About Trinity College London
Trinity College London is a leading international examinations board with a difference. Our reputation rests on our continuing ability to provide respected qualifications both in the English language and across a growing range of disciplines in the performing arts. But what sets us apart is our focus on the learner, every learner. Our exams and assessments are designed to help students and trainees progress; to mark an achievement at each stage of their development, and at all levels of competence, on a journey towards fulfillment of their own individual talents and abilities.
Today we deliver 500,000 assessments each year worldwide. Our international network is growing and our educational role in the UK community is deepening.
The Graded Examinations in Spoken English test candidates’ ability in listening and speaking. They are one-to-one oral examinations with a native English-speaking Trinity examiner who travels from the UK.
There are 12 grades altogether which are linked to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The exams encourage students to develop and progress by acknowledging each step forward; at every stage of the student’s development there is a chance to mark success.
There are four stages with three grades at each stage:
Initial (Grades 1-3)
Elementary (Grades 4-6)
Intermediate (Grades 7-9)
Advanced (Grades 10-12)
Trinity’s Integrated Skills in English (ISE) exams assess all four language skills – Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading – interacting with each other as they do in the real world. An ISE exam forms a natural part of any course of English language study, undertaken in a group or individually
The exams include a portfolio element. By taking classroom work into account as well as tasks carried out under exam conditions, a wide and varied sample of learner work is taken fully into account.
1. Portfolio Tasks
2. Controlled Written Exam
3. Spoken Interview
Learners can choose to take ISE exams on their own or combine them with the Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) if they also need to demonstrate oral ability at levels other than those corresponding to the ISE levels.
Trinity College London offers examinations in Communication Skills for candidates of all ages at all levels; for individuals from grades Initial (pre-foundation) to 8, and for groups from Grades 1–8. Trinity College London also offers a Professional Certificate in Communication Skills which is taken by adults.
This syllabus is suitable for children and adults. At its higher levels, these assessments have proved a valuable addition to preparation for a range of professions such as the law, medicine, business, religion, and teaching.
Even speakers of English as a second language have found the challenges of this syllabus valuable, for example in preparation for business or conference presentations in English.
The Communication Skills Grades syllabus for individuals is available at all Grade levels, Initial, Foundation (Grades 1–3), Intermediate (Grades 4–5) and Advanced (Grades 6–8).
At every level, the syllabus supports the development of presentation skills, clear expressive speech, logical thought, and confidence in maintaining a point of view.
At Initial level, the candidate will give a talk about a small object he has brought into the room and tell a brief story. Meeting and greeting is part of the assessment. At Foundation level, conversation may include discussion of the candidate’s interests, and prepared role-play of a situation in which the candidate has to be persuasive, in addition to a prepared talk about a news item.
At Intermediate level, reading aloud and listening skills are additional tasks. At Advanced level, a demonstration or persuasive presentation is required. At Grade 8, skill in summarising is tested both in presentation and listening, and the candidate’s presentation– with audio and visual aids – is a critical evaluation of the communication tools used in advertising, politics, education or religion.
Speech and Drama Solo
Solo Speech and Drama performance has been the traditional examination route for generations of candidates in the former Trinity and Guildhall examinations.
The Trinity syllabus in Speech and Drama offers the candidate complete freedom of choice of performance items, includes acting and poetry-speaking, offers candidates a choice between sight-reading or story-telling, includes improvisation and discussion of the selections including (as the grades advance) relevant aspects of theory.
This syllabus is a very good choice for candidates wishing to broaden and enrich their understanding of literature, as well as for those wishing to progress in a range of speech performance skills.
The Speech and Drama syllabus for individuals is available at all Grade levels, Initial, Foundation (Grades 1–3), Intermediate (Grades 4–5) and Advanced (Grades 6–8).
Performing Text Solo
Performing Text is a popular alternative to the Speech and Drama syllabus for developing performance skills with candidates who do not wish to demonstrate specific skills in acting. This option concentrates on performance of verse and prose, and prepared and unprepared reading. In the early grades less memorized text is required.
This option does not require acting or improvisation but it does allow for the development of interpretation and presentation skills. Discussion is on the selection, preparation and interpretation of the selections presented only.
The Performing text syllabus for individuals is available at all Grade levels, Initial, Foundation (Grades 1–3), Intermediate (Grades 4–5) and Advanced (Grades 6–8).
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)
Qualifications accredited at Level 3 are considered for points within the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) Tariff table. This is the system used by applicants who wish to enter UK’s Higher Education. Trinity Grades 6 to 8 in Music, Drama and Speech are recognized within this scheme. UCAS confirms GESE Grade 7, ISE II are suitable benchmarks in English language proficiency for entry to UK Higher Education.
Trinity College London is a Full Member of the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE).
Trinity College London’s Integrated Skills in English (ISE) examinations and Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) are recognized by higher educational institutions around the world as evidence of English language proficiency for student admission.
Higher educational institutions which recognize ISE and GESE
ISE and GESE examinations are taken by hundreds of thousands of candidates worldwide each year and the number is growing in many countries including: China, Hong Kong, India, Greece, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey and Russia.