ELTE
DELP

 

Department of English Language  Pedagogy

School of English and American Studies - Eötvös Loránd University

1088 Budapest, Rákóczi út 5. tel.: (36-1) 485 52 00 extension: 4407, email: delp@seas3.elte.hu

 

 

Home

Staff directory

Staff details

Who to turn to?

BA in English

English Teacher Training

MA in English

MA in ELP for int'l  students

PhD in  Language   Pedagogy

Anti-discrimination Statement

Notice board

Australian Studies

Course Materials

Events

Staff calendar

E-Learning

Research & Projects

APA & MLA guidelines

Good to know

Links

Forms

Books by our staff

DELP history

Support

Sitemap

Magyarul  

 

 

 

 Information on the BA Language Exam

 

 

This exam is designed to test candidates’ command of English at B2+ level, as defined in the Council of Europe’s “Common European Framework of Reference” standards. The exam consists of two parts: a written Use of English paper, and an Oral part in which candidates are tested in groups of three. The Use of English paper focuses mainly on grammatical, lexical and discoursal accuracy, and contains 75 questions based on short continuous texts (several questions in each text) or single sentences (one or two questions in each sentence). The oral test requires candidates to speak fluently and accurately, first on their own and then in conversation with other candidates. Details of the content and procedures of each part are given below.

In terms of the ELTE Hallgatói Követelményrendszer, ANG-001/ANG-002 is an “A típusú nyelvi alapvizsga”. This means that the two parts are marked separately; in order to pass the whole exam, candidates need to reach the pass-mark in both parts, and the final grade is based on the aggregate of both marks. Passing the exam is an essential prerequisite for starting courses which belong to the second year of the BA programme. The exam can be taken only once in each exam period.

 

WARNING FOR ENGLISH MINOR STUDENTS:

Please note that it takes at least two weeks to process the Language Proficiency exam scores and enter grades in Neptun. If you put the exam off until your last semester your grade may appear in Neptun too late for you to obtain the abszolutórium and take the záróvizsga during that exam period. In this case (and also if you fail the exam) you will not be able to complete your studies until the end of the following exam period, at the earliest.

Therefore you are strongly advised to take the exam as early as possible; i.e. as soon as you have completed the prerequisite courses ANG-106 Language Practice (Nyelvgyakorlat) 2. and ANG11-108 Academic Skills (Tudományos íráskészség) 2.

 

On this page you can find the following information: 

Overview of the BA Language Exam structure

Detailed Specifications for the Use of English Test

Detailed Specifications for the Oral Test

Criteria used in the Oral Test

 

Overview of the BA Language Exam structure

 

·          The table below describes the tasks that are likely to appear in the BA Language 

       Proficiency Exam.

·          Requirements are based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEF).

·          The list of Use of English task types includes all the possible types: not all of them will

       be used in one particular exam.

 

Skills

Input

Possible task types

Discourse produced

At the B2+ level candidates minimally CAN*

structure

type

genre

 

Use of English

Mainly short passages (100-200 words) of continuous text. Some discrete-sentence items. Typically neutral/semi-formal style, e.g. newspaper articles.

1. Multiple-choice

continuous text cloze test .

2. Open continuous cloze test.

3. Error-spotting in continuous text (extra or wrong-form word)

4. Word formation (filling blanks in continuous text - base form given)

5. Sentence transformation (given key word)

6. Sentence transformation (given beginning)

7. Sentence insertion into continuous text

8. Word or phrase insertion into discrete gapped sentences (no cue).

- - -

- - -

- - -

1.        identify appropriate vocabulary, though some items also have grammatical constraints. Questions test collocation, fixed phrases, phrasal verbs, idioms and linkers.

2.        use knowledge of, for example, verb tenses and forms, modals, auxiliaries, quantifiers, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, relative pronouns and adverbials.

3.        identify and correct errors (spelling, syntax, discourse)

4.        use knowledge of the various ways in which words can be formed in English.

5.        produce alternative formulations of given propositions, using specific appropriate lexical grammar

6.        produce alternative formulations of given propositions, using specific appropriate structures

7.        recognise and apply discoursal/cohesive structures (linking, reference etc)

8.        use idioms, fixed phrases accurately and appropriately


Speaking

Written prompt (task) with framing questions for phase 1, examiner mediated task for phase 2.

If needed, rescue question addressed individually by the examiner

Group oral test with three candidates

(Chiefly) monologic phase 1, followed by dialogic phase 2.

Planned discourse in phase 1, followed by unplanned discourse in phase 2.

Phase 1: Presentation of experiences, ideas and opinion in the context of the interactants questions, comments, etc.

Phase 2: Discussion (conversation).

1.        give clear, systematically developed descriptions and presentations, with appropriate highlighting of significant points, and relevant supporting detail.

2.        use the language fluently, accurately and effectively on a wide range of general, academic, vocational or leisure topics, marking clearly the relationships between ideas.

3.        communicate spontaneously with good grammatical control without much sign of having to restrict what he/she wants to say, adopting a level of formality appropriate to the circumstances.

 

 

* Characteristic general/overall description of competence in the given skill based on the CEF scales.

 

 

back to top

 

 

 Specifications for BA Language Exam - Use of English Test

 

CEF domain: personal, public, educational (but not occupational)

Setting: social and educational settings

Content knowledge: wide range of knowledge areas (social, study-related, sometimes specialised, etc.)

Cognitive processing: knowledge transformation

Language of instructions: simple and to the point, not more difficult than level of test

Grammatical level: wide range of complex grammatical structures

Lexical level: wide range of advanced vocabulary

Discourse features. advanced use of discourse

Overall time: 90 minutes

 

General Description

This test is designed to assess candidates' practical command of English lexical, syntactic and discoursal structures. While the main focus is on structural accuracy as such, many items involve a semantic dimension, in the sense that correct answers depend on context. Candidates are expected to demonstrate their ability to recognise contextually accurate and appropriate language, to recognise and correct contextually inaccurate or inappropriate language, and to produce contextually accurate and appropriate language of their own. The test is targeted at a range of abilities from CEF B2 to CEF C1, with items at levels B2, B2+ and C1. In order to ensure sufficiently broad coverage, item-writers use a target-structure matrix largely based on the contents of Michael Vince's Advanced Language Practice, Macmillan 2003.

The maximum raw score is 100. This is higher than the number of items (75), since some constructed response items (types 6 and 7, below) require the production of short chunks of language and carry a possible score of 2. The candidate's Use of English raw score is halved, to give it the same weighting as his or her score on the Oral component of the exam.

Each test includes 5 or 6 subtests, each subtest consisting of one of the eight item-types listed in the table below. This means that not all the possible item-types in the list below will appear in any given test, but candidates can expect any of the item-types and should prepare for all of them.  

Example items are provided at the beginning of each subtest

 

Input texts

Item-types

Candidates are expected to:

Score

Short passages (100-200 words) of continuous descriptive, narrative or expository authentic text, with concrete and abstract content, culled mainly from internet and/or media sources. .

Typically neutral or semiformal style.

Extended vocabulary and complex sentences.

 

At least 10 words (which may include example items) before marked items; at least ten words between blanks. 

1. Multiple-choice continuous text cloze test. Modified deletion with three options: two correct, one wrong. Candidates must select and indicate the latter.

 

identify appropriate vocabulary, though some items also have grammatical constraints. Questions test collocation, fixed phrases, phrasal verbs, idioms and linkers.

Each item: 0 or 1 point

2. Open continuous cloze test; modified deletion.

use knowledge of, for example, verb tenses and forms, modals, auxiliaries, quantifiers, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, relative pronouns and adverbials.

Each item: 0 or 1 point

 

3. Error-spotting in continuous text (extra or wrong-form word)

 

identify and correct errors (spelling, syntax, discourse)

 

Each item: 0 or 1 point

4. Word formation (filling blanks in continuous text - base form given)

 

use knowledge of the various ways in which words can be formed in English.

 

Each item: 0 or 1 point

5. Sentence insertion into continuous text

 

recognise and apply discoursal/cohesive structures (linking, reference etc)

 

 

Each item: 0 or 1 point

Discrete sentences:

non-authentic (adapted or scripted).

Typically neutral/semi-formal style, but may include brief conversational turns.

6. Sentence transformation (given key word)

 

produce alternative formulations of given propositions, using specific appropriate lexical grammar

 

Each item: 0, 1 or 2 points

7. Sentence transformation (given beginning)

 

produce alternative formulations of given propositions, using specific appropriate structures

 

Each item: 0, 1 or 2 points

8. Word or phrase insertion into gapped sentences (no cue).

 

use idioms, fixed phrases

 

Each item: 0 or 1 point

 

 

back to top

 

 

 Specifications for the Oral Interactive Test

 

Test format: group exam with three students and two assessors

CEF domain: dominantly public and educational (but not occupational)

Setting: social and educational settings

Content: concrete as well as fairly extensive abstract content

Content knowledge: wide range of knowledge areas (social, study-related, sometimes specialised, etc.)

Cognitive processing: knowledge transformation

Language of instructions: simple and to the point, not more difficult than level of test

Grammatical level: wide range of complex grammatical structures

Expected lexical level: wide (extended) range of (advanced) vocabulary

Discourse features. advanced use of discourse markers (cohesion), descriptive, expository and argumentative.   

Overall time: 25 minutes

 

Name/

number of task/phase 

Task description

Task text and Procedure  (what the candidate has to do)

Task or task features

Skills/strategies tested

Approx. time

Scoring or rating method

Preparation

Preparation for

Phases 1 and 2

Candidates receive a scripted task from one of the assessors

Candidates read and think about what they will be saying.

No output (speaking) expected. In fact, candidates should not speak to each other or agree on various test-taking strategies (who should speak first, who is going to take a leading role, who should sit where).

5 minutes

Not rated

Phase 1

To test the skill of speaking in the context of a small group

(3 candidates)

Task text. A scripted task comprising a brief exposure of the task with questions that help the candidate get into (or frame) the task. These questions focus on a possible set of personal experiences that candidates can use as a starting point.

The candidates’ chairs form a semicircle, facing the assessors.

This phase is designed to elicit extended (long) turns: a planned kind of discourse.

It is misleading to label long turns as monologues because candidates should, where necessary and appropriate, ask the speaker helpful questions, invite the speaker to say more about the topic or an aspect of it and make helpful comments. This phase of the test is not meant to consist of completely discrete monologues. Indeed it is a sign of good interaction skills if the candidates appropriately assist each other in taking and maintaining the floor.

Students keep eye contact with each other, not the assessors.

7-9 minutes

Phases 1 and 2 are rated together.

Independent rating by two assessors, on the basis of 5 assessment points of view (criteria), each covering a six point scale with score points 0-5.

Phase 2

To test conversational skills in the context of a small group

(3 candidates)

Scripted task, to be found only in the assessors’ copy of the task sheet, which the candidates have not seen.

The task is typically an agreement getting or consensus seeking task, to ensure that communication does take place and to prevent it from “going flat”.

No thinking time provided.

Assessor mediates task, by using their own words or reading it out from the task sheet.

This phase is designed to elicit conversational language, with typically shorter turns, i.e. to elicit an unplanned kind of discourse. Candidates demonstrate their ability to respond to a task for which they do not plan in advance.

Round the group turns are expected to be broken by (interspersed with) conversational bias sequences that temporarily include only two of the speakers.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate an ability manage the conversation (to turn-take appropriately, step in and sensitively allow/ invite the third speaker to contribute)

5-8 minutes

 

Asking the rescue question

Optional phase, used only as a last resort if one or more of the candidates do not provide enough evidence for rating.

A scripted question labelled as “rescue question” in the task sheet.

One-to one (assessor to candidate) interaction.

In this phase candidate keeps exe-contact with the assessor.

Concluded as soon as assessors are satisfied

Typically

1 minute

2 assessors mark

To allow assessors to reflect on the performances and fill in the score sheets accurately. Assessors double check first names, Ids, scores entered, etc.

Candidates leave the room when interaction is over and assessors are satisfied that the speech sample is rateable.

Assessors use the criteria with descriptors in a tabled format to award scores.

Assessors negotiate only if the scores differ greatly (a limit is to be specified later).

Max. 5 minutes

 

Overall

 

 

 

Cca. 15 minutes net speaking time

Raw scores 0-50

 

 

 back to top 

  

 

BA Oral Proficiency Criteria

 

Important information:

·   The criteria below were developed by DELP on the basis of the Common European Framework Reference for Languages (CEF).

·   They are used to mark the oral component of test ANG 001.

·   The columns are the assessment points of view from which the markers evaluate students’ language proficiency in spoken production and interaction.

·   The horizontal rows, or bands indicate the level of skill, each of which is linked to a score point value, e.g. 0, 1 or 2 points.

·   These criteria are criterion-referenced. The bands were designed to include descriptions of language proficiency at particular CEF levels. For example, the 0 point score band indicates level B1+ or lower. The 1 score point band indicates a performance at CEF level B2, etc. In this way, the range of ability covered by the criteria is very wide, stretching from B1+ to C1.

·   The “+” levels are the upper halves of some levels in the CEF. B2+ thus indicates a candidate in the upper half of the B2 range and it is possible to know that this candidate is a “strong B2”.

·   The bands for score points 2 and 4 are left blank. These scores are awarded for performances that are better than those described in the band immediately below them, but not as good as the description in the band immediately above.

Now refer to the criteria below.

 

 

 

Fluency and production

Content

Range, flexibility and appropriacy

Accuracy

Interaction


 

 

 

0 point

 

(B1+

or

lower)

 

Able to keep going effectively without help. The candidate does not sustain conversation at length; hesitation and rephrasing noticeably impede the flow, and may even increase as the examination progresses.

 

The listener may grow uncomfortable with the manner and speed.

 

Intonation, stress and pausing is largely inappropriate to meaning.

 

 

Insufficient or off-task contributions to be rated.

Rehearsed contributions?

 

Fails to display a range of lexical and grammatical structures, using only simple structures and lexis, resulting in frequent repetition.

 

Able to express him/herself clearly mostly on topics pertinent to his/her everyday life.

 

Adapts to new topics, changes of direction and other speakers’ initiatives only with considerable effort. The candidate plays safe.

 

Limited grammatical control with systematic and even basic errors which often impede communication.

 

Repeatedly displays Hunglish with no signs of monitoring their speech.

 

Very basic strategies to help keep a conversation or discussion going or intervene on a familiar topic, using a suitable phrase to get the floor.

 

No evidence of the ability to initiate an interaction and takes turns generally only by invitation.

 

Prevents others from participating equably through dominance.

1 point

 

(B2)

 

A degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction, and sustained relationships with native speakers possible.

 

Fairly even tempo, but with noticeable hesitations in searching for patterns and expressions and unnecessarily long pauses

 

 

Slim contributions, but just enough to rate.

   

Limitations may include giving only ideas and opinions about topical issues, but with no support, and clear, detailed descriptions related largely to his/her field of interest.

 

 

Limited range of lexical and grammatical structures, chiefly for matters connected to his/her field and most general topics.

 

  

Clear evidence of avoidance strategies. Reluctant to enter unpredictable areas of discussion. Lacks confidence.

 

Adjusts to changes of direction, style and emphasis most normally found in conversation (with effort)

 

Insufficient grammatical control.

 

 

 

 

 

Corrects errors if he/she becomes conscious of them or if they have led to misunderstandings.

 

Candidate shows difficulty in initiating and taking turns, especially when it comes to new topics.

 

In contrast with one-to-one interactions, some effort is needed to keep up with and contribute to group discussions.

2 points


 

 

 

3 points

(B2+)

 

Converses spontaneously, with relative ease, with some hesitation even in longer stretches of speech.

 

Intonation, stress and pausing largely appropriate to meaning at the sense group, sentence and text level.

 

The content provided by the candidate is mostly appropriate to the interaction, and enough to rate.

 

Can develop a topic / point with supporting detail.

 

Displays a range of lexical and grammatical structures.

 

 

 

 

Mostly expresses him/herself clearly and confidently and adapts easily to the situation, with no obvious avoidance strategies.

 

Willing to enter unpredictable areas of discussion.

 

 

Good grammatical control with occasional slips or non-systematic errors that don’t impede communication.

 

 

Regularly monitors their speech.

 

Candidate has the ability to initiate and take turns and adapt to new topics/ directions in the group.

 

 

 

Keeps up with the pace and flow of the discussion without much effort.

4 points

5 points

(C1)

 

Occasional groping. Rephrasing and/or circumlocutions do not noticeably interrupt the smooth flow of speech.

 

 

The listeners are comfortable with the even manner and speed. When rephrasing and circumlocuting, the candidate appears to be searching for a better way of expressing their meaning.

 

Intonation, stress and pauses is highly appropriate to meaning at the sense group, sentence and text level.

 

Sizeable chunks of coherent and relevant language.

 

 

 

The content is both wholly appropriate to the interaction and adds new dimensions.

 

 

Can develop a topic / point with sufficient highlighting and detail, and round off appropriately.

 

A wide range of appropriate vocabulary and complex grammatical structures, and expresses him/herself clearly, without having to restrict what s/he wants to say.

 

Backtracks when s/he encounters a difficulty and reformulates what s/he wants to say without fully interrupting the flow of speech.

 

 

Varies intonation and sentence stress in order to express finer shades of meaning.

 

Consistently high degree of grammatical control.

 

 

 

 

Very minor imperfections and slips.

 

 

 

 

No traces of typically Hungarian features.

 

Listens sensitively and facilitates others in the expression of their meaning

 

 

Can adapt to new topics with ease.

 

 

 

 

Uses (a range of) turn taking devices appropriately.

 

  

back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ELTE
DELP

 

 

                                  ©  ELTE  DELP,  Budapest