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THE APTIS ENGLISH TEST
Aptis is a range of exams from the British Council. They are an affordable way to test and certify your English level, and what’s more, the qualifications are accepted by several government organisations in Europe. The British council developed and designed the tests, and the same body also supervises the tests. There are several versions of the exam, Aptis General and Aptis for Teachers are great solutions if you need to demonstrate an A1-B2 level of English. On the other hand, if you are looking for a C1-C2 accreditation, Aptis Advanced is probably the right test to take.
Advantages of the Aptis English test
One of the great advantages of the Aptis English tests is that the results are very quick, probably due to the fact that it is a computer-based English test. The initial results take just 48 – 72 hours. You can either pick up the report from the offices or you can wait for it to arrive by post in less than 10 days. You will receive your test results by email between 48 and 72 hours after taking the test. Your test report will be available for collection at our offices or will be sent to you by post within 7 to 10 days.
The tests are much cheaper than the Cambridge Exams or the TOEFL even. The Aptis General and Aptis for Teachers fees range from 75 – 80€ whereas the Aptis Advanced costs around 90€.
All versions of the Aptis English test are computer-based, even the speaking section. This has three main advantages. Firstly, due to the standardised layout, you can prepare for the test beforehand, and you won’t be confused by unfamiliar formats. Secondly, the fact that there is no examiner in the room can help people feel more comfortable, avoiding nerves or ‘stage-fright’. Furthermore, the standardisation of the test means that a computer marks your entry, there is no chance of human error, and the results are super quick!
Because there are several variants of the Aptis English test, you can accurately demonstrate the skills relevant to your requirements.
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Variants of the Aptis English test
Aptis General – Level A1 – C.
The general Aptis tests focus on grammar, vocabulary and language skills (speaking, writing, reading and listening). Everybody has to complete the Grammar and vocabulary test and you can select the language skills that you would like to sit. The questions cover CEFR levels A1 – C, and start off easy and get harder.
You have the option to take all of the skills tests (speaking, writing, reading and listening) or just the ones you feel are appropriate for your needs.
The Grammar and vocabulary test
The Aptis Grammar and Vocabulary test has got to parts. Firstly, the grammar section which consists of 25 three-option multiple choice questions. Although this part tests mostly formal written English, there are a few questions which test spoken English, for example knowing which style to use in a formal or informal situation. Then you will take the vocabulary part of the test. Again there are 25 questions which are sets of 5 words. There are ten options you can choose from. There are, however, a variety of question types:
You must select a word with a similar meaning to the given word.
The aim is to match a given definition to the correct word from the five options.
You have to fill in the gap and complete a sentence by choosing the correct word from the list.
Word pairs or word combinations:
Here your knowledge of collocations is tested, many people think that these are the most difficult questions because you need to know which word in the list collocates, or most commonly goes with the target word. For examples, credit card is a common combination of two words whereas red card is not.
Aptis Listening Test
In the Aptis English test listening section, there is a 55-minute time limit to complete 25 questions. These questions are all multiple choice and have four options. Each listening track relates to one single question, you can play the track twice if you like but you don’t have to if you don’t need to hear it again.
There are three types of questions which are selected at random, so don’t worry if you don’t get questions from all types.
Word and number recognition:
You have to recognise information from a short phone message and identify something specific such as a number or a word.
Identifying specific, factual information:
You listen to one or two people talking and have to identify something specific from the audio track. You may have to specify where they want to go, or what they want to buy, for example.
This type of question again requires you to listen to a monologue or two people talking. You have to infer the correct answer by identifying clues in their language or tone. You will have to infer the attitude, intention or opinion of the speaker(s).
There are four reading tasks in this section of the Aptis English test which takes 30 minutes to complete. The tasks increase in difficulty as the test progresses.
You chose a word from a list of three options in order to complete the sentence. There are five sentences in total which are all freestanding. This means that it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand all of the sentences – they are independent of each other.
There are 7 sentences which have been mixed up. You have to click and drag the sentences in order to form a short story. There is only one correct order, so you must use your knowledge of cohesion of a text and skills as you look for clues in each sentence which show how it is connected to the following sentence.
Short text comprehension:
This is a gap fill exercise whereby you read a short text of about 150 words and select the appropriate words from a list to fill in the gaps. In order to be successful with this task, you must understand most of the sentences.
Long text comprehension
You will read a longer text of around 750 words that has a series of headings. You must match seven of the eight headings (or subtitles) to the seven paragraphs.
The Aptis Speaking test
You will have about 12 minutes to complete the four parts of the Aptis English test speaking section.
You have to talk for 30 seconds for each of the three questions which are about personal topics.
Describe, express your opinion, provide reasons and explanations:
You will need to describe an image and then answer two questions related to the photo. You have 45 seconds for the description and each of the two questions.
Describe, compare and provide reasons and explanations
Similarly, in this task you see images, but in this part, you must describe and compare them. Again you should answer two questions based on the topic of the photos, and you will have 45 seconds for each of the three questions (comparison + two topic questions)
Discuss personal experience and opinion on an abstract topic
Finally, you have to answer three questions about an image. And three questions about an abstract topic. You will have 60 seconds to prepare by taking notes and will talk for two minutes.
Aptis Writing section
As with the speaking section in this test, there are four parts to the writing module of the Aptis English test. The type of writing is based on modern situations such as filling in a form or writing an email, or you will also interact on social media platforms. The writing tasks are marked by a human examiner, not by the computer – as is the case for the other modules. You have a total of 55 minutes to complete all four parts, and should be careful to divide your time carefully.
You have to answer 5 text messages from members of a club, group or activity that you have just joined. You do not have to write full sentences, just individual words. You should only spend 3 minutes completing this task.
Short text writing
This part will take about 7 minutes, you will have to fill in a form by writing full sentences this time.
Three written parts of the text, all of which require responses
You should spend 10 minutes responding to questions on a social network.
Formal and informal writing
You will have to write two emails, one formal to an unknown friend and one informal to a friend. You should spend about 20 minutes as you write these emails which require you to react to information about a change.
Aptis for Teachers – Level A1 – B2
Aptis English test for Teachers is specifically for those who work in the education sector.
The British Council designed the test to evaluate English language skills in Education. Some schools integrate the Aptis for Teachers English test into existing systems and they manage locally, therefore enabling tracking of teachers’ English levels over time. Additionally, schools and educational institutions use Aptis for teachers to measure the success of training programmes effectively. Ministries of Education and educational institutions all over the world use the programme to test the English skills of teachers or students in teacher training programs.
Structure of the Aptis English test for teachers
The length and structure of Aptis for Teachers is the same as in the Aptis general test. However, The topics and test content relate specifically to teachers and questions cover themes and scenarios that teachers encounter on a daily basis. As a result, the question topics are familiar to candidates, which means that test-takers can focus purely on the language rather than the context.
Uses and applications of the Aptis English test for teachers
- Teachers of English who work in schools all over the world
- Teachers who teach other subjects in English in schools around the world
- English teachers involved in national or international language programs, including commercially-run language systems.
- Student teachers who are studying education or undergoing teacher training
- Other professionals such as teaching assistants or pastoral care workers in an educational context.
Educational institutions can use the Aptis English test for teachers to:
- assess their teachers’ English language skills,
- identify their training needs by conducting English language audits,
- identify the English language levels of students who are studying education or undergoing teacher training,
- evaluate the effectiveness of language courses and training schemes at various stages.
Advanced Aptis English test – Level C1 – C2
The Advanced Aptis English tests are great for candidates with a higher level of English language skills. It is a proven way to discriminate between CEFR levels C1 and C2 of proficiency.
Structure of the Advanced Aptis English test
As with the General Aptis English test, this version is computer-based and British Council staff supervise. Again, the Advanced Aptis English test allows you to evaluate all of the language skills as there are 5 components or modules. The core component, grammar and vocabulary, is obligatory and you may combine this with one to four English language skills test; Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.
Uses and applications of the Aptis English test for teachers
The test is for advanced learners of the English language who want to prove their level, it is especially good at discriminating between level C1 and C2. You must remember that re-enrollment for the Advanced Aptis English test is restricted, so if you need to retake the exam, you must wait at least 3 months after your last attempt.
Aptis American English test
Aptis English test for teens
Due to the fact that topics for the questions reflect activities that adolescents face daily, the Aptis English test for teens is perfect for 13-17 year-olds. The common subjects for test questions are social media, homework and sports, which means they are familiar to teenagers. As with the Aptis test for teachers, familiarity with the subject matter means that test takers can focus purely on their English skills and talk, write, speak and listen in a relaxed state. This approach is ground-breaking and serves to allow test-takers to fully demonstrate their knowledge of and skills in the English language.
Structure of the Aptis English test for teachers
Aptis for Teens is modular and flexible, there are 5 modules: core (grammar and vocabulary), reading, listening, writing and speaking. All candidates must take the grammar and vocabulary section, however, the skill components are not obligatory. You can take just one skill module (for example, speaking) or all four skill components (reading, listening, writing and speaking). Teachers or schools may decide which components are best for each test-taker.
Who can the Aptis English test for teens?
Many schools and educational institutions integrate the Aptis English test for teens into the curriculum. In this manner, English levels can be measured efficiently and effectively over a period of time. Consequently, the Aptis English test for teens amplifies the future possibilities for learning. The British council designed the test for:
- Secondary schools
- Ministries of Education in countries all over the world
- Language schools and academies
- Private tutors or personal English teachers
- Bilingual schools who teach subjects such as ‘biology’ in English
Educational institutions can use the Aptis English test for teens to:
- Classify students according to language proficiency level
- Assess readiness for taking more expensive, certified qualifications such as the Cambridge First or PET exams.
- Assess readiness and preparation for students who would like to take part in homestay and study abroad programmes
- Evaluate course content and learning programme structure
- Test the long-term progress of students over longer periods of study.
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How to prepare for the Aptis English test
The best way to prepare for any test with a native English teacher. You must be familiar with a computer, so English classes via Skype are a fantastic way to brush up on your IT and English language skills simultaneously! If you would like to try a free class to see our unique method and how we can help you achieve your goals, do not hesitate to get in touch – or click the picture to the right
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