Trinity Graded Exams in Spoken English

The Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) is useful to show evidence of your speaking and listening skills. The GESE is different to Cambridge ESOL and IELTS exams because there is no reading or writing paper. Instead, each candidate has a short speaking test with a registered examiner. The results are available on the day of the exam and the certificates are sent a few weeks after. The GESE at grade 2 is a UKBA-approved exam for spouse/settlement visa applicants.

Length: Flexible 

Start date: Any Monday

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world”. ‒ Ludwig Wittgenstein

The Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) test candidates` ability in listening and speaking. Trinity College London’s Graded Examinations in Spoken English are for learners whose native language is not English. Candidates must be aged five years or above at the time of the examination. There is no upper age limit. The examinations only last several minutes and candidates can usually expect provisional results on the same day. With 12 grades available, there is a grade to suit every candidate. The number of tasks depends on the level at which students enter the examination. Learners can choose to take the spoken examinations on their own or at key points in their learning program

Depending on the grade a candidate will be tested in several short conversations on various topics. For example:

Grade 2 (equivalent to CEFR A1 – accepted by the UKBA for UK Spouse/Partner visa purposes.)

Exam: 6 minute conversation with examiner. Candidates will be expected to:

♦ Understand short, simple questions, requests and statements

♦ Respond with appropriate actions and positive and negative short form answers

♦ Contribute to the conversation using memorised phrases and short statement

♦ Use a basic range of words and simple phrases related to personal details and situations

♦ Ask for very basic personal information, e.g. about possession Grade 7 (equivalent to CEFR B2 / First Certificate English / IELTS 5.5)

Exam: The examination consists of three assessed phases:

Candidate-led discussion of a topic prepared by the candidate (up to 5 minutes) Interactive task (up to 4 minutes)

Conversation on two subject areas selected by the examiner (up to 5 minutes).

Candidates will be expected to

♦ understand complex and extended speech used in the discussion of reasonably familiar subjects

♦ communicate with some spontaneity and engage in extended conversation by giving clear

descriptions and expressing and explaining views on most general subjects

♦ initiate, maintain and end the discourse with effective turn-taking

♦demonstrate a sufficient range of language to produce stretches of discourse, using some

complex sentence forms and without much searching for words, while correcting most of his or her mistakes.

Trinity ESOL qualifications are accredited by the UK Qualifications and Curriculum AuthorityQCA, and its respective partners in Wales and Northern Ireland. They are listed in the UK`s UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Services) guide to qualifications acceptable as evidence of English language competency.

UCAS considers an English language competency equivalent to NQF Levels 1 or 2 as appropriate for entry to UK Higher Education. The

UCAS guides list the following Trinity ESOL qualifications acceptable as evidence of proficiency in English.

QCA CEFR Trinity Cambridge IELTS


Entry 1 A1 Grades 2 – –

Entry 2 A2 Grades 3&4 KET 3.0

Entry 3 B1 Grades 5&6 PET 4.0

Level 1 B2 Grades 7,8&9 FCE 5.5

Level 2 C1 Grades 10&11 CAE 6.5

Level 3 C2 Grades 12 CPE 7.5

Grades 4, 6, 8, and 11 of the spoken exams correspond to the oral components of the ISE0, ISE I, ISE II, ISE III respectively.

Class contact Classes are 3 hours daily, total 15 hours per week

Monday – Friday

Morning 09.00 – 12.15 / Lunchtime 12.00 – 15.15 / Afternoon 15.00 – 18.15 (This includes a fifteen-minute break.)