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2.1 Exam Types

Course: Alpha

Exam Types

PRELIMINARY TEST OF ENGLISH (PTE)

PTE measures newly-registered students’ ability to understand basic English at university level. PTE is
conducted before the Proficiency Test of English and it determines the potential candidates for the
Proficiency Test.

PTE consists of three sections:

  • Structure and Vocabulary (60 questions)
  • Reading (40 questions)
  • Listening (25 questions)

Students who get 70 points or above from PTE are eligible to take Proficiency Test. The rest are obliged
to study in the EPP for 1 academic year.

Students who fail to get 70 points or above are placed in the level classrooms according to their grades
in PTE. The procedure is as follows:

  • Alpha Level (Beginner) is made up of newly-registered students who get grades between 0 and 45;
    and the ones who do not take PTE.
  • Bravo Level (Elementary) is made up of newly-registered students who get grades between 46 and 69.
  • Charlie Level (Pre-Intermediate) is made up of newly-registered and repeat students who are not able
    to get 60 points or above in the Proficiency Test.

All newly-registered students who get 70 points or above in PTE and all repeat students can take the
Proficiency Test of English.

Content of PTE

PTE is prepared by the UTAA Department of Foreign Languages and administered by its own staff. In
the test, there are three sections (structure & vocabulary, reading and listening) which take about 2 ½
hours to complete. During the test students are asked multiple choice questions ranging from beginner
(A1) to pre-intermediate (B1) levels.

1. Structure and Vocabulary
There are 35 structure and 25 vocabulary questions in this section. It measures the students’ ability
to understand basic grammatical structures and vocabulary knowledge in English.

2. Reading
There are 8 reading passages and 40 questions in this section. Each passage contains 5 questions
which measure students’ ability to understand stated & unstated details, pronoun & word
references and inferences in a reading passage.

3. Listening
There are 25 questions in this section. Listening test includes short and long conversation questions
between two speakers. The listening section of PTE includes other native-speaker English accents in
addition to accents from North America. Student may hear accents from the UK and Australia.

ENGLISH PROFICIENCY EXAM (EPE)

English Proficiency Exam is a two-stage exam including a Preliminary Test of English, a writing exam, a
speaking exam and a multiple-choice test prepared and held by the University of Turkish Aeronautical
Association, Department of Foreign Languages.

The first stage of the exam (Preliminary Test of English) is held once a year every September. At the
beginning of the academic year, newly-registered students qualify to take the first stage of the exam.
The newly-registered students who pass the first stage and the students who failed the prep program
at the end of the previous academic year qualify to take the second stage (Writing Exam, Speaking
Exam and Multiple-Choice Test) of the Proficiency Exam.

The second stage of the Proficiency Exam is held twice a year both in June and September.

Overview of EPE


SESSION I: EPE WRITING EXAM

In the writing exam, the students are given various topics such as

  •  “Parents are the best teachers.” Do you agree or disagree? Explain your opinion.
  • What are the causes and effects of poverty?
  • Compare two extreme sports

and they are expected to write an essay expressing their ideas by including an introduction, body and
conclusion paragraph and following the rules of essay-writing.

OVERVIEW OF EPE WRITING EXAM

SESSION I: EPE SPEAKING EXAM

Speaking Exam consists of three parts. During the exam, students are expected to

  • briefly introduce themselves and answer a question (Part 1)
  • describe a picture (Part 2)
  • express their thoughts about a topic (Part 3)

The exam lasts 7minutes for each candidate, and 14 minutes for both candidates in total.

PART  1

In the first part of the exam, initially students are expected to introduce themselves briefly. After
introducing themselves, they should answer the question asked by the interlocutor. In order to get to
know them, the interlocutor may ask them questions as follows;

  • Do you like to go on a holiday alone or with friends? Why?
  • Are you a talkative person? Why / Why not?
  • What is the latest movie you have seen?

PART 2

In the second part of the exam, students are expected to describe a picture the interlocutor shows
them. Students can talk about the picture by

  • describing the things they see in the picture in detail
  • telling where, by whom and why the picture was taken
  • expressing the impression the picture has on them

After students describe the picture, they are also expected to briefly comment (with one or two
sentences) on the other candidate’s picture. Therefore, students are advised to have a close look at
the other candidate’s picture. In this part of the exam, before describing the picture, students are
given 1 minute in order to get prepared. In this part of the exam, students will not be given extra time
to get prepared.

PART 3

In the third part of the speaking exam, students are expected to express their opinions about a topic
which they will see on a slide. In this part of the exam, there may be topics such as

  • Happiness
  • Holidays
  • Jobs

In order to help students organize their ideas, for each general idea, students will see sub-topics /
questions on the slide, as well. For example,

Happiness
o What does happiness mean to you?
o What makes you happy?

Students can talk about their own topic either by answering these questions or by organizing and
expressing their own ideas in a coherent way. After students finish talking about their own topic, they
will also be expected to comment on the other candidate’s topic in one or two sentences. Therefore,
students are advised to have a close look at the other candidate’s topic. In this part of the exam,
before describing the picture, students are given 1 minute in order to get prepared. In this part of the
exam, students will not be given extra time to get prepared.

OVERVIEW OF EPE SPEAKING EXAM


There is no passing score for the writing and speaking exams. While calculating the overall score of the
first stage of the proficiency exam,
 25% of the writing section
 25 % of the speaking section
are added to the total score.

SESSION II: EPE MULTIPLE-CHOICE TEST

The test is divided into three sections including

  • 50 multiple-choice listening comprehension questions
  • 40 multiple-choice structure questions
  • 50 multiple-choice reading comprehension questions

In this test, students are tested for their listening comprehension skills, basic structure knowledge and
reading comprehension skills. The test lasts approximately for 2.5 hours.

OVERVIEW OF EPE MULTIPLE-CHOICE TEST

There is no passing score for the multiple-choice test. While calculating the overall score of the second
stage of the proficiency exam,
 20% of the listening comprehension section
 10% of the structure section
 20% of the reading comprehension section
are added to the total score.

PROGRESS TESTS (PT)

Throughout the academic year, students are required to take 6 Progress Tests. All progress tests
include

Listening
Structure
Vocabulary
Reading

sections each of which is made up of at least 10 questions.

Progress tests are conducted usually on Fridays in the last class hour and each test approximately lasts
up to 60 minutes.

FULL TESTS (FT)

Full Tests are the exams that make up the biggest percentage in summative assessment types. These
exams are composed of Listening, Structure, Vocabulary, Reading and Writing sections. There are 6 Full
Tests throughout the academic year and each one consists of 80 multiple-choice questions (20
Listening + 20 Structure + 20 Vocabulary + 20 Reading) and 1 open-ended Writing question for the
writing exam. All Full Tests are conducted monthly usually on Thursdays (Writing) and Fridays
(Multiple-Choice Test).

WRITING (WR)

Writing Tests are conducted in the last class hour on Thursdays and each writing test lasts 60 minutes.
In writing tests, students are given TWO different questions, and they are required to answer only ONE
question which is related to one of the writing skills covered in their course book’s writing section.

SPOKEN ASSESSMENT (SA)

This exam assesses students’ understanding of spoken English and their communication skills. It is
conducted in the last week of each term. Spoken Assessment includes the terms “JURIES” and “SETS”.

Juries

Juries are the pairs of instructors who invigilate the exam. According to the number of the students to
take the exam, the administration decides on the number of the juries.

Sets

Sets are the sections of Spoken Assessment in which students are selected in (pairs or groups of three)
according to their names, surnames or randomly. To illustrate; if there are 100 students to take the
Spoken Assessment and 5 juries to conduct it, the exam can be held with 10 sets.

For each SET, students are grouped as Student 1, Student 2 and Student 3*.

*Students are grouped in pairs, but sometimes some sets include three students since the number of students may not be even.

All questions, pictures and topics for the exam are prepared uniquely for each set and each student in the set beforehand by the Testing Office, so it is not up to the examiners to ask different questions, show different pictures or topics. In the speaking exam, each jury conducts the same set at the same time.

The exam consists of three parts. These parts are:

Part 1: Warm-up and Introduction (1 minute for each student)

The warm up section of the exam aims to put the candidates at ease with some general questions to
help the examiner find out more about them and to help the candidates feel comfortable. In this part
students introduce themselves and answer a warm-up question. As mentioned above, the questions
are prepared before the exam for each student in each set as shown in the sample below.

Part 2: Picture Description (1 minute to get prepared and 2 minutes to speak; 3 minutes in total for
each student)

The aim of this stage is to describe a picture in detail and to encourage discussion about the picture to be described. The interlocutor may ask questions to help the student talk more about the picture. Every candidate will talk about his/her own picture within the allocated time. When the first student stops talking, the interlocutor lets the other student comment on the same picture in one or two sentences.

** Part 3: Topic Selection (1 minute to get prepared and 2 minutes to speak, 3 minutes in total for each student)

The aim of this stage is to encourage discussion around the set topic and as is normally the case with discussions,
the interlocutor may not deal with every question and may ask questions which do not appear on the list as
long as they are not off topic. In this part, there will be no student interaction. Every candidate will talk about
his/her own topic within the allocated time. When the first student stops talking, the interlocutor lets the other
student comment on the same picture in one or two sentences.

The exam lasts for 7 minutes for each student, and 14 minutes for both students in total. When the number of students is not even, some sets include 3 students. In such cases, the exam lasts around 21 minutes.

** In the 3rd semester, the 3rd part of the exam is composed of Role-Play section in which pairs or groups of students are required to perform a role-play by addressing to the role assigned to them.