GESE - Graded Examinations in Spoken English

Authentic communicative skills for real life

GESE exams are for people of all ages who want to develop communicative English language speaking and listening skills for use in real life - whatever the purpose, whether for immigration, work, study, leisure or employment.

Genuine discussion format

GESE exams are one-to-one, face-to-face assessments of English language speaking and listening skills with a Trinity examiner, who encourages the candidate to show what they can do through prompts and authentic interactive dialogue. The exam length is 5-25 minutes depending on the grade.

Focus on building confidence

Because candidates can plan ahead to discuss their own interests and opinions in the exam, this motivates learning and aids natural speech - which helps them to relax and perform at their best during the exam.

Mapped to the CEFR

GESE is available at 12 levels: Grades 1-12 (pre-A1-C2 CEFR levels).

Grouped by development stage, GESE exams offer a progressive framework for the development of English language skills and an assessment for every learner.

Grades 1-3 - Initial stage - Pre-A1-A2.1

Grades 4-6 - Elementary stage - A2.2-B1.2

Grades 7- 9 - Intermediate stage - B2.1-B2.3

Grades 10-12 - Advanced stage - C1.1-C2

Guidance and resources

GESE is designed to support classroom teaching and maps easily to general English language curricula and coursework and Trinity provides a wide range of guidance, videos, support and resources for each level

Go to GESE levels

Online exams via video conference

Registered exam centres have the option to book GESE one-to-one assessments in several modes:

  • Face-to-face in-person examiner sessions
  • Online sessions in centres via video conference  

Visit GESE Online exams

Learning progression

For people requiring English language reading and writing skills qualifications in addition to speaking and listening skills, Trinity also offers Integrated Skills in English (ISE) qualifications which are ideal for people seeking to develop transferable skills required for academic study and employability.

Reliable evidence of skills

Trinity's GESE qualifications provide individuals and institutions with reliable evidence of English language speaking skills at different levels from beginner to advanced. Read more about the research leading to CEFR alignment and learner profiles. 

Our GESE exams are regulated by Ofqual in the UK - see regulatory information. They are listed on the UK's Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) and are aligned with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). Find out more at Certificate information.

Trinity's GESE A1-C2 exams have been awarded the ALTE Q-mark by the Association of Language Testers in Europe demonstrating that they meet strictest of quality criteria.

Recognised and accepted

GESE is a UK government-approved test for settlement and visa application purposes when taken at a Trinity SELT Centre.

If you are preparing for GESE as a Secure English Language Test (SELT) for visa purposes in the UK, please visit UK visa tests.

GESE is a suitable exam for students at the end of study-abroad courses, such as the Italian PON-funded programme.

Find out more about PON in the UK, Ireland and Malta

Read more about international Recognition of Trinity's English Language qualifications. 

Register as a Trinity exam centre

To run our exams you must be a registered Trinity exam centre.

Book exams


*CEFR = Common European Framework of Reference for languages


“The way the examiners engage
with the candidates is perfect -
they are invited to discuss and
enjoy the conversation.”

Maria Virginia Basile, Teacher
Liceo Scientifico S.Valentini, Italy

GESE Exam Information booklet cover

Download the booklet
Includes GESE Online
(via video conference)
and GESE Home
(Grades 1-4)

GESE factsheet

Download a factsheet


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