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GESE Grades 4-6: Elementary

GESE Grade CEFR Level
Grade 4 A2.2
Grade 5 B1.1
Grade 6 B1.2

GESE Elementary stage exams are for people with elementary English language ability, and focus on building confidence and motivation in English language communication. 

GESE Grade 2, Grade 3 and Grade 5 exams are approved for UK visa or settlement purposes when taken at a UK SELT centre. Information and resources to prepare for these exams are available in the UK visa section on this website.


Exam structure

The exam takes the form of an unscripted conversation with a Trinity examiner and lasts for 10 minutes. There are two parts to the exam:

The Topic discussion: the candidate selects a topic of their choice to prepare in advance and discuss with the examiner. It can be on any subject that interests them but must allow them to demonstrate the language functions and communicative skills required for the grade.

The Conversation: the candidate engages in a one-to-one conversation based on two subject areas appropriate to the grade.

The GESE Exam information booklet (PDF, 799KB) contains the content and format of the exams, plus guidance notes for teachers and the exam rules and regulations. 

Sample videos

These were filmed under exam conditions with genuine candidates – they’re not model performances. Use the marks and rationales document (PDF, 1.1MB) to see how they were marked. 



Trinity examiners use the Candidate Performance Descriptors (PDF, 24KB) to assess each candidate’s performance.

Guide for teachers

The Guide for teachers, Grades 4-6 contains classroom activities and explains what students can expect in their GESE exam.

Sample lesson plans

These lesson plans complement communicative teaching practices. They don’t cover all exam requirements – use the GESE Exam information booklet to ensure that you cover all the exam content.

Grade 4

1: Choosing a topic (PDF, 81KB)

2: Developing a topic (PDF, 145KB)

3: Visual materials for the topic (PDF, 60KB)

4: Preparing the conversation (PDF, 69KB)

5: Using Trinity DVDs for preparation (PDF, 67KB)


Grade 5 & 6

1: Choosing a topic (PDF, 69KB)

2: Developing a topic (PDF, 175KB)

3: Visual materials for the topic (PDF, 64KB)

4: Preparing the conversation (PDF, 81KB)

5: Using Trinity DVDs for preparation (PDF, 54KB) 


Topic form

For the Topic discussion, candidates prepare a Topic form which the examiner uses to develop the discussion. Exam centres provide candidates with these forms. For practice, download a sample completed form and blank forms here.

Sample completed Topic form - Grade 5

Sample completed Topic forms - Grade 4, Grade 6

Grade 4 Topic form

Grade 5 Topic form

Grade 6 Topic form


Additional resources

The following additional classroom activities for speaking are informed by the Trinity Lancaster Corpus research project. Learning from prior assessment results, these activities focus on practising aspects of speaking that will help students improve their communication skills in all situations.


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