How we test you

TEEP: Test structure

The TEEP consists of assessments of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking in an academic context. It also includes an assessment of 'Language Knowledge' (grammar and vocabulary).

The TEEP has the following parts:


PART 1: Language Knowledge
  • 25 minutes
  • 50 questions in a multiple-choice format. 'Language Knowledge' tests mainly grammar, but also other areas such as vocabulary, syntax, word order and linking words.

PART 2: Focus Task (This part is not assessed.)
  • 10 minutes
  • This is a chance to see the essay title for the final part of the test in order to begin brainstorming and planning. The same topic links parts 3-5 of the test.

PART 3: Reading
  • 5 minutes (to read the questions) + 30 minutes
  • One passage of 850 words or more, written in academic style, in a separate Source Booklet.
  • A series of questions in the main Task Booklet that test both general and detailed understanding of the text.
  • Short answers are required for most questions.
  • Candidates are not marked down for spelling or grammar errors unless they seriously affect communication of the message.

PART 4: Listening
  • 5 minutes (to read the questions) + 10 or more minutes' lecture extract + 10 minutes to write up notes.
  • One recording on a single topic, in the style of a lecture extract, heard only once.
  • A series of questions in the main Task Booklet that test both general and detailed understanding of the text.
  • Short answers are required for most questions.
  • Candidates are not marked down for spelling or grammar errors unless they seriously affect communication of the message.

PART 5: Writing
  • 1 hour
  • An essay on the title given in part 2, and related to parts 3 and 4.
  • Candidates are expected to use their own ideas as well as ideas retrieved from the reading and listening sections and write in formal, academic style.

The above sections of the TEEP last approximately 3 hours in total. There are no breaks. The Speaking test (PART 6) is given separately from the above parts, usually after a lunch break.


PART 6: Speaking
  • 25 minutes total
  • 2 candidates speak to each other and an examiner, while an assessor observes.
  • Both monologue and dialogue speaking are assessed.
  • Each candidate is given a general topic to think about plus a role for their talk. There are 5 minutes to prepare the talk.
  • Each candidate gives a 3-minute talk (monologues).
  • The candidates then discuss a specific situation, related to the topic (dialogue).
  • Apart from an ID check, there is no 'general' speaking e.g. about family or where the candidate is from.

General notes

  • The Speaking element is independent of the main test and is therefore based on different topics.
  • Dictionaries (paper or electronic) are not allowed.
  • Speaking tests are recorded for moderation.
  • At all stages, the TEEP test is kept secure.
  • Strict and detailed invigilation instructions are always followed, which are designed to not only keep the test secure but also to alleviate examination stress.
  • While the Language Knowledge section is scan-marked by computer, other sections of TEEP are marked by trained and standardised markers. This process, and in particular the double-marking of Reading, Listening, Writing, ensures accuracy and fairness in grading.
  • Because each TEEP test contains a reading, listening and writing section all on the same given topic, candidates have time to concentrate on developing ideas about this topic throughout the test, and do not have to worry about dealing with various topics.

Below is a list of the kind of topics that are used in TEEP to assess levels in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking:

  • animal protection
  • business and economics
  • crime
  • demographics
  • education
  • employment
  • energy production
  • environment
  • equality
  • food issues
  • impacts of transport methods
  • international aid
  • languages and culture
  • multiculturalism
  • national priorities
  • sustainability
  • technology and society
  • tourism
  • urbanisation
  • world health

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