Scheme of assessment

Find past papers and mark schemes, and specimen papers for new courses, on our website at aqa.org.uk/pastpapers

This specification is designed to be taken over two years.

This is a linear qualification. In order to achieve the award, students must complete all assessments at the end of the course and in the same series.

GCSE exams and certification for this specification are available for the first time in May/June 2018 and then every May/June for the life of the specification.

All materials are available in English only.

Our GCSE exams in Spanish include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to:

  • draw together their knowledge, skills and understanding from across the full course of study
  • provide extended responses.

Aims and learning outcomes

Courses based on this specification should encourage students to develop their ability and ambition to communicate with native speakers in speech and writing. The study of Spanish should also broaden their horizons and encourage them to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries and develop new ways of seeing the world.

Courses based on this specification should enable students to:

  • develop their ability to communicate confidently and coherently with native speakers in speech and writing, conveying what they want to say with increasing accuracy
  • express and develop thoughts and ideas spontaneously and fluently
  • listen to and understand clearly articulated, standard speech at near normal speed
  • deepen their knowledge about how language works and enrich their vocabulary to increase their independent use and understanding of extended language in a range of contexts
  • acquire new knowledge, skills and ways of thinking through the ability to understand and respond to authentic spoken and written material, adapted and abridged, as appropriate, including literary texts
  • develop awareness and understanding of the culture and identity of the countries and communities where Spanish is spoken
  • make appropriate links to other areas of the curriculum to enable bilingual and deeper learning, where the language may become a medium for constructing and applying knowledge
  • develop language learning skills both for immediate use and prepare them for further language study in school, higher education or employment
  • develop language strategies, including repair strategies.

Assessment objectives

Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all GCSE Spanish specifications and all exam boards.

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.

  • AO1: Listening – understand and respond to different types of spoken language.
  • AO2: Speaking – communicate and interact effectively in speech.
  • AO3: Reading – understand and respond to different types of written language.
  • AO4: Writing – communicate in writing.

Assessment objective weightings for GCSE Spanish

Foundation and Higher Tiers

Assessment objectives (AOs) Component weightings (approx %) Overall weighting (approx %)
Paper 1: Listening Paper 2: Speaking Paper 3: Reading Paper 4: Writing
AO1 (Listening) 25       25
AO2 (Speaking)   25     25
AO3 (Reading)     25   25
AO4 (Writing)       25 25
Overall weighting of components         100

Assessment weightings

The marks awarded on the papers will be scaled to meet the weighting of the components. Students’ final marks will be calculated by adding together the scaled marks for each component. Grade boundaries will be set using this total scaled mark. The scaling and total scaled marks are shown in the table below.

Foundation Tier

Component Maximum raw mark Scaling factor Maximum scaled mark
Paper 1 (Listening) 40 x3/2 60
Paper 2 (Speaking) 60 x1 60
Paper 3 (Reading) 60 x1 60
Paper 4 (Writing) 50 x6/5 60
Total scaled mark: 240

Higher Tier

Component Maximum raw mark Scaling factor Maximum scaled mark
Paper 1 (Listening) 50 x6/5 60
Paper 2 (Speaking) 60 x1 60
Paper 3 (Reading) 60 x1 60
Paper 4 (Writing) 60 x1 60
Total scaled mark: 240

Paper 1: Listening

Students may be entered for either Foundation Tier or Higher Tier but they must enter at the same tier for all four skills.

25% of the marks

Foundation Tier 40 marks; 35 minutes (including 5 minutes' reading time)

Higher Tier 50 marks; 45 minutes (including 5 minutes' reading time)

  • The test will be studio recorded using native speakers speaking Castilian in clearly articulated, standard speech at near normal speed.
  • The recording will be provided to schools and colleges in an appropriate audio format at the same time as the dispatch of the question papers.
  • Different types of spoken language will be used, using familiar language across a range of contemporary and cultural themes.
  • Students will be given five minutes’ reading time at the beginning of the test to give them time to read the questions.
  • An example will be provided in the question paper only where it is necessary to indicate to students how a particular question should be answered.
  • Each item will be heard twice and pauses for students to answer will be built into the test.
  • Students will be allowed to make notes at any time during the test.
  • Access to dictionaries is not permitted at any time during the test.

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

In Section A, students’ understanding of spoken language will be tested by a range of question types in English, requiring non-verbal responses or responses in English. In Section B, students’ comprehension will be tested by a range of question types in Spanish, requiring non-verbal responses or responses in Spanish. The tests will contain some items which are common to both tiers.

The responses will be assessed according to a detailed mark scheme; the appropriate mark(s) will be awarded if the student has satisfactorily communicated his or her understanding, even though the response may contain some errors in the quality of language used.

The test at both tiers will consist of a variety of short and longer spoken pieces of language, involving some more complex language later in the test. This will not place an undue burden on memory at any time. 

Students will be required to identify the overall message, key points, details and opinions from items such as announcements, short conversations, instructions, news bulletins and telephone messages, together with some material which will be longer and will include reference to the relationship between past, present and future events. These items will include authentic sources, suitably adapted and abridged. They will also be required to deduce meaning from more abstract material, including short narratives. They will hear more extended spoken text where they will recognise and respond to key information, themes and ideas by answering questions, extracting information and evaluating and drawing conclusions.

Higher Tier only

In addition to the above, at Higher Tier students will hear more extended spoken text where they will recognise and respond to key information, themes and ideas by answering questions, extracting information and evaluating and drawing conclusions.

Paper 2: Speaking

Students can be entered for either Foundation Tier or Higher Tier but they must enter at the same tier for all four skills.

25% of the marks

A window of up to five weeks will be timetabled for the test, during which schools/colleges will be free to test their students at any time. The window will be timetabled to run in April and May. The teacher can open the speaking test materials up to three days in advance of the first test date in order to prepare for conducting the tests.

Detailed instructions for the teacher will be issued prior to the test period. Online training will also be available to ensure teachers are wholly familiar with the requirements and format of the tests.

The confidentiality of the test materials must be strictly maintained prior to and during the period of the tests.

Access to dictionaries is not permitted at any time during the test or the preparation time.

Instructions and rubrics for the test are in English.

Students will be allowed to make notes during their supervised preparation time and take these into the examination room and can use them during the test.

The test is conducted and audio-recorded by the teacher and marked by an AQA examiner.

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

60 marks

Foundation Tier: students will attend one session of 7–9 minutes (and supervised preparation time of approximately 10–12 minutes).

Higher Tier: students will attend one session of 10–12 minutes (and supervised preparation time of approximately 10–12 minutes).

The format of the test will be the same for each tier and will consist of three parts.

Role-play (15 marks)

Based on a stimulus card, to be prepared by the student immediately before the test during their preparation time. Students will carry out one role-playing situation (approximately two minutes at Foundation Tier and two minutes at Higher Tier).

The Role-play card will allow students to answer questions and convey information, using and adapting language for new purposes. Students will respond to unexpected questions and use repair strategies to sustain communication. They will also ask a question.

Photo card (15 marks)

Based on a stimulus card, to be prepared by the student immediately before the test in the supervised preparation time. Students will discuss one Photo card (approximately two minutes at Foundation Tier and three minutes at Higher Tier). Teachers will ask five prescribed questions based on the Photo card. Three of these five questions will be printed on the student’s card.

General conversation (30 marks)

The teacher will conduct a conversation based on the two themes which have not been covered on the Photo card (between three and five minutes at Foundation Tier and five and seven at Higher Tier). A similar amount of time should be spent on each theme. The student will choose the first theme; the second theme is the remaining theme which has not been covered in the Photo card part of the test. This ensures that aspects of all three themes are covered in the Speaking test.

The General conversation allows the student to take part in a conversation, asking and answering questions and exchanging opinions. The student will also convey information and narrate events coherently and confidently and use and adapt language for new purposes. They will be able to speak spontaneously, responding to unexpected questions, points of view or situations and sustain communication by using repair strategies. They will initiate and develop conversations and discussion to produce extended sequences of speech. They will make creative and more complex use of language, as appropriate, to express and justify their own thoughts and points of view.

All three parts of the test will allow students to demonstrate appropriate and accurate use of a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures, including some more complex forms, with reference to past, present and future events. They will also allow students to use accurate pronunciation and intonation so as to be understood by a native speaker.

See the Speaking test assessment criteria.

Paper 3: Reading

Students may be entered for either Foundation Tier or Higher Tier but they must enter at the same tier for all four skills.

25% of the marks

Foundation Tier 60 marks; 45 minutes

Higher Tier 60 marks; 1 hour

  • Different types of written language will be used, including relevant personal communication, public information and factual and literary texts.
  • An example will be provided in the question paper only where it is necessary to indicate to students how a particular question should be answered.
  • Access to dictionaries is not permitted at any time during the test.

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

In Section A, students’ understanding of written language will be tested by a range of question types in English, requiring non-verbal responses or responses in English. In Section B, students’ comprehension will be tested by a range of question types in Spanish, requiring non-verbal responses or responses in Spanish. In Section C, there will be a translation from Spanish into English (a minimum of 35 words at Foundation Tier and 50 words at Higher Tier). The tests will contain some items which are common to both tiers.

Responses will be assessed according to a detailed mark scheme; the appropriate mark(s) will be awarded if the student has satisfactorily communicated his or her understanding, even though the response may contain some errors in the quality of language used.

The test will consist of a variety of short and longer written texts, involving some more complex language later in the test. Students will be required to identify the overall message, key points, details and opinions from items such as instructions, public notices and advertisements, together with some material which will be longer, such as extracts from brochures, guides, letters, newspapers, magazines, literary texts, email and websites. These will include reference to the relationship between past, present and future events. These items will include authentic sources, suitably adapted and abridged. Literary texts will include a mix of contemporary and historical sources.

Students will also be required to deduce meaning from a variety of written texts, including some unfamiliar language and short narratives. They will be presented with longer texts where they will be required to recognise and respond to key information, themes and ideas. They will demonstrate understanding by being able to scan for particular information, organise and present relevant details. They will draw inferences and recognise implicit meaning.

Higher Tier only

Higher Tier students will be presented with longer texts where they will be required to recognise and respond to key information, themes and ideas. They will demonstrate understanding by being able to scan for particular information, organise and present relevant details. They will draw inferences and recognise implicit meaning.

Paper 4: Writing

Students may be entered for either Foundation Tier or Higher Tier but they must enter at the same tier for all four skills.

25% of the marks

  • Access to dictionaries is not permitted at any time during the test.
  • All instructions are in English. All questions are in Spanish.

Foundation Tier

50 marks; 1 hour

Students are required to write in Spanish.

Question 1 (8 marks)

A message which demonstrates students’ ability to write short sentences using familiar language in a familiar context.

Question 2 (16 marks)

A short passage which demonstrates students’ ability to write a short text, using simple sentences and familiar language accurately, to convey meaning and exchange information. Students are expected to write approximately 40 words but, provided the tasks set are completed, the number of words is not important.

Question 3 (10 marks)

A translation from English into Spanish, requiring a minimum of 35 words. This demonstrates students’ ability to convey key messages accurately and to apply grammatical knowledge of language and structures.

Question 4 (16 marks)

A structured writing task which demonstrates students’ ability to produce clear and coherent text of extended length, to present facts and express ideas and opinions. They also make accurate use of a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures, including some more complex forms, to describe and narrate with reference to past, present and future events. They are required to manipulate the language, using and adapting a variety of structures and vocabulary, using appropriate style and register. The requirement to use formal or informal address will vary year on year.

Students are expected to write approximately 90 words but, provided the tasks set are completed, the number of words is not important. They choose either Question 4.1 or 4.2. This question is common to Higher Tier Question 1.

Higher Tier

60 marks; 1 hour 15 minutes

Students are required to write in Spanish.

Question 1 (16 marks)

A structured writing task which demonstrates students’ ability to produce clear and coherent text of extended length, to present facts and express ideas and opinions. They also make accurate use of a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures, including some more complex forms, to describe and narrate with reference to past, present and future events. They are required to manipulate the language, using and adapting a variety of structures and vocabulary, using appropriate style and register. The requirement to use formal or informal address will vary year on year.

Students are expected to write approximately 90 words but, provided the tasks set are completed, the number of words is not important. They choose either Question 1.1 or 1.2. This question is common to Foundation Tier Question 4.

Question 2 (32 marks)

An open-ended writing task which demonstrates their ability to make independent, creative and more complex use of the language, as appropriate, to note down key points, express and justify individual thoughts and points of view, in order to interest, inform or convince. They should use appropriate style and register. The requirement to use formal or informal address will vary year on year.

Students are expected to write approximately 150 words but, provided the tasks set are completed, the number of words is not important. They choose either Question 2.1 or 2.2.

Question 3 (12 marks)

A translation from English into Spanish, requiring a minimum of 50 words. This demonstrates students’ ability to convey key messages accurately and to apply grammatical knowledge of language and structures. 

See the Writing test assessment criteria.

Assessment criteria

Listening

See the mark scheme published each year for details of how marks are awarded for this question paper.

Speaking

Marks will be allocated in the following way at both Foundation and Higher Tier:

  Communication Knowledge and use of language Range and accuracy of language Pronunciation and intonation Spontaneity and fluency Total
Role-play 10 5 15
Photo card 15 15
Conversation 10 10 5 5 30
Total 35 5 10 5 5 60

Foundation Tier

Part 1: Role-play (15 marks)

There are five tasks for the Role-play, each of which will be awarded up to 2 marks for Communication. There will then be an overall assessment of the student’s Knowledge and use of language in the Role-play. Up to 5 marks will be available for this assessment.

For each task:

Mark Communication
2 The message is conveyed without ambiguity.
1 The message is partially conveyed or conveyed with some ambiguity.
0 No part of the message is conveyed.

Notes

(a) Students who do not understand a question may show repair strategies in seeking clarification. If they are then able to respond to the question successfully, they should be awarded the same mark as if they had understood it originally.

(b) Where students are required to give two responses or details in one task, failure to convey an unambiguous message in reply to one of them means that the message is partially conveyed and one mark is awarded.

(c) The tasks on the Candidate’s card and the notes in the Teacher’s Booklet clearly explain how much detail the student is expected to give per task. However, some students may still go beyond the minimum requirement of the task. When this happens, as soon as the task is accomplished, any further incorrect information given by the student is ignored for assessment purposes, for both Communication and for Knowledge and use of language.

For the Role-play overall:

Mark Knowledge and use of language
5 Very good knowledge and use of language.
4 Good knowledge and use of language.
3 Reasonable knowledge and use of language.
2 Limited knowledge and use of language.
1 Poor knowledge and use of language.
0 No language produced is worthy of credit.
Part 2: Photo card (15 marks)

The student’s responses to the five questions are assessed for Communication only, as specified in the criteria below.

Level Mark Communication
5 13–15 The speaker replies to all questions clearly and develops most answers. He/she gives and explains an opinion.
4 10–12 The speaker replies to all or nearly all questions clearly and develops some answers. He/she gives and explains an opinion.
3 7–9 The speaker gives understandable replies to most questions and develops at least one answer. He/she gives an opinion.
2 4–6 The speaker gives understandable replies to most questions but they may be short and/or repetitive.
1 1–3 The speaker replies to some questions but the answers are likely to be short and/or repetitive.
0 0 Communication does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

(a) At least one question on each Photo card asks students to give and explain an opinion.

(b) Students who do not understand a question may show repair strategies in seeking clarification. If they are then able to respond to the question successfully, they should be awarded the same mark as if they had understood it originally.

Part 3: General conversation (30 marks)

The General conversation is based on the two themes not covered in the Photo card. At Foundation Tier, the conversation should last between three and five minutes. It is assessed for Communication, Range and accuracy of language, Pronunciation and intonation and Spontaneity and fluency, as specified in the criteria below.

A zero score for Communication means that the mark in the other three categories must also be zero but, apart from that, the Communication mark does not limit the marks in the other categories.

Communication
Level Mark Communication
5 9–10 A speaker who usually gives quite short responses but occasionally gives extended responses. Occasionally narrates events briefly when asked to do so. Usually gives clear information but lacks clarity from time to time. Gives opinions, some of which are explained.
4 7–8 A speaker who tends to give quite short responses, but with occasional attempts at longer responses. He/she has only limited success in narrating events. There may be a few occasions when he/she is unable to answer successfully or where responses are very unclear. Gives opinions.
3 5–6 A speaker who gives short responses. Attempts at longer responses or at narrating events require an effort of concentration to be understood and some responses may be unintelligible. Gives at least one opinion.
2 3–4 A speaker who is able only to give very short responses. Any attempts at slightly longer responses or at narrating events tend to be very unclear or even unintelligible. There may be occasions where the speaker is unable to respond.
1 1–2 A speaker who is able to communicate very little, either because most of the time he/she is unable to respond, and/or because most of what is said is unintelligible.
0 0 Communication does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

Students are required to ask the teacher/examiner a question in the General conversation section of the speaking test. Students who do not fulfil this requirement will incur a deduction of 1 mark from their mark for Communication in this section. For example, a student who would have received 8 marks out of 10 for Communication, had he/she asked a question, will actually receive a final mark of 7. There is no impact on the marks awarded for the other categories for the General conversation.

Range and accuracy of language
Level Mark Range and accuracy of language
5 9–10 Generally good language which involves mainly simple linguistic structures and vocabulary, with some repetition, but with attempts to use more complex linguistic structures and more varied vocabulary. There is some success in making reference to past and future, as well as present, events. Although there may be errors they do not generally impede comprehension.
4 7–8 Reasonable language which uses simple structures and vocabulary and may be repetitive at times. Any attempts to make reference to past or future events may have only limited success. There may be frequent errors, which may occasionally impede communication.
3 5–6 Basic language which uses simple structures and vocabulary and may often be repetitive. There is little or no success in making reference to past or future events. There are likely to be frequent errors, which sometimes impede communication.
2 3–4 Limited language which uses very simple structures and vocabulary and is likely to be repetitive. There is little or no success in making reference to past or future events. There are likely to be frequent errors which regularly impede communication.
1 1–2 Very poor language which may show little understanding of how the language works. There are likely to be errors in the vast majority of sentences, or there may be so little said that it is impossible to make a judgement.
0 0 The language does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.
Pronunciation and intonation
Level Mark Pronunciation and intonation
5 5 Generally good but some inconsistency at times.
4 4 Pronunciation generally understandable with some intonation.
3 3 Pronunciation is understandable, with a little intonation, but comprehension is sometimes delayed.
2 2 Pronunciation very anglicised with almost no intonation, making comprehension difficult at times.
1 1 Pronunciation is only just understandable making comprehension difficult.
0 0 Pronunciation and intonation do not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.
Spontaneity and fluency
Level Mark Spontaneity and fluency
5 5 Generally good exchange in which the speaker shows some spontaneity, but also relies on pre-learnt responses. Sometimes hesitates and may not be able to respond to some questions.
4 4 Reasonable exchange in which the speaker shows a little spontaneity, but much of what is said involves pre-learnt responses. The flow is often broken by hesitation and delivery can be quite slow at times.
3 3 Basic exchange in which the speaker shows little or no spontaneity and relies heavily on pre-learnt responses. The flow is broken by hesitations, some of them long, and delivery is quite slow.
2 2 Limited exchange in which the speaker may show no spontaneity and all successful responses may be pre-learnt. Hesitates frequently, and often at length, before answering questions. Slow delivery means that the conversation lacks any flow.
1 1 Poor exchange in which the speaker hesitates at length before answering most questions, which makes the conversation very disjointed. Often cannot answer questions, while at other times there may be pre-learnt responses.
0 0 Spontaneity and fluency do not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

Students who do not understand a question may show repair strategies in seeking clarification. If they are then able to respond to the question successfully, this will not have a negative impact on the overall mark, unless it happens regularly and affects fluency.

Higher Tier

Part 1: Role-play (15 marks)

There are five tasks for the Role-play, each of which will be awarded up to 2 marks for Communication. There will then be an overall assessment of the student’s Knowledge and use of language in the Role-play. Up to 5 marks will be available for this assessment.

For each task:

Mark Communication
2 The message is conveyed without ambiguity.
1 The message is partially conveyed or conveyed with some ambiguity.
0 No part of the message is conveyed.

Notes

(a) Students who do not understand a question may show repair strategies in seeking clarification. If they are then able to respond to the question successfully, they should be awarded the same mark as if they had understood it originally.

(b) Where students are required to give two responses or details in one task, failure to convey an unambiguous message in reply to one of them means that the message is partially conveyed and one mark is awarded.

(c) The tasks on the Candidate’s card and the notes in the Teacher’s Booklet clearly explain how much detail the student is expected to give per task. However, some students may still go beyond the minimum requirement of the task. When this happens, as soon as the task is accomplished, any further incorrect information given by the student is ignored for assessment purposes, for both Communication and for Knowledge and use of language.

For the Role-play overall:

Mark Knowledge and use of language
5 Very good knowledge and use of language.
4 Good knowledge and use of language.
3 Reasonable knowledge and use of language.
2 Limited knowledge and use of language.
1 Poor knowledge and use of language.
0 No language produced is worthy of credit.
Part 2: Photo card (15 marks)

The student’s responses to the five questions are assessed for Communication only, as specified in the criteria below.

Level Mark Communication
5 13–15 The speaker replies to all questions clearly and develops most answers. He/she gives and explains an opinion.
4 10–12 The speaker replies to all or nearly all questions clearly and develops some answers. He/she gives and explains an opinion.
3 7–9 The speaker gives understandable replies to most questions and develops at least one answer. He/she gives an opinion.
2 4–6 The speaker gives understandable replies to most questions but they may be short and/or repetitive.
1 1–3 The speaker replies to some questions but the answers are likely to be short and/or repetitive.
0 0 Communication does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

(a) At least one question on each Photo card asks students to give and explain an opinion.

(b) Students who do not understand a question may show repair strategies in seeking clarification. If they are then able to respond to the question successfully, they should be awarded the same mark as if they had understood it originally.

Part 3: General conversation (30 marks)

The General conversation is based on the two themes not covered in the Photo card. At Higher Tier, the conversation should last between five and seven minutes. It is assessed for Communication, Range and accuracy of language, Pronunciation and intonation and Spontaneity and fluency, as specified in the criteria below.

A zero score for Communication means that the mark in the other three categories must also be zero but, apart from that, the Communication mark does not limit the marks in the other categories.

Communication
Level Mark Communication
5 9–10 A speaker who consistently develops responses in extended sequences of speech. Narrates events coherently when asked to do so. Conveys information clearly at all times, giving and explaining opinions convincingly.
4 7–8 A speaker who regularly develops responses in extended sequences of speech. Usually narrates events when asked to do so. Almost always conveys information clearly, giving and explaining opinions.
3 5–6 A speaker who develops some responses in extended sequences of speech. Sometimes narrates events when asked to do so. Usually conveys information clearly, giving and often explaining opinions.
2 3–4 A speaker who usually gives quite short responses but occasionally gives extended responses. Occasionally narrates events briefly when asked to do so. Usually gives clear information but lacks clarity from time to time. Gives opinions, some of which are explained.
1 1–2 A speaker who tends to give quite short responses, but with occasional attempts at longer responses. He/she has only limited success in narrating events. There may be a few occasions when he/she is unable to answer successfully or where responses are very unclear. Gives opinions.
0 0 Communication does not reach the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

Students are required to ask the teacher/examiner a question in the General conversation section of the speaking test. Students who do not fulfil this requirement will incur a deduction of 1 mark from their mark for Communication in this section. For example, a student who would have received 8 marks out of 10 for Communication, had he/she asked a question, will actually receive a final mark of 7. There is no impact on the marks awarded for the other categories for the General conversation.

Range and accuracy of language
Level Mark Range and accuracy of language
5 9–10 Excellent language with a wide variety of linguistic structures and a wide range of vocabulary. References to past and future, as well as present, events are made confidently. There are few minor errors and other errors occur when complex structures and/or vocabulary are attempted.
4 7–8 Very good language with some variety of linguistic structures and a range of vocabulary. References to past and future, as well as present, events are generally successful. Any errors are only minor or occur when complex structures and/or vocabulary are attempted.
3 5–6 Good language with some attempts at more complex structures which are usually successful. References to past and future, as well as present, events are made and are sometimes successful. There may be minor errors and occasional more serious ones, but they do not generally impede comprehension.
2 3–4 Generally good language which involves mainly simple linguistic structures and vocabulary, with some repetition, but with attempts to use more complex linguistic structures and more varied vocabulary. There is some success in making reference to past and future, as well as present, events. Although there may be errors they do not generally impede comprehension.
1 1–2 Reasonable language which uses simple structures and vocabulary and may be repetitive at times. Any attempts to make reference to past or future events may have only limited success. There may be frequent errors, which may occasionally impede communication.
0 0 The language does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.
Pronunciation and intonation
Level Mark Pronunciation and intonation
5 5 Consistently good pronunciation and intonation throughout.
4 4 Good pronunciation and intonation with only occasional lapses.
3 3 Generally good but with some inconsistency in more challenging language.
2 2 Generally good but some inconsistency at times.
1 1 Pronunciation generally understandable with some intonation.
0 0 Pronunciation and intonation do not reach the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.
Spontaneity and fluency
Level Mark Spontaneity and fluency
5 5 Excellent exchange in which the speaker reacts naturally to the questions asked and has an air of spontaneity. Responds promptly and speaks with some fluency, though not necessarily with that of a native speaker.
4 4 Very good exchange in which the speaker usually reacts naturally to the questions asked and is often spontaneous. Usually responds promptly and there is some flow of language.
3 3 Good exchange in which the speaker sometimes reacts naturally to the questions asked, but may at times rely on pre-learnt responses. There may be some hesitation before a reply but the delivery generally has a reasonable pace.
2 2 Generally good exchange in which the speaker shows some spontaneity, but also relies on pre-learnt responses. Sometimes hesitates and may not be able to respond to some questions.
1 1 Reasonable exchange in which the speaker shows a little spontaneity, but much of what is said involves pre-learnt responses. The flow is often broken by hesitation and delivery can be quite slow at times.
0 0 Spontaneity and fluency do not reach the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

Students who do not understand a question may show repair strategies in seeking clarification. If they are then able to respond to the question successfully, this will not have a negative impact on the overall mark, unless it happens regularly and affects fluency.

Reading

See the mark scheme published each year for details of how marks are awarded for this question paper.

Writing

Foundation Tier

Marks will be allocated in the following way at Foundation Tier:

Communication Content Quality of language Conveying key messages Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures Total
Question 1 8 8
Question 2 10 6 16
Question 3 5 5 10
Question 4 10 6 16
Total 8 20 12 5 5 50
Question 1 (8 marks)

Students are required to write four sentences. Each sentence is marked according to the following criteria.

Mark Communication
2 The relevant message is clearly communicated.
1 The message is relevant but has some ambiguity and causes a delay in communication.
0 The message is irrelevant or cannot be understood.
Question 2 (16 marks)

There are four compulsory bullet points, assessed for Content (10 marks) and Quality of language (6 marks), as specified in the criteria below. The student is expected to produce approximately 40 words over the whole question. The number of words is approximate; examiners will mark all work produced by the student.

Content
Level Mark Response
5 9–10 A full coverage of the required information. Communication is clear.
4 7–8 A good coverage of the required information. Communication is mostly clear but perhaps with occasional lapses.
3 5–6 A reasonable coverage of the required information. Communication is generally clear but there are likely to be lapses.
2 3–4 A partial coverage of the required information. Communication is sometimes clear but there are instances where messages are not conveyed.
1 1–2 A minimal coverage of the required information. Communication is often not clear and there may be frequent instances where messages are not conveyed.
0 0 The content does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.
Quality of language
Level Mark Response
3 5–6 Uses a variety of appropriate vocabulary and grammatical structures. Generally accurate.
2 3–4 Vocabulary and grammatical structures generally appropriate to the task, with some attempt at variety. More accurate than inaccurate.
1 1–2 Vocabulary and structures used may be limited, repetitive or inappropriate. There may be frequent errors.
0 0 The language produced does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

A mark of zero for Content automatically results in a mark of zero for Quality of language, but apart from that, the Content mark does not limit the mark for Quality of language.

Content
Level Mark Response
5 9–10 A full coverage of the required information. Communication is clear.
4 7–8 A good coverage of the required information. Communication is mostly clear but perhaps with occasional lapses.
3 5–6 A reasonable coverage of the required information. Communication is generally clear but there are likely to be lapses.
2 3–4 A partial coverage of the required information. Communication is sometimes clear but there are instances where messages are not conveyed.
1 1–2 A minimal coverage of the required information. Communication is often not clear and there may be frequent instances where messages are not conveyed.
0 0 The content does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.
Quality of language
Level Mark Response
3 5–6 Uses a variety of appropriate vocabulary and grammatical structures. Generally accurate.
2 3–4 Vocabulary and grammatical structures generally appropriate to the task, with some attempt at variety. More accurate than inaccurate.
1 1–2 Vocabulary and structures used may be limited, repetitive or inappropriate. There may be frequent errors.
0 0 The language produced does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

A mark of zero for Content automatically results in a mark of zero for Quality of language, but apart from that, the Content mark does not limit the mark for Quality of language.

Content
Level Mark Response
5 9–10 A full coverage of the required information. Communication is clear.
4 7–8 A good coverage of the required information. Communication is mostly clear but perhaps with occasional lapses.
3 5–6 A reasonable coverage of the required information. Communication is generally clear but there are likely to be lapses.
2 3–4 A partial coverage of the required information. Communication is sometimes clear but there are instances where messages are not conveyed.
1 1–2 A minimal coverage of the required information. Communication is often not clear and there may be frequent instances where messages are not conveyed.
0 0 The content does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.
Quality of language
Level Mark Response
3 5–6 Uses a variety of appropriate vocabulary and grammatical structures. Generally accurate.
2 3–4 Vocabulary and grammatical structures generally appropriate to the task, with some attempt at variety. More accurate than inaccurate.
1 1–2 Vocabulary and structures used may be limited, repetitive or inappropriate. There may be frequent errors.
0 0 The language produced does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

A mark of zero for Content automatically results in a mark of zero for Quality of language, but apart from that, the Content mark does not limit the mark for Quality of language.

Question 3 (10 marks)

The translation is assessed for Conveying key messages (5 marks) and Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures (5 marks), as specified in the criteria below. When awarding the marks, the student’s response across all five sentences should be considered as a whole.

Conveying key messages
Level Mark Response
5 5 All key messages are conveyed.
4 4 Nearly all key messages are conveyed.
3 3 Most key messages are conveyed.
2 2 Some key messages are conveyed.
1 1 Few key messages are conveyed.
0 0 No key messages are conveyed.
Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures
Level Mark Response
5 5 Very good knowledge of vocabulary and structures; highly accurate.
4 4 Good knowledge of vocabulary and structures; generally accurate.
3 3 Reasonable knowledge of vocabulary and structures; more accurate than inaccurate.
2 2 Limited knowledge of vocabulary and structures; generally inaccurate.
1 1 Very limited knowledge of vocabulary and structures; highly inaccurate.
0 0 The language produced does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

A mark of zero for Conveying key messages automatically results in a mark of zero for Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures, but apart from that, the Conveying key messages mark does not limit the mark for Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures.

Conveying key messages
Level Mark Response
5 5 All key messages are conveyed.
4 4 Nearly all key messages are conveyed.
3 3 Most key messages are conveyed.
2 2 Some key messages are conveyed.
1 1 Few key messages are conveyed.
0 0 No key messages are conveyed.
Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures
Level Mark Response
5 5 Very good knowledge of vocabulary and structures; highly accurate.
4 4 Good knowledge of vocabulary and structures; generally accurate.
3 3 Reasonable knowledge of vocabulary and structures; more accurate than inaccurate.
2 2 Limited knowledge of vocabulary and structures; generally inaccurate.
1 1 Very limited knowledge of vocabulary and structures; highly inaccurate.
0 0 The language produced does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

A mark of zero for Conveying key messages automatically results in a mark of zero for Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures, but apart from that, the Conveying key messages mark does not limit the mark for Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures.

Conveying key messages
Level Mark Response
5 5 All key messages are conveyed.
4 4 Nearly all key messages are conveyed.
3 3 Most key messages are conveyed.
2 2 Some key messages are conveyed.
1 1 Few key messages are conveyed.
0 0 No key messages are conveyed.
Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures
Level Mark Response
5 5 Very good knowledge of vocabulary and structures; highly accurate.
4 4 Good knowledge of vocabulary and structures; generally accurate.
3 3 Reasonable knowledge of vocabulary and structures; more accurate than inaccurate.
2 2 Limited knowledge of vocabulary and structures; generally inaccurate.
1 1 Very limited knowledge of vocabulary and structures; highly inaccurate.
0 0 The language produced does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

A mark of zero for Conveying key messages automatically results in a mark of zero for Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures, but apart from that, the Conveying key messages mark does not limit the mark for Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures.

Question 4 (16 marks)

There are four compulsory bullet points, assessed for Content (10 marks) and Quality of language (6 marks), as specified in the criteria below. The student is expected to produce approximately 90 words over the whole question. The number of words expected is approximate; examiners will mark all work produced by the student.

Content
Level Mark Response
5 9–10 A very good response covering all aspects of the task.Communication is clear and a lot of information is conveyed. Opinions are expressed.
4 7–8 A good response covering all aspects of the task. Communication is mostly clear but perhaps with occasional lapses. Quite a lot of information is conveyed. Opinions are expressed.
3 5–6 A reasonable response covering almost all aspects of the task. Communication is generally clear but there are likely to be lapses. Some information is conveyed. An opinion is expressed.
2 3–4 A basic response covering some aspects of the task. Communication is sometimes clear but there are instances where messages break down. Little information is conveyed. An opinion is expressed.
1 1–2 A limited response covering some aspects of the task. Communication is often not clear and there may be frequent instances where messages break down. Very little information is conveyed. There may be no opinions expressed.
0 0 The content does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

There may be some imbalance in the coverage of the four compulsory bullet points but, provided at least some coverage of all bullet points is evident, students will have access to full marks where the other criteria are met.

Quality of language
Level Mark Response
3 5–6 A variety of appropriate vocabulary is used. Complex structures and sentences are attempted. There are references to three time frames, which are largely successful. Errors are mainly minor. Some more serious errors may occur, particularly in complex structures and sentences, but the intended meaning is nearly always clear. The style and register are appropriate.
2 3–4 Some variety of appropriate vocabulary is used. There may be some attempt at complex structures and sentences. There are references to at least two different time frames, although these may not always be successful. There may be some major errors, and more frequent minor errors, but overall the response is more accurate than inaccurate and the intended meaning is usually clear. The style and register may not always be appropriate.
1 1–2 The range of vocabulary may be narrow, repetitive and/or inappropriate to the needs of the task. Sentences are mainly short and simple or may not be properly constructed. There may be frequent major and minor errors. Little or no awareness of style and register.
0 0 The language produced does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

(a) A major error is one which seriously affects communication.

(b) A mark of zero for Content automatically results in a mark of zero for Quality of language. Apart from that, the Content mark does not limit the mark for Quality of language.

Higher Tier

Marks will be allocated in the following way at Higher Tier:

Content Quality of language Range of language Accuracy Conveying key messages Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures Total
Question 1 10 6 16
Question 2 15 12 5 32
Question 3 6 6 12
Total 25 6 12 5 6 6 60
Question 1 (16 marks)

There are four compulsory bullet points, assessed for Content (10 marks) and Quality of language (6 marks), as specified in the criteria below. The student is expected to produce approximately 90 words over the whole question. The number of words expected is approximate; examiners will mark all work produced by the student.

Content
Level Mark Response
5 9–10 A very good response covering all aspects of the task. Communication is clear and a lot of information is conveyed. Opinions are expressed.
4 7–8 A good response covering all aspects of the task. Communication is mostly clear but perhaps with occasional lapses. Quite a lot of information is conveyed. Opinions are expressed.
3 5–6 A reasonable response covering almost all aspects of the task. Communication is generally clear but there are likely to be lapses. Some information is conveyed. An opinion is expressed.
2 3–4 A basic response covering some aspects of the task. Communication is sometimes clear but there are instances where messages break down. Little information is conveyed. An opinion is expressed.
1 1–2 A limited response covering some aspects of the task. Communication is often not clear and there may be frequent instances where messages break down. Very little information is conveyed. There may be no opinions expressed.
0 0 The content does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

There may be some imbalance in the coverage of the four compulsory bullet points but, provided at least some coverage of all bullet points is evident, students will have access to full marks where the other criteria are met.

Quality of language
Level Mark Response
3 5–6 A variety of appropriate vocabulary is used. Complex structures and sentences are attempted. There are references to three time frames, which are largely successful. Errors are mainly minor. Some more serious errors may occur, particularly in complex structures and sentences, but the intended meaning is nearly always clear. The style and register are appropriate.
2 3–4 Some variety of appropriate vocabulary is used. There may be some attempt at complex structures and sentences. There are references to at least two different time frames, although these may not always be successful. There may be some major errors, and more frequent minor errors, but overall the response is more accurate than inaccurate and the intended meaning is usually clear. The style and register may not always be appropriate.
1 1–2 The range of vocabulary may be narrow, repetitive and/or inappropriate to the needs of the task. Sentences are mainly short and simple or may not be properly constructed. There may be frequent major and minor errors. Little or no awareness of style and register.
0 0 The language produced does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

(a) A major error is one which seriously affects communication.

(b) A mark of zero for Content automatically results in a mark of zero for Quality of language. Apart from that, the Content mark does not limit the mark for Quality of language.

Question 2 (32 marks)

There are two compulsory bullet points, assessed for Content (15 marks), Range of language (12 marks) and Accuracy (5 marks), as specified in the criteria below. The student is expected to produce approximately 150 words over the whole question. The number of words expected is approximate; examiners will mark all work produced by the student.

Content
Level Mark Response
5 13–15 An excellent response which is fully relevant and detailed, conveying a lot of information. Communication is clear with little or no ambiguity. Opinions are expressed and justified.
4 10–12 A very good response which is almost always relevant and which conveys a lot of information. Communication is mostly clear but there are a few ambiguities. Opinions are expressed and justified.
3 7–9 A good response which is generally relevant with quite a lot of information conveyed. Communication is usually clear but there are some ambiguities. Opinions are expressed and may be justified.
2 4–6 A reasonable response with some relevant information conveyed. Communication is sometimes clear but there may be instances where messages break down. An opinion is expressed.
1 1–3 A basic response which conveys a limited amount of relevant information. Communication may not be clear and there are instances where messages break down. An opinion may be expressed.
0 0 The content does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

There may be some imbalance in the coverage of the two compulsory bullet points but, provided at least some coverage of both bullet points is evident, students will have access to full marks where the other criteria are met.

Range of language
Level Mark Response
4 10–12 Very good variety of appropriate vocabulary and structures. More complex sentences are handled with confidence, producing a fluent piece of coherent writing. The style and register are appropriate.
3 7–9 Good variety of appropriate vocabulary and structures. More complex sentences are regularly attempted and are mostly successful, producing a mainly fluent piece of coherent writing with occasional lapses. The style and register are appropriate.
2 4–6 Some variety of appropriate vocabulary and structures. Longer sentences are attempted, using appropriate linking words, often successfully. The style and register may not always be appropriate.
1 1–3 Little variety of appropriate vocabulary. Structures likely to be short and simple. Little or no awareness of style and register.
0 0 The range of language produced does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

A mark of zero for Content automatically results in a mark of zero for Range of language. Apart from that, the Content mark does not limit the mark for Range of language.

Accuracy
Level Mark Response
5 5 Accurate, although there may be a few errors especially in attempts at more complex structures. Verbs and tense formations are secure.
4 4 Generally accurate. Some minor errors. Occasional major errors, usually in attempts at more complex structures. Verbs and tense formations are nearly always correct.
3 3 Reasonably accurate. There are likely to be minor errors and there may be some major errors, not only in complex structures. Verb and tense formations are usually correct.
2 2 More accurate than inaccurate. The intended meaning is generally clear. Verb and tense formations are sometimes correct.
1 1 There may be major errors and frequent minor ones, and the intended meaning is not always clear. There is only limited success with verb and tense formations.
0 0 The accuracy does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

(a) A major error is one which seriously affects communication.

(b) A mark of zero for Content automatically results in a mark of zero for Accuracy. Apart from that, the Content mark does not limit the mark for Accuracy.

Question 3 (12 marks)

The translation is assessed for Conveying key messages (6 marks) and Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures (6 marks), as specified in the criteria below. When awarding the marks the student’s response across the passage will be considered as a whole.

Conveying key messages
Level Mark Response
6 6 All key messages are conveyed.
5 5 Nearly all key messages are conveyed.
4 4 Most key messages are conveyed.
3 3 Some key messages are conveyed.
2 2 Few key messages are conveyed.
1 1 Very few key messages are conveyed.
0 0 The content does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.
Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures
Level Mark Response
6 6 Excellent knowledge of vocabulary and structures; virtually faultless.
5 5 Very good knowledge of vocabulary and structures; highly accurate.
4 4 Good knowledge of vocabulary and structures; generally accurate.
3 3 Reasonable knowledge of vocabulary and structures; more accurate than inaccurate.
2 2 Limited knowledge of vocabulary and structures; generally inaccurate.
1 1 Very limited knowledge of vocabulary and structures; highly inaccurate.
0 0 The language produced does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

A mark of zero for Conveying key messages automatically results in a mark of zero for Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures, but apart from that, the Conveying key messages mark does not limit the mark for Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures.

Conveying key messages
Level Mark Response
6 6 All key messages are conveyed.
5 5 Nearly all key messages are conveyed.
4 4 Most key messages are conveyed.
3 3 Some key messages are conveyed.
2 2 Few key messages are conveyed.
1 1 Very few key messages are conveyed.
0 0 The content does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.
Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures
Level Mark Response
6 6 Excellent knowledge of vocabulary and structures; virtually faultless.
5 5 Very good knowledge of vocabulary and structures; highly accurate.
4 4 Good knowledge of vocabulary and structures; generally accurate.
3 3 Reasonable knowledge of vocabulary and structures; more accurate than inaccurate.
2 2 Limited knowledge of vocabulary and structures; generally inaccurate.
1 1 Very limited knowledge of vocabulary and structures; highly inaccurate.
0 0 The language produced does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

A mark of zero for Conveying key messages automatically results in a mark of zero for Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures, but apart from that, the Conveying key messages mark does not limit the mark for Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures.

Conveying key messages
Level Mark Response
6 6 All key messages are conveyed.
5 5 Nearly all key messages are conveyed.
4 4 Most key messages are conveyed.
3 3 Some key messages are conveyed.
2 2 Few key messages are conveyed.
1 1 Very few key messages are conveyed.
0 0 The content does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.
Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures
Level Mark Response
6 6 Excellent knowledge of vocabulary and structures; virtually faultless.
5 5 Very good knowledge of vocabulary and structures; highly accurate.
4 4 Good knowledge of vocabulary and structures; generally accurate.
3 3 Reasonable knowledge of vocabulary and structures; more accurate than inaccurate.
2 2 Limited knowledge of vocabulary and structures; generally inaccurate.
1 1 Very limited knowledge of vocabulary and structures; highly inaccurate.
0 0 The language produced does not meet the standard required for Level 1 at this tier.

Notes

A mark of zero for Conveying key messages automatically results in a mark of zero for Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures, but apart from that, the Conveying key messages mark does not limit the mark for Application of grammatical knowledge of language and structures.

Paper 2: Speaking

Students may be entered for either Foundation Tier or Higher Tier but they must enter at the same tier for all four skills.

25% of the marks

A window of up to five weeks will be timetabled for the test, during which schools/colleges will be free to test their students at any time. The window will be timetabled to run in April and May. The teacher may open the speaking test materials up to three working days in advance of the first day of the specified test period in order to prepare for conducting the tests. The Teacher’s booklet will contain a Speaking test sequence chart which will show which Role-play and Photo card each student must be allocated and which themes will be covered in the General conversation part of the test.

Detailed instructions for the teacher will be issued prior to the test period. Online training will also be available to ensure teachers are wholly familiar with the requirements and format of the tests.

The confidentiality of the test materials must be strictly maintained prior to and during the period of the tests.

Access to dictionaries is not permitted at any time during the test or the supervised preparation time.

Instructions for the test are in English. All questions are in Spanish.

Students will be allowed to make notes, on an Additional answer sheet, during their supervised preparation time and take them into the exam room to use during the test. There is no restriction on the number of words or the material (eg conjugated verbs) which the notes may contain. They must hand the notes in to the teacher-examiner immediately before the General conversation part of the test. The notes must be stored under secure conditions until results day, after which they must be disposed of.

The test is conducted and audio-recorded by the teacher and marked by an AQA examiner.

Paper 2: Speaking

Students may be entered for either Foundation Tier or Higher Tier but they must enter at the same tier for all four skills.

25% of the marks

A window of up to five weeks will be timetabled for the test, during which schools/colleges will be free to test their students at any time. The window will be timetabled to run in April and May. The teacher may open the speaking test materials up to three working days in advance of the first day of the specified test period in order to prepare for conducting the tests. The Teacher’s booklet will contain a Speaking test sequence chart which will show which Role-play and Photo card each student must be allocated and which themes will be covered in the General conversation part of the test.

Detailed instructions for the teacher will be issued prior to the test period. Online training will also be available to ensure teachers are wholly familiar with the requirements and format of the tests.

The confidentiality of the test materials must be strictly maintained prior to and during the period of the tests.

Access to dictionaries is not permitted at any time during the test or the supervised preparation time.

Instructions for the test are in English. All questions are in Spanish.

Students will be allowed to make notes, on an Additional answer sheet, during their supervised preparation time and take them into the exam room to use during the test. There is no restriction on the number of words or the material (eg conjugated verbs) which the notes may contain. They must hand the notes in to the teacher-examiner immediately before the General conversation part of the test. The notes must be stored under secure conditions until results day, after which they must be disposed of.

The test is conducted and audio-recorded by the teacher and marked by an AQA examiner.

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

60 marks

Foundation Tier: students will attend one session of 7–9 minutes (and supervised preparation time of 12 minutes).

Higher Tier: students will attend one session of 10–12 minutes (and supervised preparation time of 12 minutes).

The format of the test will be the same for each tier and will consist of three parts.

Role-play (15 marks)

Based on a stimulus card, to be prepared by the student immediately before the test during their preparation time. Students will carry out one role-playing situation (approximately two minutes at Foundation Tier and two minutes at Higher Tier).

The Role-play card will allow students to answer questions and convey information, using and adapting language for new purposes. Students will respond to unexpected questions and use repair strategies to sustain communication. They will also ask a question.

Photo card (15 marks)

Based on a stimulus card, to be prepared by the student immediately before the test in the supervised preparation time. Students will discuss one Photo card (approximately two minutes at Foundation Tier and three minutes at Higher Tier). Teachers will ask five prescribed questions based on the Photo card. Three of these five questions will be printed on the student’s card.

General conversation (30 marks)

The teacher will conduct a conversation based on the two themes which have not been covered on the Photo card (between three and five minutes at Foundation Tier and five and seven at Higher Tier). A similar amount of time should be spent on each theme. The student will choose the first theme; the second theme is the remaining theme which has not been covered in the Photo card part of the test. This ensures that aspects of all three themes are covered in the Speaking test.

The General conversation allows the student to take part in a conversation, asking and answering questions and exchanging opinions. The student will also convey information and narrate events coherently and confidently and use and adapt language for new purposes. They will be able to speak spontaneously, responding to unexpected questions, points of view or situations and sustain communication by using repair strategies. They will initiate and develop conversations and discussion to produce extended sequences of speech. They will make creative and more complex use of language, as appropriate, to express and justify their own thoughts and points of view.

All three parts of the test will allow students to demonstrate appropriate and accurate use of a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures, including some more complex forms, with reference to past, present and future events. They will also allow students to use accurate pronunciation and intonation so as to be understood by a native speaker.

See the Speaking test assessment criteria.