Sections of Pimsleur Language Aptitude Battery

The final version of the PLAB contains six sections, each one testing different aspects of the four predictive factors (verbal ability, auditory ability, motivation and grade point average).

Part 1 - Grade Point Average
This section calculates the student’s grade point average in areas other than language learning

Part 2 - Interest
This section measures the student’s interest in learning a foreign language and is a measure of motivation

Part 3 - Vocabulary
This section tests word knowledge in English and is a measure of verbal ability

Part 4 - Language Analysis
This section tests the student’s ability to reason logically in terms of a foreign language and is another aspect of verbal ability

Part 5 - Sound Discrimination
This section tests the ability to learn new phonetic distinctions and to recognize them in different contexts and is a measure of auditory ability

Part 6 - Sound-Symbol Association
This section test the ability to associate sounds with written symbols and is another measure of auditory ability

Earlier versions of the PLAB also included a twenty question test measuring a student’s motivation for learning a foreign language and a section on rhyming, which was another measure of auditory ability. After field testing with the Ohio State University Research Foundation, Pimsleur and his associates found that these sections could be taken out of the test without affecting the predictive ability of the PLAB.