Trinity College London

About Trinity College London


Trinity College London's Integrated Skills in English (ISE) examinations and Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) are recognised by higher educational institutions around the world as evidence of English language proficiency for student admission.

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Higher educational institutions which recognise ISE and GESE

UK institutions

USA institutions

Italian institutions

Spanish institutions

Mexican institutions

Irish institutions

Argentinian institutions

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

What is GESE?

The GESE (Graded Examinations in Spoken English) exams test candidates' ability in listening and speaking. They are one-to-one oral examinations with a Trinity examiner.

Who are the Graded Exams in Spoken English (GESE) for?

Trinity's Graded Examiniations in Spoken English are suitable for candidates who have learnt English as a foreign, second or additional language. They are one-to-one oral exams that test candidates' ability in listening and speaking.


Candidates must be at least 5 years old at the time of the examination. There is no upper age limit. There is a GESE grade to suit every candidate.

About GESE

There are 12 GESE grades. The grades are grouped into four stages: Initial; Elementary; Intermediate and Advanced and there are three grades at each stage:

Initial (Grades 1-3)

Elementary (Grades 4-6)

Intermediate (Grades 7-9)

Advanced (Grades 10-12)

The grades are mapped to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The grade system is designed to encourage students to develop and progress.


The number of tasks in an exam depends on the stage. New tasks and increasing demands on the candidate skills are introduced at each stage.

Grades 1-3 Grades 4-6 Grades 7-9 Grades 10-12
Initial Elementary Intermediate Advanced
5-7 mins 10 mins 15 mins 25 mins
Topic Presentation
Topic Discussion
Topic Presentation & Discussion Interactive Task
Topic Discussion Interactive Task Listening Task
Conversation Conversation Conversation Conversation

Assessment approach

The grades are mapped to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The grade system is designed to encourage students to develop and progress.It is the examiner's job to put candidates at their ease and give them the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to communicate in English. The assessment is a balance between fluency and accuracy. Examiners are interested in finding out what candidates can actually can do rather than what they know.


Learners can take these spoken exams (listed above) alone or at key points in their learning program. They can be taken alone or combine them with an Integrated Skills in English (ISE) exam if they also need to demonstrate reading and writing abilities.