Digital alternative assessment arrangements for GESE and ISE speaking and listening exams

Available from June 2020

We know that candidates have been developing their English language skills to prepare for their exams. In response to the situation created by COVID-19, Trinity has developed a digital alternative method of offering GESE and ISE speaking and listening exams. Candidates are now able to take their one-to-one assessments online with an experienced Trinity examiner via video conference in registered exam centres. 

Same exam, different delivery

The content and skills assessed for our GESE and ISE speaking and listening exams are the same as for the standard format exams.

Results and certificates will continue to be issued in line with Trinity's existing processes for exams leading to fully regulated qualifications that adhere to rigorous standards. 

To accommodate the use of the video conference platform, some aspects of delivery will differ from the usual in-person exams.

Read our summary of what is the same and what is different.

Download the summary

Watch our videos - GESE and ISE: Same exam, different delivery.

How to run these tests in centres

Registered exam centres will receive training on how to administer and run GESE and ISE speaking and listening exams in the online delivery format. They will also be provided with this Additional Information guidance to be read in conjunction with their standard GESE and ISE Best Practice Guidebooks for centres.  

Download Additional Information for Centres

Watch our Ready Set Go videos about running GESE and ISE exams online in registered centres:


Click here for frequently asked questions.


A 21st century solution under the current pandemic conditions 

  • Candidates take their exams online in centres
  • The same Trinity one-to-one communicative exam  
  • The same Trinity exam content is assessed   
  • The same Trinity results and certification    

Watch these 'What to expect' videos, featuring excerpts from trial sessions, that show the interactive nature of Trinity's GESE and ISE exams:

GESE: What to expect

ISE: What to expect

Exam preparation 

Candidates should prepare for the exam and exam tasks in the usual way. Candidates should also download and practise using Zoom with parents and friends before the exam, so that they feel familiar with waiting rooms and chatboxes and talking to people via the app. Download the Zoom app.

Topic discussion points 

Candidates need to be aware that the method of sharing their discussion Topic points with the examiner is different. Instead of passing a piece of paper to the examiner, Topic discussion points are entered into the Zoom chat box for the examiner to see at the start of the exam. Simplified topic forms can be prepared for this purpose - download example templates here.

Download a simplified GESE Topic form
Download a simplified ISE Topic form

Interactive resources for teaching online

As many teachers are now teaching online, we have created some additional interactive versions of teaching and learning resources for the GESE grade exams. These are in addition to resources available on our website.

Practise using Zoom 

Teachers, candidates and their guardians should familiarise themselves with the Zoom app in advance of exam day, in order to ensure the smoothest possible exam experience. Download the Zoom app on your laptop/desktop computer:

    • Open a test meeting
    • Select Join meeting
    • Select Open Zoom in the pop-up window
    • Select Join with video

See Zoom's joining instructions and tutorial video to help get you started.

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