Exams & Qualifications / Students

Pre-Intermediate Level

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

This is the second stage of the bridging levels and the candidates are required to write a piece of connected text on descriptive, narrative or imaginary topics. Further progression from the Elementary level is found within the need to deal with present, past or future events and be able to show an understanding of subject matters such as hypothesis, purpose, obligation and advice.


Overview of Tasks: 

Reading & Writing:



Section W1 (20 marks)

Writing: composition
Choice of four titles 
80-120 words

Section W2 (10 marks)

Writing: informal message
A message to a friend/ relative
50 words

Section R1 (13 marks)

Reading comprehension
One text 240-260 words
Ten questions

Section R2 (7 marks)

Reading for information
Three short texts
Seven questions

Section R3 (20 marks)

Use of English: general grammar
Four-option multiple choice
Ten questions

Section W3 (10 marks)

Writing: sentence transformation
Complete the sentences
Five questions

Section W4 (10 marks)

Writing: word order
Put words in order to make sentences
Five questions

Section R4 (5 marks)

Use of English: word type
Three-option multiple choice
Five questions

Section R5 (5 marks)

Use of English: prepositions/phrasal verbs
Fill the gaps
Five questions




Section L1 (10 marks)

Listening for information
Five dialogues
Four-option multiple choice
Five questions

Section L2 (20 marks)

Listening for words in context
Fill the gaps
10 questions

Section L3 (20 marks)

Listening for meaning
Ten questions




Section S1 (2 - 4 minutes)
(Task 1)

Warm Up

Section S2 (4 - 5 minutes)
(Task 2)

Compare and contrast
Explaining and answering questions
Prepared familiar pictures (holiday photos etc. not portraits) 
Unprepared, unseen pictures

Section S3 (4 - 6 minutes)
(Task 3)

Explain and discuss likes and dislikes about familiar and routine situations talk 
Unprepared discussion and follow-up questions
Topic paradigm: ‘My favourite ...’ ‘My least favourite…’

Syllabus and Specifications:


Performance Indicators

The student has sufficient active vocabulary and structural understanding to:

  • write a short connected text on descriptive, narrative or imaginary topics.

  • read and understand a text from a familiar range of topics.

  • distinguish between and use a variety of tenses: past, present and future.

  • ask and answer questions about past or present or future events.

  • express basic intention, purpose, obligation, preference, advice, agreement and disagreement, hypothesis and process.


Grammar and Structures List 

Grammar and Structures

What are they used for?

Some examples


The passive voice

Talking about a process,
Omitting the active subject

The best computer games are made in Japan.
The new church was built last year.

The second conditional - 
if / past tense + would /non finite verb

Talking about hypothetical situations

If worked harder, Iwould get higher marks.
If won some money, I would buya new car.

Present perfect continuous

Expressing unfinished or recently completed actions

How long have youbeen living in London?

The gerund after certain verbs


I enjoy learningEnglish.
I hate eatingspaghetti.

Non finite verbs in particular phrases: e.g. make someone do something, let someone do something

Expressing persuasion and permission

Mary's parents let her drive their car.
My father made me do my homework.

I' would rather + non finite verb
I had better + non finite verb
(Both of these in contracted forms too: I'd better, he'd better, we'd rather etc

Expressing preference and advice

would rather eat fish than meat.
You had better take an umbrella or you'll get wet.
I'd rather eat...
You'd better take...



For and since



More adverbs of frequency, manner, time or degree

Expressing time periods from a point in the past, relating them to the present

Describing how often, when, how, and how much people do something


I have lived in this house for five years.
I haven't swum in the sea since last summer.

I'm still here.
He's already finished. That bird rarely visits Britain.
We hardly knew him.


Neither do I/so do I

Expressing concurrence with a positive or a negative statement


Expressing concurrence within a positive or negative statement

I don't like playing computer games.
Neither do I.
I like eating chocolate.
So do I.

I don't like cabbage and neither does my sister. Jane loves chocolate and so do her friends.


A good example of an essay at this level:


Marking Criteria




Content organisation

5 = Paragraphs to distinguish between beginning, middle and end. Narrative needs linking words used to order events (next, finally, suddenly, because, so). Descriptive needs adjectives/ adverbs and ideas organised into logical grouping
4 = Some evidence of paragraphing and attempt made at linking/ grouping ideas
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. May be too short
1 = Narrative/ description very confusing and difficult to follow
0 = little or no language at all



5 = Minimal errors with language used. Minor errors do not impede understanding
4 = A few errors but easily understood
3 = Basic errors but can be understood
2 = Significant errors with language expected at the level. Impedes understanding
1 = Significant errors throughout. Incomprehensible due to errors
0 = Little or no language at all


Range of vocabulary and structure

5 = Competent use of a range of language expected at this level. (e.g. passive voice, gerund, pres. perf. with for/since, second conditional) Perhaps some attempt at using more advanced language, maybe with errors
4 = Good use of appropriate language
3 = Adequate language used for the task
2 = Lack of basic structures. Language too simplistic and repetitive
1 = Almost no examples of structure or relevant vocabulary
0 = Little or no language at all


Task completion

5 = Full completion of task. No repetition
4 = Main points of task covered
3 = Attempt made to cover task
2 = Task not covered sufficiently and/or too short 
1 = Majority of task not covered and/or answered a different question 
0 = Task not covered at all


Grade boundaries for composition




16 - 20


13 - 15.5


10 - 12.5


5 - 9.5


0 - 4.5

Section W2 - Writing a message (50 - 60 words) 


Accuracy and organisation

5 = Minimal, minor errors. Sentences flow naturally with a high percentage of sentences with more than one clause
4 = Attempt made to link and organise sentences. A few errors but easily understood
3 = Some basic errors but can be understood. Sentences organised logically but possibly lacking connectives
2 = Significant errors with language expected at Pre-Intermediate level. Lack of control impedes understanding. Poor organisation 
1 = Significant errors throughout. Incomprehensible due to errors
0 = Little or no language at all


Task completion and language range

5 = Good range of language expected at this level. Full completion of task. No repetition
4 = Good use of appropriate language. Main points covered
3 = Attempt made to cover task. Adequate language used
2 = Lack of basic structures. Task not covered sufficiently 
1 = Majority of task not covered. Almost no examples of structure or relevant vocabulary 
0 = Task not covered. Little comprehensible language

Grade boundaries for message writing 




8 - 10


6.5 - 7.5


5 - 6


2.5 - 4.5


0 - 2

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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