Just one question has been removed from the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam for disadvantaging English as a second language (ESL) exam candidates.
Answering a question on notice to the Senate Economics Committee, FASEA chief executive, Stephen Glenfield, confirmed the removal after previously being unaware if one had.
“Since the financial adviser exams commenced in June 2019, there have been approximately 900 questions posed across 12 exams,” Glenfield said.
“To date one question has been removed during the marking process as it was assessed to disadvantage English as a second language candidates.”
Glenfield did not specify the topic of the question that had been removed.
Australian Council for Education Research (ACER), who conducted the exam, benchmarked each question and analysed the responses based on different groups to see if any group was being disadvantaged.
“Industry and domain experts are used to develop and review questions before they are included in an exam,” Glenfield said.
“Once each exam is undertaken, psychometric analysis is undertaken for each question and reviewed with the expert group.
“As part of the marking process, ACER, the exam provider, benchmarks each question and looks at who made the response to see whether there was any disadvantage to a particular group. One of the groups assessed is candidates with English as a second language.
“If a question proved to be very problematic for that group, it is removed from the marking so that they are not disadvantaged.”