Exams & Qualifications / Students

Masters Level

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

This is Anglia's top level and for those candidates who are so confident that they can use the English language fluently in any circumstance or situation that they would call themselves 'expert users'. Be it a social or professional setting, the student should be at ease taking notes whilst listening to a set text and then from an extended piece of text. From the set notes they must first be able to complete a set task and then write a clear and organised piece that argues for or against a particular case. Masters level has been designed to examine the candidates ability to understand and produce language in a variety of styles that 'fits' well within the given scenario. If you are at Masters Level could you change your language when 'talking to teenagers', or 'giving a formal presentation to an adult group' or maybe 'presenting an argument in an answer to a coursework question within a higher level course'?


Overview of Tasks: 

Reading & Writing:



Section R1 (10 Marks)

Reading for context and comprehension
Two short texts
Four-option multiple choice
Ten questions

Section R2 (10 Marks)

Reading comprehension
Ten short texts 
Ten questions

Section R3 (10 Marks)

Use of English: collocation and idiom
Fill the gaps
Ten questions

Section W2 (10 marks)

Writing: sentence transformation
Complete the sentences
Ten questions 

Section W3 (15 marks)

Writing for results: formal and informal
Write two emails
approx. 200 words

Section R4 Part one (10 marks)

Reading for context and comprehension
One passage 600 - 620 words 
Substitute words and phrases
Ten questions

Section R4 Part two (10 marks)

Reading for information
150 words

Section W4 (20 marks)

Writing: composition
Compulsory question with notes
300 - 350 words




Section L1 (16 marks)

Listening for unfamiliar information
One dialogue 
Three-option multiple choice
Eight questions

Section L2 (10 marks)

Listening for inference and implication
One dialogue
Five questions

Section L3 (8 marks)

Listening for oblique reference 
Two short monologues
Three-option multiple choice
Four questions

Section L4 (16 marks) 
AND Section W1 (5 marks)

Listening for information and note taking
Write a letter





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
Unprepared follow-up questions and discussion
Choice of short text stimulus

Section S3 (up to 8 minutes)
(task 3)

Discussion of complex, difficult and controversial issues
Unprepared debating topics

Syllabus and Specifications:


Performance Indicators

The student can confidently manipulate the language and use it both for any study or professional purpose. Building on proficiency level, the student can successfully: 

  • take notes while listening to information given at normal speaking pace and then use those notes for a targeted task.

  • take notes from a long text on any topic and use those notes to argue a case in clear, organised written text.

  • show understanding of a variety of texts in both a detailed and global way.

  • understand and produce language in a variety of styles and idioms.

Example of structured composition


Use your own ideas, look through the notes and write a structured composition of between 330 & 400 words.

  • Circuses are outdated and there is no place for them in the world of entertainment nowadays.

  • Animal cruelty.

  • Clowns, acrobats and entertainers.

  • Public demand and opinion.

  • Family entertainment.

  • Traditional circuses.

  • Modern circuses.

  • Increased technology.

  • You may use rough notes and they will not be marked by the examiner.


A good example of an essay at this level:

Marking Criteria

NB. The official pass mark at C2 is 65%. A candidate needs 3 in three bands and 4 in one band to receive the pass mark of 13. 


Content organisation

5 = Clear relevant paragraphs to organise work. An impressive range of connectives/conjunctions (notwithstanding, alternatively, thereby, nonetheless etc). Elements of description and discussion have sophisticated connectors and grouping 
4 = Evidence of paragraphing and good attempt made at linking/ grouping ideas with connectives suitable for this level. Minor lapses or omissions.
3 = Evidence of paragraphing and a logical chain of events/grouping, but organisation only just reaches what is expected at C2.
2 = Limited evidence of organisation. Unsophisticated grouping of ideas etc.
1 = Ideas not organised into any logical chain of events/grouping.


Accuracy and appropriacy of tone and register

5 = Shows total control of language with natural, fully appropriate use of language and style. One or two minor errors in spelling acceptable.
4 = Few errors. Fluent and confident language overall. Mostly appropriate with one or two exceptions.
3 = Enough accuracy and suitable tone/register to convince the reader of candidate’s mastery, with some errors or inconsistencies 
2 = Basic errors with language expected at C2 level and inappropriate tone/register, which show that mastery has not been achieved 
1 = Significant errors throughout. Inappropriate register, which could cause offence


Range of vocabulary and structure

5 = Competent use of a wide range of vocabulary and structure expected at this level. Shows flair and sophistication.
4 = Sufficient range throughout to convince reader easily of candidate’s mastery 
3 = Language adequate to complete the task with some evidence of vocabulary/ structures at C2 level 
2 = Perhaps adequate to complete the task but language too simplistic and repetitive for C2, only meeting expectations for a good C1 level
1 = No examples of vocabulary or structure beyond expectations even of B2


Task completion

5 = Full completion of task. No repetition. Ideas and arguments fully exploited. Very positive effect on reader
4 = Main points of task covered in a well-balanced/ convincing composition
3 = Good attempt made to cover task. Some arguments/ points may fall short of being totally convincing. Overall positive effect on reader.
2 = Insufficient attempt made to cover task. 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


Candidates who score between 55 and 64% will, at Masters, be awarded a Pass at C1, in recognition of the fact that they have provided enough evidence to pass at that level.



Distinction at C2

18 - 20

Merit at C2

15 - 17.5

Pass at C2

13 - 14.5

Pass at C1



 6 - 10.5


0 - 5.5


Section W3 - Writing a formal letter (110 – 130 words) and an informal email (at least 80 words)
Writing a formal letter(120 – 140 words) and an informal / semi-formal email (at least 100 words). MOne overall mark is awarded for both pieces of writing.
N.B. The pass mark for C2 is 65% 


Content organisation/ appropriacy

5 = Correspondence set out correctly and clearly. Language organised into a logical thread, with sophisticated use of connectors/linkers and clear distinction in tone and register according to recipient
4 = Good layout of letter and linking/ grouping of ideas. Appropriate in tone and register, perhaps with one or two minor lapses
3 = Clear attempt evident in layout and organisation. Some evidence of differentiation in register, but there may be consistencies
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



5 = Accurate use of complex and sophisticated language. One or two minor errors, perhaps in spelling or punctuation
4 = A few errors in C2 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. Impressive and sophisticated use of a range of C2 language. Evidence of nuance and inference. Function fully evident. Highly positive effect on reader
4 = Main points of task covered. Good use of language expected at this level. Very positive effect on reader
3 = Attempt made to cover task. Adequate range of language used. Generally a positive effect on reader
2 = Task not covered sufficiently. Lack of structures and language too simplistic for C2. Negative effect on reader/ function not clear
1 = Majority of task not covered. Structure/ vocabulary far too simplistic
0 = Task not covered. Little or no language


Grade boundaries for letter/email writing 



Distinction at C2

13.5 - 15

Merit at C2

11.5 - 13

Pass at C2

9.5 - 11

Pass at C1

8 - 9


 4 - 7.5


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.


From April 2015, at Aim Awards Level 3, Anglia Masters, the grading approach is different to the other levels. The extensive evidence presented by the candidate in this challenging examination and the higher pass threshold to achieve a C2 level pass means that between 54 and 64% what was simply a ‘refer’ before is now aligned to a ‘pass at C1’.

We don’t do this for any of the other levels because they are targeted at one level with the question and item–types calibrated for that level and therefore the evidence presented by the student is not as robust as it is at the very highest level.


Relevant Documents


Sample Papers

Further Practice

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