Exam preparation

Exam preparation

Exam preparation

Information for candidates

Linguaskill is an online, adaptative, multi-level test designed to help organisations assess groups of candidates. It offers a complete picture of your candidates’ English abilities, with fast and accurate testing of all four language skills: reading, listening, writing, and speaking.

Exam format

Linguaskill is a flexible, modular assessment, which tests:

About 60-85 minutes

The Reading and Listening module is adaptive, so there is not a fixed number of questions. Each question the candidate answers helps the computer to understand their level better. The test finishes when the candidate has answered enough questions for Linguaskill to identify their level accurately.
Results for the Reading and Listening module are provided immediately.

Read and select
  • Candidates read a notice, label, memo or letter containing a short text and choose the sentence or phrase that most closely matches the meaning of the text. There are three possible answers.
Gapped sentences
  • Candidates read a sentence with a missing word (gap) and choose the correct word to fill the gap. There are three or four choices for each gap.
Multiple-choice gap-fill
  • Candidates choose the right word or phrase to fill the gaps in a text. There are three or four choices for each gap.
Open gap-fill
  • Candidates read a short text in which there are some missing words (gaps) and write in the missing word in each gap.
Extended reading:
  • Candidates read a longer text and answer a series of multiple-choice questions. The questions are in the same order as the information in the text.
Listen and select
  • Candidates listen to a short audio recording and answer a multiple-choice question with three options.
Extended listening
  • Candidates listen to a longer recording and answer a series of multiple-choice questions based on it. The questions are in the same order as the information they hear in the recording.

45 minutes

The Writing module asks candidates to input answers using a computer keyboard. Answers are marked automatically by the computer. Results will be available within 12 hours.

1 (Email)
  • Candidates read a short prompt, usually an email. They use the information in the prompt and the three bullet points to write an email of at least 50 words. Candidates should spend about 15 minutes on this.
  • The candidate will be asked to write a minimum of 50 words
  • One half of the final Writing result
2 (Long text)
  • Candidates read a short text outlining a scenario and respond using the information in the scenario and the three bullet points. Linguaskill General candidates will write at least 180 words to a wider audience and may be asked to produce a variety of text types (e.g. review, article, web post). Linguaskill Business candidates will write a letter or report of at least 180 words, often to a manager or staff within the company or to external clients.
  • The candidate will be asked to write a minimum of 180 words
  • One half of the final Writing result

15 minutes

The Speaking module is taken using a computer with a microphone and headphones. Questions are presented to the candidate through the computer screen and headphones, and their responses are recorded.
Linguaskill Business Speaking is assessed by human examiners. Linguaskill General Speaking is assessed by using human examiners or market-leading auto-marking technology, known as hybrid marking. Results will be available within 48 hours.

1 (interview)
  • The candidate answers eight questions about themselves (the first two questions are not marked).
  • 8 questions
  • 20% of the marks
2 (reading aloud)
  • The candidate reads eight sentences aloud.
  • 8 questions
  • 20% of the marks
3 (long turn 1)
  • The candidate is given a topic to talk about for one minute. 40 seconds are allowed for preparation.
  • 1 question
  • 20% of the marks
4 (long turn 2)
  • The candidate is given one or more graphics (for example a chart, diagram or information sheet) to talk about for one minute. One minute is allowed for preparation.
  • 1 question
  • 20% of the marks
5 (communication activity)
  • The candidate gives their opinions in the form of short responses to five questions related to one topic. 40 seconds are allowed for preparation.
  • 5 questions
  • 20% of the marks
Linguaskill General

Linguaskill General tests language used in daily life, making it ideal for university admission or exit, and recruitment for roles in a non-business-specific environment. For example, where the employee needs strong English skills to perform their role effectively, but will not need specialist business terminology. Test topics include studying and working, making future plans, travel and technology.

Linguaskill Business

Linguaskill Business tests English used in a business and corporate setting, and is most suitable for recruitment in organisations where employees are expected to be familiar with the language of business. Test topics include the buying and selling of products or services, the office, business travel and human resources.

Top Tips and exam day tips for Linguaskill

Read the top tips for Linguaskill, created by Cambridge English assessment specialists to give you the best chance of succeeding in your test:

Exam day tips

Linguaskill informative documents

lgskll_1

Listening and Reading
trial report

lgskll_3

Writing
trial report

lgskll_2

Computer-adaptive testing of
listening and reading skills

lgskll_4

Information
for candidates

Sample tests

Linguaskill General
Linguaskill Business

Use these online sample tests to familiarise yourself with the types of questions used on Linguaskill. These sample tests do not provide a result or save your answers.

Note: The Reading and Listening sample test is not adaptive and is shorter than a real test. The Speaking sample test requires a headphone set and microphone.

Online practice tests

The practice tests help you get comfortable with the format and layout of the test while also providing you with feedback on the responses you have entered. You can take these practice tests as many times as you like.
Note: Linguaskill is an adaptive test that changes the questions based on your answers, to provide you with a score. Our practice tests are not adaptive – there are three tests available, at elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Writing is one of the skills which candidates can improve very quickly with the right guidance and tools, so make sure they are equipped to pick up all the extra marks they can!
Below you will find some examples of Writing responses for the levels A2, B2 and C1 for each part of the test. You will also find examiner comments that explain the reasons behind why each level was achieved and highlight the content that needs to be included.

A2 Writing
B2 Writing
C1 Writing

Speak and Improve is a great way to practise your speaking skills and get used to the experience of taking an online speaking test like Linguaskill.

The technical requirements for running a Linguaskill test

Linguaskill is an online test and the equipment used to run the test must meet a series of minimum technical requirements. Centres and candidates are responsible for ensuring that their equipment meets these requirements in order for the test to function correctly. We recommend that you run a practice test in advance of your exam day.

lgskll_tech1
  • Processor: Pentium III 800 MHz or equivalent
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Operating system: Windows 7 or later, Apple Mac OS X or later (Using Google Chrome browser)
    Linguaskill with online proctoring: Windows 8 or later
    Note: The Cambridge English Test portal and any tests run through it are not currently supported on iOS, Android or Chrome OS devices.
  • Free hard drive space: 4GB
  • Screen resolution: 1280 x 1024
  • Sound card: Yes

    IMPORTANT: The computer used for the test should NOT have more than one screen.
    You must close any other programs (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Skype), computer windows or webpages before to start the test.
    It is only allowed to have two windows open in the browser: the one corresponding to the exam and the ProctorExam one.

  • Internet bandwidth: 2 Mbps per candidate.

    The minimum bandwidth requirements are for each computer running the test. When running multiple tests concurrently on the same internet connection you should ensure this bandwidth is available to each computer. If less than 2 Mbps is available for each candidate, the test may take longer to run.

  • Web browser: Chrome or Firefox
    Linguaskill with online proctoring: Chrome
  • Adobe Reader: Latest version (must be able to read PDFs).
    Download Acrobat Reader here…
  • Webcam: For Linguaskill with online proctoring only
  • Smartphone: For Linguaskill with online proctoring only
  • Headphones: Over-ear and closed back – the earpieces of the headphones should cover the entire ear, preferably with good padding for comfort.
  • Microphone: A microphone should be attached to the headset, via a ‘boom’ (in other words, on the end of a flexible stalk). The microphone should be noise-cancelling (at a minimum, directional), to increase sound pick-up and to minimise noise pollution on the recordings.

    Please do not allow the use of your computers’ built-in microphones, these should be disabled, because they are not of the appropriate type nor of sufficient quality. In addition in Chrome if a candidate mutes their headset mic, Linguaskill will continue recording if there‘s more than one mic enabled on the machine.

  • Operating system: Android 5.1+ and iOS 10.0+ smart devices – smartphone or tablet – with a camera are supported. Check your operating system here by using your mobile phone.
    Note: Huawei P30 and Google Pixel 3 and newer are not compatible with our app.
  • Free hard drive space to download the ProctorExam application: 34MB
  • Rear camera: Yes
Preparation videos

Watch the Linguaskill Playlist with a series of preparation videos.

Information for candidates

Linguaskill is an online, adaptative, multi-level test designed to help organisations assess groups of candidates. It offers a complete picture of your candidates’ English abilities, with fast and accurate testing of all four language skills: reading, listening, writing, and speaking.

Download Linguaskill information for candidates

Exam format

Linguaskill is a flexible, modular assessment, which tests:

About 60-85 minutes

The Reading and Listening module is adaptive, so there is not a fixed number of questions. Each question the candidate answers helps the computer to understand their level better. The test finishes when the candidate has answered enough questions for Linguaskill to identify their level accurately.
Results for the Reading and Listening module are provided immediately.

Read and select
  • Candidates read a notice, label, memo or letter containing a short text and choose the sentence or phrase that most closely matches the meaning of the text. There are three possible answers.
Gapped sentences
  • Candidates read a sentence with a missing word (gap) and choose the correct word to fill the gap. There are three or four choices for each gap.
Multiple-choice gap-fill
  • Candidates choose the right word or phrase to fill the gaps in a text. There are three or four choices for each gap.
Open gap-fill
  • Candidates read a short text in which there are some missing words (gaps) and write in the missing word in each gap.
Extended reading:
  • Candidates read a longer text and answer a series of multiple-choice questions. The questions are in the same order as the information in the text.
Listen and select
  • Candidates listen to a short audio recording and answer a multiple-choice question with three options.
Extended listening
  • Candidates listen to a longer recording and answer a series of multiple-choice questions based on it. The questions are in the same order as the information they hear in the recording.

45 minutes

The Writing module asks candidates to input answers using a computer keyboard. Answers are marked automatically by the computer. Results will be available within 12 hours.

1 (Email)
  • Candidates read a short prompt, usually an email. They use the information in the prompt and the three bullet points to write an email of at least 50 words. Candidates should spend about 15 minutes on this.
  • The candidate will be asked to write a minimum of 50 words
  • One half of the final Writing result
2 (Long text)
  • Candidates read a short text outlining a scenario and respond using the information in the scenario and the three bullet points. Linguaskill General candidates will write at least 180 words to a wider audience and may be asked to produce a variety of text types (e.g. review, article, web post). Linguaskill Business candidates will write a letter or report of at least 180 words, often to a manager or staff within the company or to external clients.
  • The candidate will be asked to write a minimum of 180 words
  • One half of the final Writing result

15 minutes

The Speaking module is taken using a computer with a microphone and headphones. Questions are presented to the candidate through the computer screen and headphones, and their responses are recorded.
Linguaskill Business Speaking is assessed by human examiners. Linguaskill General Speaking is assessed by using human examiners or market-leading auto-marking technology, known as hybrid marking. Results will be available within 48 hours.

1 (interview)
  • The candidate answers eight questions about themselves (the first two questions are not marked).
  • 8 questions
  • 20% of the marks
2 (reading aloud)
  • The candidate reads eight sentences aloud.
  • 8 questions
  • 20% of the marks
3 (long turn 1)
  • The candidate is given a topic to talk about for one minute. 40 seconds are allowed for preparation.
  • 1 question
  • 20% of the marks
4 (long turn 2)
  • The candidate is given one or more graphics (for example a chart, diagram or information sheet) to talk about for one minute. One minute is allowed for preparation.
  • 1 question
  • 20% of the marks
5 (communication activity)
  • The candidate gives their opinions in the form of short responses to five questions related to one topic. 40 seconds are allowed for preparation.
  • 5 questions
  • 20% of the marks
Linguaskill General

Linguaskill General tests language used in daily life, making it ideal for university admission or exit, and recruitment for roles in a non-business-specific environment. For example, where the employee needs strong English skills to perform their role effectively, but will not need specialist business terminology. Test topics include studying and working, making future plans, travel and technology.

Linguaskill Business

Linguaskill Business tests English used in a business and corporate setting, and is most suitable for recruitment in organisations where employees are expected to be familiar with the language of business. Test topics include the buying and selling of products or services, the office, business travel and human resources.

Top Tips and exam day tips for Linguaskill

Read the top tips for Linguaskill, created by Cambridge English assessment specialists to give you the best chance of succeeding in your test:

Exam day tips

Linguaskill informative documents
lgskll_1

Listening and Reading
trial report

lgskll_3

Writing
trial report

lgskll_2

Computer-adaptive testing
of listening and reading skills

lgskll_4

Information
for candidates

Sample tests

Linguaskill General
Linguaskill Business

Use these online sample tests to familiarise yourself with the types of questions used on Linguaskill. These sample tests do not provide a result or save your answers.

Note: The Reading and Listening sample test is not adaptive and is shorter than a real test. The Speaking sample test requires a headphone set and microphone.

Online practice tests

The practice tests help you get comfortable with the format and layout of the test while also providing you with feedback on the responses you have entered. You can take these practice tests as many times as you like.
Note: Linguaskill is an adaptive test that changes the questions based on your answers, to provide you with a score. Our practice tests are not adaptive – there are three tests available, at elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Writing is one of the skills which candidates can improve very quickly with the right guidance and tools, so make sure they are equipped to pick up all the extra marks they can!
Below you will find some examples of Writing responses for the levels A2, B2 and C1 for each part of the test. You will also find examiner comments that explain the reasons behind why each level was achieved and highlight the content that needs to be included.

A2 Writing
B2 Writing
C1 Writing

Speak and Improve is a great way to practise your speaking skills and get used to the experience of taking an online speaking test like Linguaskill.

The technical requirements for running a Linguaskill test

Linguaskill is an online test and the equipment used to run the test must meet a series of minimum technical requirements. Centres and candidates are responsible for ensuring that their equipment meets these requirements in order for the test to function correctly. We recommend that you run a practice test in advance of your exam day.

  • Processor: Pentium III 800 MHz or equivalent
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Operating system: Windows 7 or later, Apple Mac OS X or later (Using Google Chrome browser)
    Linguaskill with online proctoring: Windows 8 or later
    Note: The Cambridge English Test portal and any tests run through it are not currently supported on iOS, Android or Chrome OS devices.
  • Free hard drive space: 4GB
  • Screen resolution: 1280 x 1024
  • Sound card: Yes

    IMPORTANT: The computer used for the test should NOT have more than one screen.
    You must close any other programs (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Skype), computer windows or webpages before to start the test.
    It is only allowed to have two windows open in the browser: the one corresponding to the exam and the ProctorExam one.

  • Internet bandwidth: 2 Mbps per candidate.

    The minimum bandwidth requirements are for each computer running the test. When running multiple tests concurrently on the same internet connection you should ensure this bandwidth is available to each computer. If less than 2 Mbps is available for each candidate, the test may take longer to run.

  • Web browser: Chrome or Firefox
    Linguaskill with online proctoring: Chrome
  • Adobe Reader: Latest version (must be able to read PDFs).
    Download Acrobat Reader here…
  • Webcam: For Linguaskill with online proctoring only
  • Smartphone: For Linguaskill with online proctoring only
  • Headphones: Over-ear and closed back – the earpieces of the headphones should cover the entire ear, preferably with good padding for comfort.
  • Microphone: A microphone should be attached to the headset, via a ‘boom’ (in other words, on the end of a flexible stalk). The microphone should be noise-cancelling (at a minimum, directional), to increase sound pick-up and to minimise noise pollution on the recordings.

    Please do not allow the use of your computers’ built-in microphones, these should be disabled, because they are not of the appropriate type nor of sufficient quality. In addition in Chrome if a candidate mutes their headset mic, Linguaskill will continue recording if there‘s more than one mic enabled on the machine.

  • Operating system: Android 5.1+ and iOS 10.0+ smart devices – smartphone or tablet – with a camera are supported. Check your operating system here by using your mobile phone.
    Note: Huawei P30 and Google Pixel 3 and newer are not compatible with our app.
  • Free hard drive space to download the ProctorExam application: 34MB
  • Rear camera: Yes
Preparation videos

Watch the Linguaskill Playlist with a series of preparation videos.