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 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 English language exam. The skills examined are Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking, all task-based and based on real-life scenarios.

Levels available:

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

Passing Mark: 16/31

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

Before each part, candidates have 2 minutes to read the questions and another 2 minutes at the end to check and transfer their answers on the Answer Sheet.

The topics are based on everyday situations / scenarios.

The total marks awarded for the Listening part are 31.

  • Part 1: Consists of 10 sentences / questions where candidates are asked to choose the correct response. Questions may examine grammar and vocabulary.
  • Part 2: Consists of 2 conversations with 5 questions each.
  • Part 3: Consists of 2 broadcasts for B1 & B2, and 1 debate & 1 discussion for C1 & C2, with 6 and 5 questions respectively.

Passing Mark: 16/31

The Reading unit consists of 4 texts with 31 multiple choice questions (a, b, c).

Candidates are asked to answer clear reading comprehension questions and questions related to error detection (e.g., spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax), synonyms, opposites or fill in a blank.

The total marks awarded for the Reading part are 31.

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

Passing Mark: 12/24

The Writing unit consists of 2 parts, where for each part the candidates must write one composition.

For each composition, the candidates are given 3 - 4 optional development points.

The total marks awarded for the Writing part are 24 and are marked according to the Writing Mark Scheme..

  • Part 1: Candidates are invited to write a formal composition and can choose between two topics. The type of composition that may be requested is:

    • Letter or email
    • Article
    • Report
    • Description
    • Argumentation

  • Part 2: Candidates are invited to write a composition in an informal format. .

This composition is mandatory and is always either a letter or an email. The range of words for each composition, depending on the level being examined, is defined as follows:

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

Passing Mark: 17/33

The Speaking unit consists of 3 parts where one interlocutor is assigned for each candidate, and the topics are drawn from everyday situations.

The oral examiner, when necessary, reformulates the question and gives examples to the candidate.

The total marks awarded for the Speaking part are 33 and are marked according to the Speaking Mark Scheme.

  • Part 1: Candidates are required to answer 5 personal questions, for two of which they have to list 3 options (e.g., three favourite holiday destinations).
  • Part 2: Candidates are required to analyse how they would handle 2 given hypothetical situations. Each situation is handed to the candidate in writing.
  • Part 3: Candidates must develop a dialogue with the interlocutor, based on one specific scenario, undertaking specific roles. One scenario is discussed per learner, which is also provided in writing. 2 minutes are given to prepare the conversation and make notes.

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

LEVEL Part 1 Part 2 Part 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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