PACE was Universidade da Coruña's Spanish language test for foreigners between 2004 and 2007. The test assessed students' competence in Spanish for general purposes, including professional and academic contexts. The test took about two and a half hours and was divided into three parts: 1) Listening. This part consisted of 50 questions based on several short recordings. 2) Grammar. This part contained 40 questions on applied Spanish grammar, including verbs, prepositions, transformations, and so on. 3) Reading. This part consisted of 60 questions based on several short texts and focused on reading comprehension and vocabulary.
What were the advantages of PACE? Unlike other Spanish tests, PACE exam results were not on a pass/fail basis. Every exam-taker got a score based on his/her performance in the exam. Different universites or firms might require different minimum scores in the PACE exam for the admission of students or workers whose mother tongue is not Spanish. Also, PACE results were more reliable than those of other tests. The key was the way we selected each exam's questions. We thought question selection was too important to be left to humans, who could be influenced by many circumstances at the time they prepared the tests, so we picked the questions at random from a very large question bank. This random selection ensured that exams would cover the wide array of possible questions and that the difficulty of the exams would be constant along time, which made PACE results comparable from one year to another. You could take the PACE test at Universidade da Coruña or at any of its partner institutions abroad.