“Our recent collaboration with LT123 has been both stimulating and rewarding.
Their expertise in testing is second to none, and the knowledge and professionalism they bring to a project makes working with them an absolute pleasure.”

Rachel Finnie
Product Implementation and Training
McGraw Hill International

Our Story

Russell Whitehead established LT123 in 2011 to provide high quality assessment solutions for the English language learning sector.

At the time, there was growing demand in the sector for more bespoke solutions than was being met by the established assessment boards with off-the-shelf tests. My aim was to fill that gap by providing high-quality services to clients and, in doing so, have a positive impact on learning and teaching.”

Russell Whitehead
Managing Director

Russell Whitehead MA (Oxon), MA (Lond), PGCE. Founded LT123 in 2011

Russell has had a long and successful career in the ELT sector as a teacher, teacher trainer, author, and assessment specialist. Since founding LT123, he has used his wide range of contacts in the industry to build a team of highly skilled test writers and materials developers who are passionate about supporting learners.

Today, LT123 has a reputation for excellence in assessment solutions and has worked with leading publishers and awarding bodies. It also provides training in test writing and editing.

How we work

We provide expertise in assessment design and literacy, test validation, digital packaging, on-screen delivery and assessment training.

To ensure projects are always delivered on time and to the highest standards, our skilled project managers coordinate closely with clients and the assessment team.

Case Studies


National Geographic Learning

London School Online

Cambridge University Press

“We have worked with LT123 on a number of projects in the past, including books of practice tests for a range of Cambridge exams, and once again, it was a pleasure to work with LT123 on this project. We had one point of contact throughout, and our queries were dealt with promptly, calmly, and efficiently. Their expertise in the field of assessment has enabled us to deliver rigorous assessment material which students, teachers and parents can trust.”

Sue Ashcroft
Publisher, Richmond

Client needs

Interactive tests for a new online K-12 learner platform.

How we delivered

Working from Richmond’s initial product requirements, critical success factors, and user stories, we produced a complete proposal for market approval. We also gave the client options throughout the process according to schedule, budget, and scope.

LT123 managed all aspects of the test construction and delivery, including all audio and artwork, digital-content authoring, and testing of interactive learning objects. Our team of highly experienced item writers produced all CEFR-aligned content, which underwent strict quality control assessments before being trialled in key markets during the pilot study.

We then worked with the response data throughout the subsequent validation stage and used Item Response Theory to calculate item difficulty and candidate ability. After further refinement of the content, we recommended cut scores in a comprehensive market-facing validation report.

“During the development and validation of our online placement test, involving students and teachers from around the world, National Geographic Learning worked closely with LT123, a global leader in assessment.”

Erik Gundersen
National Geographic Learning

Client needs

A custom-designed placement test for a worldwide audience of adult English learners reporting at three sub-bands per CEFR band (A1-B2).

How we delivered

LT123 researched and designed a semi-adaptive (multi-stage) online test and developed a full set of performance descriptors aligned with CEFR. We then developed items based on these descriptors. Therefore, the test was benchmarked as part of the design and development stage instead of retrospectively.

We produced a full item bank of 900 items and managed the asset production (visuals and audio recordings) within a tight timeframe: April – November.

After completing this stage, all items were rated by assessment experts (level panel) before constructing multiple versions of the test for pretesting using around 10,000 candidates.

Our team then analysed the pretesting data to revise test versions, which were pretested again with 3000 candidates. Using this data, we calculated the routing through the test and set the reporting scores. Upon completion, we submitted a full validation report.

We then developed additional speaking tasks for a non-assessed section of the test and carried out validation in order to review the reporting. To conclude the project, our team supplied supporting information for the test users, including a ‘showcase’ test for potential users to try out alongside:

  • FAQs
  • A ‘white paper’ (supporting documentation for potential users)
  • Proctoring guidelines
  • Options for remote testing
  • An annotated score report and guidelines
  • A detailed speaking task guide

“LT123 offers unparalleled levels of expertise. They work quickly and effectively, delivering results on time and to budget. Embracing our vision, they were as open on what couldn’t be done as they were clear on what could be achieved. We now have a test that does exactly what the user needs it to do while increasing visitor numbers to our test page and website in general.”

Andy Johnson
Director, London School Online

Client needs

Replace a discouraging online level test that required lower level students to answer advanced questions with an assessment that must:

  • Be adaptive
  • Have a skills-based approach
  • Appeal to both general and business English users
  • Have a commentated key

How we delivered

After identifying critical issues with the previous test, LT123 designed various proposals with attached costings to help the client decide the right path. We quickly transformed our client’s vision into a working product by using our expertise in creating quick yet effective online assessments.

The custom-made test is now in high demand, both externally and internally, as it enables accurate placements. After delivering the project, the client informed us that because the test is far more enjoyable and effective, learners are no longer inhibited by a lack of information surrounding their options.

“LT123’s adaptability and practical realism – maintaining the all-important balance between ambitious timeframes and not over-promising – is one of the reasons that, at the end of a demanding three-year programme, the client was satisfied, and Cambridge University Press continues to expand its work within the region.”

Lewis Birchon
Head of Publishing and Research Education Reform
Cambridge University Press

Client needs

Well-constructed tests and high-quality test items in a demanding timeframe to help them with a strategically important ministry project.

How we delivered

Our client had been contracted to provide English language teaching and learning materials, teacher training, and test items for state schools nationwide between Grades 1 and 12.

To ensure our client delivered on time, our experts provided a full service. We designed test specifications, produced reliable test items, resolved client-facing issues, and trained the ministry’s new assessment team.

Using our expertise and experience, we presented various options to the ministry. Incorporating feedback, we customised our services to ensure we fulfilled the ministry’s objectives on time and within budget.

We can help

Talk to us today to discover how we can help with your assessment needs.