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Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE)

Trinity's GESE exams test the English speaking and listening skills of people whose first language is not English. They focus on building motivation and confidence in using English and enable students to chart their progress from beginner to proficiency.

GESE Grade 2 and Grade 5 exams are approved for UK visa or settlement purposes. Information and resources to prepare for these exams are available in the UK visa section on this website.


GESE grades: information and teaching resources

Grades 1-3 | Grades 4-6 | Grades 7-9 Grades 10-12


 Watch sample exam videos


GESE exams are designed to complement general English language courses, and focus on building confidence and motivation in English language communication. 

The exams take the form of an unscripted conversation with a Trinity examiner, which covers a range of topics and tasks. They are open to anyone aged 5 or older and are designed to be inclusive and relevant to every learner.

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

GESE exams are available in many countries and can be taken throughout the year at Trinity exam centres.


As they move up the grades, candidates undertake tasks that require a more advanced use of language. At higher grades, they are expected to take more responsibility for developing and directing the conversation, rather than simply responding to a series of questions.

Exam fees and dates

For information about exam fees and dates, please contact your local Trinity office.

Become a Trinity exam centre

You must be a Registered Trinity Centre to run our exams. Find out more


GESE is accredited by Ofqual*, the exam regulator.

All GESE grades hold the ALTE Q-mark and have been calibrated to the Common European Framework of Reference (PDF, 401KB).

* except Grade 1 

Academic research 

Read about Trinity's Speaking and Listening tests: theoretical background and research. This academic paper:

  • presents the rationale and theoretical background underpinning the development of the GESE, and
  • describes research that Trinity has recently conducted to investigate the validity of this test.


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