We have created some FAQ answers about the home-based version of Trinity's GESE Grades 1–4 English language exams delivered online by video conference. We hope you find these useful.

Your registered exam centre (school) will organise familiarisation training and instructions before the exam. We have also provided a useful checklist and our Ready, Set, Go video containing instructions and tips.

This checklist for candidates and chaperones (a household member aged 18 and over) provides guidance about what to do in advance of the exam and what to do on exam day. Download the checklist

Yes — the exam content and skills assessed are the same and results and accredited certificates will be issued in the same way as for our usual GESE exams.

For candidates under the age of 18 taking a GESE exam at home via video conference, there MUST be a chaperone (household member aged 18 or over) present during the ID checks before the start of the exam. When the exam is ready to start, the chaperone will be invited to leave. They will be allowed to remain during the exam ONLY if they submitted a request to the centre at least 48 hours before the exam.

More information can be found in Trinity’s privacy statement — see trinitycollege.com/privacy

To meet our security requirements for exams leading to GESE Grades 2–4 regulated qualifications, you must show the examiner, who is also the proctor, that you can take the exam without the aid of anyone or anything else in the room.

By participating in your centre/school training you will have the chance to practise this ‘room sweep’ procedure.

We have supplied you with a video to help you prepare for this. Watch our What to expect video here and download our checklist for candidates and chaperones.

Watch our videos that show how to get ready and what to expect when taking these exams from home — see trinitycollege.com/gese-online-home

  • Make sure you have the Zoom app installed on your device or download it from the internet. Please note: Zoom is the only video conferencing software that can currently be used to take a Trinity exam.
  • Close down all open apps on your computer
  • Open the Zoom app and log in using the Zoom Meeting ID sent to you
  • Enter the candidate’s first and last name spelt the way your school entered it for the exam
  • Test your video and audio in the Zoom app and if you’re using a set of (wired) headphones, ensure they are ready
  • Wait in the Zoom waiting room until the examiner lets you in

Do not attempt to record the exam via Zoom or by any other device. If it is found that the exam was recorded it will be voided.

For more information about what to expect on the exam day, watch our Ready, Set, Go video here and download our checklist.

You need to have both working audio AND video to be able to take an exam on Zoom.

No, these exams cannot be taken on mobile phone devices as they are not suitable for certain parts of these interactive exams.

Yes, a tablet device is suitable for taking GESE Grades 1–4 exams at home.

You are entered into a virtual ‘waiting room’, where you wait until the examiner admits you. The examiner knows you have signed in and you should not have to wait long.

In the meantime, the examiner cannot hear what you are saying or see what you are doing.  

Watch our video here to see what to expect on exam day.

Check that the web camera lens is not obstructed and that the audio is unmuted. If this does not work, try checking that your microphone or camera is not connected to another app, such as Skype, as this can prevent Zoom from connecting. Try leaving the meeting, closing the Zoom app, re-entering the meeting code and going through the audio and video checks again when prompted.

Once you will be admitted by the examiner, there will be a member of the centre/school staff to greet you and the chaperone, if applicable, and to introduce you to the examiner who will then conduct the security checks.

After the security checks, the centre staff will leave the exam room so it will only be you and the examiner in the online Zoom Room while taking the exam.

A score would not be affected by a bad internet connect. Our examiners are trained to identify the difference between difficulties with Zoom/internet/microphones/webcams and English language-related issues, such as poor fluency, or not remembering the words needed to complete a sentence, for example. If connectivity is bad and the exam cannot proceed due to unsolvable technical issues, the exam will be rescheduled.

You should prepare for the all-exam levels and exam tasks in the usual way. However, for GESE Grade 4, which involves a Topic discussion, the method of sharing Topic points with the examiner is different to the in-person face-to-face exam. You should prepare them and send them to the centre staff prior to your exam.

You will be allowed to have your topic notes or topic form on the table during the exam.

For more information, watch our Ready, Set, Go video here and download our checklist.

The examiner shares visual prompts onscreen and uses a pointer so you can clearly follow your questions.

Yes, although this is not required. If you wish to bring one piece of material such as a photo / image or object such as a medal to hold up to the webcam for the examiner see, please ensure you only bring an image up to A5 size. We recommend that you practise holding mages up to a webcam on a computer before the exam to ensure the image can be clearly seen.

Please note that you will not be allowed to share your screen.

Candidates should practise and prepare for all levels as they would normally for Trinity speaking and listening exams. Parents/guardians are advised to download and practise using Zoom with their children before the exam so that they feel familiar with waiting rooms, talking to people via the app.

All cases are considered individually. Exam centres (schools) must register details of needs in the usual way in advance of the exam. For visually impaired candidates, for example, the examiners can conduct GESE Grades 2–12 online without visual materials and for Grade 1 candidates, visuals can be enlarged though there may be limitations due to screen size.

When signing into the Zoom session, the candidate or chaperone has to enter the candidate’s name spelt the same way it was spelt on the centre booking form.

Candidates aged 18 and over have to show their photo ID to the examiner at the start of the exam.

For candidates aged under 18 the photo ID will not be necessary but a chaperone (household member aged 18 or over) MUST be present at this stage. The centre staff will be in charge of confirming the candidate’s name.

Yes. The recordings will be used for quality assurance, monitoring and standardisation purposes and are for the benefit of the candidate and examiner. Recordings of exams are retained at Trinity’s central office and not made available to centres or candidates.

To prevent this happening, Trinity has put a number of measures in place following a thorough review of all security settings. Uninvited guests will not be able to participate in any of our exam sessions.

Zoom collects information such as the computer IP address and details about the device Operating System but they do not use this data obtained for advertising. You have control over your own cookie settings when visiting their websites. For more information, visit Zoom’s privacy policy here.

GESE at Grades 1–4 can be taken at home via video conference where the local registered exam centres have offered it as an option.

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