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Trinity's (ISE) examinations assess all four language skills – Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading.
The ISE III exam corresponds to C1 level on the CEFR and is considered to be comparable to an IELTS band 7.5 or Cambridge ESOL CAE.
The exam has 3 parts:
You are required to produce 3 pieces of written work before the exam date. These should be selected from a list of tasks supplied by Trinity College London.
Task 1 - Reading into writing task ( 300 words)
Task 2 - Correspondence task (250 words)
Task 3 - Creative writing task (250 words)
This is a one-to-one, face-to-face interview with a Trinity examiner.
The interview will last 20 minutes and has five assessed phases:
- Formal presentation of a topic (up to 4 mins) which you must choose and prepare beforehand.
- Discussion of the topic presentation (up to 4 mins)
- Interactive task (up to 4 mins),
- Listening Task (up to 3 mins)
- Conversation with the examiner including a discussion of your portfolio AND one subject area chosen by the examiner (up to 5 mins)
We would advise candidates to attend an ISE Preparation class before taking the examination. However it is possible to enter without attending classes beforehand.
To prepare for the ISE III examination you can to use Trinity website
On the website you can access all the documentation associated with the three components of the ISE III examination outlined below. You can also look at the ISE Syllabus for more detailed information about the ISE III examination and how to prepare. Read the ISE III section of the syllabus to give you the best possible chance of passing your exam.
The exam components :
This is a collection of your best written work. The tasks you choose MUST be selected from the list of ISE III tasks for 2014
(Please make sure you use the correct list of tasks for this year). You must present three tasks - one task from each of the three sections on the list. You must not include more than three tasks in your portfolio. The portfolio MUST contain your own work. Present these three pieces of work on three separate pieces of paper. You can use dictionaries, online resources and a word-processor to ensure that you are presenting the best quality work you can. The portfolio must contain your own work and no one else's. You may quote other work in it, but this must be clearly referred to as a quotation and attributed to its author. Candidates must NOT copy a piece of written text from any source and present it as their own. Candidates who do so will score zero in the assessment of the task. Accurate word counts must be provided for each task and clearly stated on the portfolio cover sheet. Please write out the task descriptions on the portfolio cover sheet in the separate sections provided for each task.
Trinity recommends that you spend 6-12 weeks preparing your portfolio, but the overall time it takes will depend on other demands on your time. Students can work on their portfolio tasks up to the day before their interviews are due to take place.
The completed portfolio must be ready for submission by 9am on the day of the exam.
(If you cannot attend preparation lessons for this exam you can send your portfolio to English Exam Centres up to 10 am on the Monday before the exam date for our portfolio checking service and you will receive feed back on a feedback form. This costs £30. Each piece can receive feedback once before the portfolio is given to the examiner)
On the Trinity website you can download examples of portfolio tasks with assessors’ comments to help you to prepare for this part of the examination.
2. Controlled Written Examination
The controlled written examination is a test of your reading and writing skills taken under examination conditions. The examination starts at 10am and the time allowed is 2 hours 30 mins. You must arrive at the centre by 9.00am. If you arrive later than this you will not be able to take the exam and you will lose your place. The use of dictionaries and other language aids is not permitted. You must write in blue or black pen and you may not use correction fluid.
The controlled written examination at ISE III has three written tasks that have equal weighting. You must complete ALL tasks. There is no choice given.
TASK 1 – Reading into writing task (approximately 300 words): You are asked to synthesise information from a variety of text types and from a number of different sources and then complete a written task (an article or a report) using the information provided. Information is also presented in the form of graphs, tables and diagrams.
TASK 2 – Correspondence task (approximately 250 words): You are required to write a formal or semi-formal letter in order to present a point of view, criticise and/or request action.
TASK 3 – Creative writing task (approximately 250 words): You are required to display your ability to use the language imaginatively to convey emotion and personal perspectives.
Managing the time available during the examination is your responsibility, but we suggest that you spend 70 minutes on Task 1, and 40 minutes each on tasks 2 and 3. Please be aware of the need, within the time available, to organise your thinking and writing as well as paying attention to grammar, spelling, vocabulary and punctuation.
Please note there is a 10% tolerance above and below the stated word length range.
The following resources are available:
Subject areas for the portfolio and the controlled written examination are: Roles in the family, communication, the school curriculum, youth behaviour, use of the internet, designer goods, international events, equal opportunities, social issues, the future of the planet, scientific developments, stress management.
3. Spoken Interview
This is a one-to-one, face-to-face interview with a Trinity examiner. The interview will last 20 minutes and has five assessed phases:
i) Formal oral presentation (up to 4 minutes)
ii) Discussion of the topic presentation (up to 4 minutes)
iii) Interactive phase (up to 4 minutes)
iv) Listening task (up to 3 minutes)
v) Conversation with examiner (up to 5 minutes)
Sample ISE III interviews can be found on the Trinity website. Watch the ISE III videos for Edoardo and for Lorenzo. From those links, also read the ISE DVD 2008 notes for Edoardo and the ISE DVD Assessment and Rationales 2010-2013 document for Lorenzo, to understand how each of these candidates was marked by the examiner and what grade each candidate received and how they could have scored a higher grade; note why they didn’t receive higher marks. Study these notes carefully, alongside reading the ISE III section of the syllabus (available above) to fully understand what is required in your ISE spoken interview. Read these documents and watch the videos together as part of your preparation. Remember, these interviews are not scripted and they are never exactly the same. Viewing these videos together with the two documents listed will give you the best chance of passing in this section of the exam; but they should be used together. With these videos, you can see the structure of the interview and see the kind of interaction between the candidate and the examiner so you know what to expect when you are in the interview.
We strongly recommend that you read the ISE III section of the ISE Syllabus for all parts of this exam in order to be fully prepared.
Complete the registration form for Trinity OR for the PTE Academic including all your information, the exam you want to take and where and when you want to take it.