Exams & Qualifications / Students

AcCEPT Proficiency Level

Providing properly calibrated levels and certificates to help the students through this stage is invaluable!

This level has been designed to test the candidate's effective use of the English language. An extended piece of written work that is clearly well organised and may involve opinions and/or discussion of the 'pros/cons' of a set issue is an important part of the test. Accuracy in writing and reading is vital as is the need to be able to use the English language in a way that is the 'norm' within certain social or learning contexts. The candidate will need to respond to what they hear with a high level of precision and basically be able to provide evidence they would be comfortable in any 'social or professional exchanges'.


Overview of Tasks: 

Reading & Writing:



Section W1A/W1 (25 marks)

Writing: composition 
Choice of eight titles
300-350 words (AcCEPT) 
250- 300 words (General)

Section W2 (15 marks)

Writing: formal/informal correspondence
Write a letter and an email
approx. 200 words

Section R1 (10 marks)

Reading comprehension
One text 530-580 words
Ten questions

Section R2 (10 marks)

Reading for information
50-75 words

Section R3 (10 marks)

Reading for inference and information
One text approx. 700 words
Sentence selection
Five questions

Section W3 (10 marks)

Writing: sentence transformation
Complete the sentences
Ten questions

Section R4 (10 marks)

Use of English: word transformation
Fill the gaps
Ten questions

Section R5 (10 marks)

Use of English: grammar in context
Fill the gaps
Ten questions




Section L1 (20 marks)

Listening for information

One monologue

Three-option multiple choice/complete the sentences

Ten questions

Section L2 (20 marks)

Listening for meaning
Five monologues
Three-option multiple choice 
Ten questions

Section L3 (10 marks)

Listening for information
One dialogue
Three-option multiple choice
Five questions





Section s1 (up to 4 minutes)
(task 1)

Warm up

Style of questions similar to an interview for a job or a place in higher education not a simple informal chat

Section s2 (up to 8 minutes)
(task 2)

Making a case
prepared talk: current affairs with follow-up questions
unprepared follow-up discussion
choice of short text stimulus

Section s3 (up to 8 minutes)
(task 3)

Discussion of complex or difficult issues
semi-prepared: broad topic areas 
unprepared: specific headings for discussion

Syllabus and Specifications:


Performance Indicators


The student has a very good active vocabulary and structural understanding, and can therefore undertake a course of study in English in further or higher education. The student can successfully:

  •  write clear, organised text on descriptive, narrative, or discursive topics, including giving opinion and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of a given issue.
  • write letters, both formal and informal.

  • read and respond to a longer text on any topic, concrete or abstract.

  • provide an accurate summary of a text.

  • use language to perform any function likely to arise in a normal social or learning context.

  • manipulate structures to create emphasis, and vary style and idiom.

  • listen and respond accurately to passages and questions in a variety of forms and contexts, delivered at a normal speaking pace.


A good example of an essay at this level:


Marking Criteria 



Content organisation

5 = Clear relevant paragraphs to organise work. A range of connectives/conjunctions (whereas, alternatively, likewise, furthermore etc). Elements of description and discussion have logical connectors and grouping 
4 = Evidence of paragraphing and good attempt made at linking/ grouping ideas with connectives suitable for this level
3 =Evidence of paragraphing or a logical chain of events/grouping. Probably not both
2 = Ideas not organised into any logical chain of events/grouping
1 = Very confusing/ difficult to follow



5 = Minimal errors with C1 level language used. Shows total control of language
4 = A few errors but fluent and confident language overall
3 = Some basic errors but do not impede comprehension of the text overall
2 = Significant errors with language expected at the level 
1 = Significant errors throughout. Impedes understanding


Range of vocabulary and structure

5 = Competent use of a range of language expected at this level. (E.g. range of tenses, conditional, inversion, unreal past) 
4 = Good use of appropriate language
3 = Adequate language used for the task. May be simple at times but convinces reader of candidate’s proficiency nonetheless
2 = Lack of basic structures. Language too simplistic and repetitive for C1
1 = Almost no examples of advanced structure or vocabulary


Appropriacy of tone and register

5 = Natural. Fully appropriate use of language and style
4 = Mostly appropriate with one or two exceptions
3 = Clear attempt has been made to use suitable tone/register
2 = Inappropriate tone/register but would not cause offence
1 = Limited language or inappropriate, and would cause offence


Task completion

5 = Full completion of task. No repetition. Very positive effect on reader
4 = Main points of task covered
3 = Attempt made to cover task
2 = Task not covered sufficiently and/or too short. Negative effect on reader. 
1 = Majority of task not covered and/or answered a different question. Very negative effect on reader

Grade boundaries for composition




20 - 25


16.5 - 19.5


12.5 - 16


5 - 12


0 - 4.5

Section W2 - Writing a formal letter (110 – 130 words) and an informal email (at least 80 words)
N.B. One overall mark is awarded for both pieces of writing. 


Content organisation/ appropriacy

5 = Letter and email set out correctly and clearly. Well organised with appropriate salutations/signing off. Clear paragraphs in letter. Language organised into a logical thread, with natural use of connectors/linkers and clear distinction in tone and register according to recipient
4 = Clear attempt made at laying out letter and linking/ grouping ideas. Appropriate in tone and register perhaps with minor lapses
3 =Basic but adequate attempt at layout and organisation. Some evidence of differentiation in register
2 = Sentences either not organised/connected or inappropriate for recipient. Perhaps no differentiation in register. Could cause offence in places
1 = Sentences not organised/connected and inappropriate for informal email. Likely to cause offence
0 = little or no language at all


Accuracy and organisation

5 = Accurate use of C1 level language. One or two minor errors but they do not impede understanding at all. Accurate use of contractions and other punctuation in informal writing
4 = Few errors in C1 level language but easily understood and good control
3 = Several errors in C1 language but can be understood
2 = Significant errors in both B2 and C1 language, which impede understanding 
1 = Major errors throughout, which seriously impede understanding 
0 = Little or no language at all


Task completion and language range

5 = Full completion of task. Competent use of a range of C1 language. Some attempt at using more advanced language, maybe with errors.
No repetition
4 = Main points of task covered. Good use of language expected at this level
3 = Attempt made to cover task. Adequate language used
2 = Task not covered sufficiently. Lack of basic structures and language too simplistic for C1
1 = Majority of task not covered. Structure and vocabulary far too simplistic
0 = Task not covered. Little or no language

Grade boundaries for message writing 




12.5 - 15


10 - 12


7.5 - 9.5


4 - 7


0 - 3.5

Grade Boundaries:


Grades are calculated by weighting the Listening % by 0.2 and the Written % by 0.8 - adding the results together and then using the information above.

Relevant Documents 

Sample Papers

Further Practice

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