English ESOL Qualifications IESOL Written Exams
IESOL Written Exams

The IESOL Written Exams are comprised of the following units:

Listening (comprehension of oral speech)
Reading (comprehension of written texts)
Writing (production of written texts)

Main features

Realistic exam
The exam is based on authentic communication situations and not on academic texts so that it can meet the candidates’ practical linguistic needs. Grammar is not examined as a separate unit, but rather as an integral part of the Listening, Reading and Writing units, according to Common European Framework specifications.

Unified exam
The format of the written exam is simple and consists of a unified test for all three parts (Listening, Reading, Writing), allowing candidates to budget their time as they see fit. Grammar is not examined in a separate unit, but rather as an integral part of the Listening, Reading and Writing units, according to Common European Framework specifications.

User-friendly exam
The exam is user-friendly due to its simple format.

Selection of examination dates
Candidates can schedule their exams with flexibility since examinations are held all year round.

Short duration of exam
The duration of the exam is short because it is designed in such a way as to focus on crucial knowledge and skills without unduly tiring the candidate.

Use of mono-lingual dictionary
Candidates are permitted to use a mono-lingual dictionary during the exam.

IESOL – Exam format

CEF Level

City & Guilds Level

Duration

Units

A1

Preliminary

2 hours

Listening, Reading, Writing

A2

Access

2 hours

B1

Achiever

2 ½ hours

B2

Communicator

2 ½ hours

C1

Expert

3 hours

C2

Mastery

3 hours


IESOL - Content

The number and type of exercises/essays depends on the level of the exam.

Listening: 20-30 questions (multiple choice/fill in the gaps)

Reading: 20-30 questions (multiple choice / complete a table / identify missing words, phrases or sentences / true-false / identify which texts are written for different purposes or  contains specific information / complete gapped answers)

Writing: 2 essays, 200-300 words (write simple sentences / complete a form /rewrite a text / write a formal letter, instructions, report, article / respond formally to a text, discursive topics / write a long continuous  text on a given topic)

IESOL – Assessment

Grade Tables for all levels as of October 2010 (IESOL Exams) 

A1

Listening

Reading

Grade

Total Marks = 25

Total Marks = 20

FCP

18 - 25  (72%)

16 - 20  (80%)

Pass

13 - 17  (52%)

11 - 15  (55%)

NF

12         (48%)

10        (50%)

Fail

0 - 11 (up to 44%)

0 - 9    (up to 45%)

A2

Listening

Reading

Grade

Total Marks = 25

Total Marks = 20

FCP

19 - 25  (76%)

14 - 20  (70%)

Pass

13 - 18  (52%)

10 - 13  (50%)

NF

12          (48%)

9            (45%)

Fail

0 - 11  (up to 44%)

0 - 8  (up to 40%)

B1

Listening

Reading

Grade

Total Marks = 24

Total Marks = 30

FCP

19 - 24  (79%)

24 - 30  (80%)

Pass

12 - 18  (50%)

15 - 23  (50%)

NF

10 - 11  (42%)

13 - 14  (43%)

Fail

0 - 9  (up to 40%)

0 - 12  (up to 40%)

B2

Listening

Reading

Grade

Total Marks = 30

Total Marks = 30

FCP

23 - 30  (77%)

23 - 30  (77%)

Pass

15 - 22  (50%)

15 - 22  (50%)

NF

13 - 14  (43%)

13 - 14  (43%)

Fail

0 - 12  (up to 40%)

0 - 12  (up to 40%)

C1

Listening

Reading

Grade

Total Marks = 30

Total Marks = 30

FCP

23 - 30  (77%)

23 - 30  (77%)

Pass

15 - 22  (50%)

15 - 22  (50%)

NF

13 - 14  (43%)

13 - 14  (43%)

Fail

0 - 12  (up to 40%)

0 - 12  (up to 40%)

C2

Listening

Reading

Grade

Total Marks = 30

Total Marks = 30

FCP

23 - 30  (77%)

23 - 30 (77%)

Pass

15 - 22  (50%)

15 - 22 (50%)

NF

13 - 14  (43%)

13 - 14  (43%)

Fail

0 - 12  (up to 40%)

0 - 12  (up to 40%)


At the same time, according to our new assessment procedures, the percentage rates for each part of the written exam (listening, reading, writing) are averaged out. According to the new criteria, if a candidate has a narrow fail in one part of the exam and a pass in the other two, the candidate passes. Those candidates who have a fail in one part of the exam or, alternatively, a narrow fail or fail in more than one part of the exam do not pass.

Free resit 

In case a candidate does not pass one of the two exams (written or oral), the City & Guilds Organisation offers immediately and free of charge the chance to resit the exam. The offer is valid for a candidate who participated in both tests at the same level during the same examination period and gives him/her the right to a free resit of the examination that he/she did not pass. The offer continues and is valid for 2013. The voucher that entitles candidates to a free resit can be used for up to one year after the release of the results.