year 2020-2021 (adjustments of the fee can be made):

  • Practice Exam $29
  • Main Exam Fee $94

Sample score report:

  • Practice/Make-up results: February – March of current year;
  • Main/Late testing score reports: July – August of current year;

Examinees and Metaphor (testing center) will be notified via email once the score reports are ready. The examinees will need to confirm their names, schools, and email addresses before being able to access the score reports.

The main exam fee includes the cost of one report sent to a college or university of the examinee’s choice. Additional requests will be charged an additional processing fee. All regular score report requests will take 5-7 business days to process and mail out to the school(s). Learn more>

Scoring the Prototype AP Russian Exam

Students’ scores on the writing and speaking sections are combined with the results of the computer-scored multiple-choice questions. The multiple-choice scores are converted to proficiency scores using cut-scores, which are set during a standard setting meeting. The scores on each section are combined and their appropriate weighted contribution to the final composite score is factored in. The composite scores for the Prototype AP Russian Language and Culture Exam are converted to the 5-point AP scale:

NEWL (5- point) Grade Suggested Semester Placement
5 5th (first semester of third-year)
4 4th (second semester second-year)
3 3rd (first semester of second-year)
2 2nd (second semester of first-year)
1 1st (first semester of first-year)

Where can I take the exam?

The NEWL/Prototype AP Russian exam can be taken here at our Center, which is authorized and approved as an official test center.

Please be aware that the 2021 NEWL/Prototype Russian AP Exam will be held online. This means that participants will need to prepare workstations at home, please see more information below.

What do I need to bring to the exam?

Metaphor provides the candidates with everything necessary to take the exam. The students are not allowed to bring or use any dictionaries, personal laptops, cell phones or other electronic devices.

How can I prepare for the exam?

Metaphor Academic Center offers a special course that prepares high school students for the NEWL/Prototype AP Russian exam, which is administered right here at our school. Successfully passing the exam may give a student a major advantage while applying to a range of US colleges. Read more>>

Please find sample questions for the listening and reading portions of the exam here>>

For more information please contact us at Learn@MetaphorSchool.org