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Revised ISE

ISE: an English language exam for the 21st century

Trinity’s Integrated Skills in English (ISE) exam is being updated to meet the needs of today’s students and education professionals who use the test.

This temporary website address www.trinitycollege.co.uk/revisedISE is the place for teachers to find advance information about revised ISE.


What will be new?

  • More relevant exam tasks promote the development of English language and study skills that are needed for school, university and employment.
  • More detailed exam results show separate marks for reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. This helps institutions, teachers and students to see what has been achieved.
  • More detailed post-exam feedback from Trinity examiners helps teachers and students identify strong and weak areas within each skill.


What will be updated?

Listening and reading tasks will be updated to reflect contemporary ways that students need to use their English language skills: 

  • an independent listening task has been added to reflect listening needs in an educational context.  This is done individually during the interview with the Examiner.
  • an extra reading task has been added to build confidence in understanding longer texts.

The portfolio will be an optional preparation tool consisting of classroom activities that helps develop process writing skills for the exam, for school and for university. The examiner will not assess the portfolio.

- an extra listening task has been added to prepare students for real-world use of English
- an extra reading task has been added to build confidence in understanding longer texts. 
The portfolio task will no longer be assessed - it becomes a preparation tool to promote the development of process writing skills that students need in school and university settings beyond the test


What will continue?

Preparing for ISE will continue to develop relevant, real-life English language skills and transferable communication skills that students need for study and work.

ISE will continue to reflect how people use English in real life by testing students' ability to use reading and writing skills and speaking and listening skills in combination.

Students will continue to have one-to-one oral exam with an expert Trinity examiner – featuring discussion tasks based on students' own experiences, interests and opinions.

Trinity will continue to offer teachers detailed post-exam feedback on student performance, in the form of diagnostic information and a teacher support session.

ISE will comprise two modules: Reading & Writing and Speaking & Listening, the qualification will continue to be offered at five proficiency levels* from A2 to C2, with a renaming of the A2 level to ISE Foundation.

ISE Foundation (A2), ISE 1 (B1), ISE II (B2), ISE III (C1), ISE IV (C2)**

*  Mapped to Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) proficiency levels.

** ISE IV (C2) will not be revised.



ISE exams using the revised specifications will take place from September 2015.

Full information and support for the revised and updated ISE exam will be made available on the website in February 2015.

In the meantime the current ISE specifications will continue to apply.



Please speak to your local Trinity representative if you have any questions, or would like to enquire about holding Trinity exams and becoming a Trinity registered exam centre.


The ISE exam review and revision process involved extensive research and consultation. Trinity worked in partnership with the Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment (CRELLA) to develop and quality assure the process.


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