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ESL Test Ideas for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Levels: Grammar

written by: Audrey Alleyne • edited by: Linda M. Rhinehart Neas • updated: 8/2/2012

These examples of creating an English as a second language test to suit different levels of students, focus on grammar points in basic social situations.

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    Writing Tests

    Beginner Test

    A student is writing a letter to a friend. This beginner test can take the form of filling in the blanks as a test on prepositions and verbs.

    1. Dear Mike, I shall ----arriving---August 23rd.
    2. My flight no. ----US135
    3. While I am------New York, I would like -----see the statue of Liberty.
    4. Do you have any plans---my visit?
    5. What --- your telephone number?

    Answers

    1.be, on 2. is 3. in, to 4. for 5. is

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    Intermediate Test

    An Intermediate Test with the same premise can take the following form. Give your students instructions to compose a letter under the following guidelines:

    Your friend lives in New York. Write a letter to him or her giving details of a trip you will make to that city, using the following guidelines:

    • Give the date of your arrival and departure: August 1st to August 14th.
    • Give your flight details: arrival 3:10p.m. local time, John F. Kennedy Airport, flight US135
    • Tell your friend that you would like to visit the Stature of Liberty and see a Broadway show.
    • Ask your friend what plans he or she has for your visit.
    • Ask your friend for his or her telephone number.
    • End your letter with an appropriate ending, for example “Best Wishes."

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    Advanced Level

    The Advanced Level student is writing the same letter. You do not even need to give a different plan. They just have it a tiny bit more difficult. You simply tell them to compose a letter to a friend in New York. Instruct the student to inform the friend that he/she will be visiting the following month, and include details as to the date and time of arrival, flight number, what he/she would like to see and do in New York. The student should ask the friend if he or she has any plans for their visit. The student should also ask the friend for a telephone number so the student can call him or her if there are any problems, since it is his or her first trip to the United States.

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    Vocabulary

    You may add a short vocabulary test for each level, since students should use every opportunity to increase their vocabulary. Give the beginners a choice of words.

    Beginners

    1. 1. What code should I ----- for New York?(a. use b.dial c.try)
    2. 2. I need --------to stay (a.somewhere b. something c. sometime)
    3. 3. When did you--------in New York? (a. leave b. arrive c. depart)
    4. 4. I intend to go--------places on my vacation (a. any b.every c. several)
    5. 5. I have not seen you for a -----time. (a. many b. long c. while)

    Intermediate/Advanced

    The vocabulary test for English as a second language can be planned to accommodate both Intermediate and Advanced levels. Here is an example:

    Fill in the blanks from the mixed up words below:

    I was not ------in England, but I ----------there. My parents ------ there when I was seven. We left England------I was-----fifteen. I go back there----. I ----have friends there.

    grew, moved, when, born, still, often, about

    Answers:1. born, 2. grew up, 3. moved 4.when 5.about 6. often 7. still

    Click here for a media download of the test.

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