ESOL International qualifications are designed for learners who are not native speakers of English and who wish to achieve a high quality, internationally recognised qualification in English, at the highest level (Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) Level 3/ Common European Framework (CEF) C2). The qualifications are suitable for learners who are preparing for entry to higher education or professional employment in the UK or elsewhere.

The NOCN Computer Based Exams – CBE - ESOL International qualifications offer a comprehensive exam of English skills in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The examinations are task based and are linked to real life scenarios.

There are examinations in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking at six levels.

CEFR LevelListening - Reading - Writing DurationSpeaking Duration
A1 Beginner1 h & 30 min6 mins
A2 Improver1 h & 30 min7 mins
B1 Intermediate2 h & 35 min10 mins
B2 Intermediate User2 h & 35 min10 mins
C1 Advanced3 h & 10 min13.5 mins
C2 Proficient3 h & 10 min13.5 mins

NOCN ESOL Examinations - Detailed Description


LISTENING
Passing Mark: 16/31

The Listening part consists of 31 multiple choice questions (a, b or c) and is divided into 3 tasks. Each task is heard twice.

Before each audio part, candidates have 2 minutes to read the questions.

The total marks awarding for the Listening part are 31.

  • Task 1: Consists of 10 sentences/questions where candidates are asked to choose the correct response. Questions may examine grammar and vocabulary.
  • Task 2: Consists of two dialogues with 5 questions each. Candidates are asked to answer listening comprehension questions.
  • Task 3: Consists of two broadcasts, with 6 questions the first and 5 questions the second one. Candidates are asked to answer listening comprehension questions.



READING
Passing Mark: 16/31

The Reading part consists of 31 multiple choice questions (a, b or c) and is divided into 4 tasks, where each task corresponds to a text. The total marks awarded for the Reading part are 31.


Candidates, in all tasks of the Reading part, are asked to answer both questions of reading comprehension and questions of English language use.

  • Find spelling/grammar/syntax mistake.
  • Find a synonym.
  • Fill in the gap.



WRITING
Passing Mark: 12/24

The Writing part consists of 2 tasks where for each task the candidates have to produce a writing. For each writing the candidates are given 3-4 optional points of development. The total marks awarded for the Writing part are 24 and are marked according to the Writing Mark Scheme.

  • Task 1: Candidates are asked to produce a Formal writing and can choose between two topics. The type of writing they may be asked to produce is:

    • Letter
    • Article
    • Report
    • Description
    • Argumentative

  • Task 2: Candidates are asked to produce an Informal writing. The topic of the writing is mandatory and can be a letter or an e-mail.

The range of words for each task, depending on the level examined, is:

LEVEL Task 1 Task 2
B1 75-100 100-125
B2 100-150 150-200
C1 150-200 250-300
C2 200-250 250-300



SPEAKING
Passing Mark: 17/33

The Speaking part consists of 3 tasks where one interlocutor is assigned for each candidate. The total marks awarded for the Speaking part are 33 and are marked according to the Speaking Mark Scheme.

  • Task 1: Candidates have to answer 5 personal questions.
  • Task 2: Candidates have to describe how they would deal with two hypothetical situations. The situations and the points that must be covered are given to the candidates in writing.
  • Task 3: Candidates have to develop a dialogue with the interlocutor based on a specific scenario where the interlocutor assigns the roles. The scenario is given to the candidates in writing. Candidates have time to prepare the conversation and they may make notes.

The examination time and the marks awarded for each task, depending on the level examined, are:

LEVEL Task 1 Task 2 Task 3
Duration Marks Duration Marks Duration Marks
B1 - B2 1,5' 9 3,5' 12 5' 12
C1 - C2 3,5' 9 4' 12 6' 12

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