EnglishCentral Improves Test Scores at Japanese University

EnglishCentral is used by many students seeking to improve their scores on standardized English language tests such as the TOEIC, TOEFL, OPIc, IELTS and many more.

Recently EnglishCentral undertook a study with university age students in Japan to determine just how effective EnglishCentral is in improving test scores using EnglishCentral over a 10 week period.

The results below demonstrate that if students follow the recommenced plan each week, they can improve their overall TOEFL scores 50 points in just 10 weeks.

Research Design & Methodology

  1. Students were given a TOEFL pretest to determine their TOEFL score.
  1.  Students were ask to complete 20 video lessons a week and use EnglishCentral GoLive! (1:1 live tutoring) 2 times per week (“EnglishCentral’s Premium Plan“)
  1. Students who completed the program were given a TOEFL post test to determine their TOEFL score.  This was compared with their pretest and the amount of improvement determined.


In the first semester, 26 students followed the Premium Plan over a 10 week period.  The results were as follows:

  • 11 students achieved gains of 50 points or greater, the highest being 80 points.
  • The average gain for all 26 students was 36.4 points.


The results from the 1st September  compared very favorably with the gain for last year’s 1st year University students, which was 48 points for the entire year.

Stay tuned for an update to this blog at the end of the year to compare full year results.

EnglishCentral thanks Dr. Tom Robb, fellow teachers, staff and the students of Kyoto Sangyo University for their help and participation in this study.


Thomas Robb, Ph.D. , U. of Hawaii (Linguistics), teaches at Kyoto Sangyo University where he is member of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and chair of their English Department. He is a long-time user of computer technologies and the Internet, and has created a number of websites for various student projects, interactive learning and professional exchange. He is currently chief developer of MReader module which administers quizzes on Graded Readers to students under controlled conditions. The site now has some 60,000 students in over 25 countries. He is Chair of the Extensive Reading Foundation and is a past president of both JALT and the PacCALL.

Kyoto Sangyo University is a medium-sized university in Kyoto, Japan with nine faculties with a heavy emphasis on science and technology. The Faculty of Foreign Studies offers majors in 10 foreign languages, the most of any private university in Japan.


  1. hi
    i was wondering why you chose this design for the study?
    how would you change it if you were to run it again?


    • This was chosen because it is essential really to do controls (pre and post testing). If we’d do things differently, we would lengthen the study period and see if the achievement by students was more significant.


      • hi
        as i understand it participants only used English Central materials? were there other treatments? for example watching just youtube videos?
        using one treatment does not mean that treatment affected any resultant changes you may measure?


      • Yes, that’s a problem with something as “pervasive” as language. Students didn’t use any other “treatment” but that doesn’t mean that in their daily life outside of class they didn’t see/experience English and have learning moments. Definitely not able to truly isolate without keeping students in solitary confinement for 10 weeks!!!


      • hi thanks for your response,
        maybe for another study a treatment such as just watching videos could be included as well as using EC materials, this would
        give more more confidence to your results


      • me again, do you have time spent on EC materials to use as a variable with TOEFL scores?



  1. […] EnglishCentral Improves Test Scores – Students who completed the challenge were given a TOEFL post test to determine their TOEFL score. This was compared with their pretest and the amount of improvement determined. * … […]


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