Student information

A real discussion in English

Your GESE exam will be face-to-face with a Trinity examiner, either via video conference in an exam centre, or in person with an examiner in an exam centre. The format of the exam is a discussion that lets you show what you can do in English to your best ability.

The exam length is 5–25 minutes depending on the grade. For example:

  • Grades 1–3 = 5–7 minutes
  • Grades 4–6 = 10 minutes
  • Grades 7–9 = 15 minutes
  • Grades 10–12 = 25 minutes

With GESE exams you can plan ahead to discuss your own interests and opinions in parts of the exam. This helps you to remember what to talk about and make speaking feel more natural. This helps you to relax and perform at your best during the exam.

If you are preparing for GESE Grade 2, 3 or 5 as a Secure English Language Test (SELT) for settlement or visa purposes in the UK, please visit UK visa tests

Practice activities

Use the GESE resource section of this website to find videos and practice activities for your level. Also look at the activities designed for teachers because these tell you what the teacher is helping you to learn. 

Look at the 'marks and rationales' documents that go with the videos on our website - these show how the candidate performed. 

You can also find examples of GESE exams at the same level of your own exam on Trinity's YouTube Channel

What language skills are required?

The language requirements for each grade are described in the GESE Exam Information book. These are the skills that your teacher will be helping you to learn.

What to expect 

The examiner will introduce themselves to you and start a conversation. The format of the exam feels like a conversation and has extra parts added at higher grades. For example:

  • Grades 4–6 = Conversation + Topic discussion
  • Grades 7–9 = Conversation + Topic discussion + Interactive task
  • Grades 10–12 = Conversation + Topic + Interactive + Presentation + Listening

Results and certificates

You will get provisional results very quickly. Your certificate is posted later after the provisional results have been approved by Trinity.  See GESE results and certificates.


Focus on building skills and confidence

GESE image girl

For GESE Grades 4, 5 and 6 there is a mindmap Topic form to use to practise and prepare for the exam. Think about related points to talk about and write them on the Topic form to give to the examiner. This helps the examiner to prompt you to talk about the things that you are interested in. 

Practise talking about your topic in different ways before the exam and get ready to answer questions relating to your topic. Be ready to give your opinions and ask questions. You should aim to feel confident talking about the different parts of your Topic naturally and not as a memorised speech. 

Grades 1,2,3 don’t have a Topic Phase — so there is no Topic form to complete.

At Grades 8–12, you can use your own notes or a mindmap and do not need to complete a Topic form.

GESE Grade 4 Topic form example

Blank forms 

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