What is Оxford Test of English

The Oxford Test of English is a general proficiency test which assesses the test taker’s ability to understand and communicate effectively.

*All four skills modules are taken online*
*Modern and relevant texts and prompts*

How it works

Reading and Listening

Reading and Listening modules are adaptive. The tasks given to the test taker are chosen according to a complex set of rules which takes into account:

  • How the test taker has responded to earlier questions – whether they got them right or wrong
  • What the task is about – to make sure that different topics and functions are covered
  • The level of difficulty of the task
  • Where the task fits into the overall test - the module and part

This means that the test is:
Shorter – a reliable score in fewer items.
More accurate – not a percentage of right and wrong answers.
A better experience for the test taker as it is targeted at their level.
More secure – each test taker gets personalised questions.

Writing and Speaking

In the Writing and Speaking modules test takers receive tasks chosen at random from an item bank.

Responses are sent online to trained professional assessors who rate the answers according to CEFR criteria.

Randomised tasks reduce the chance of cheating and improve security.

Structure of the test


The Reading module has four parts and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

  • Careful reading
  • Expeditious search reading
  • Local and global meaning
  • Inference
  • Understanding attitude, opinion and writer purpose
  • Understanding reference, and meaning in context


The Listening module has four parts and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

  • Identifying main meaning
  • Identifying detail
  • Local and global meaning
  • Identifying opinion and attitude
  • Understanding inferred meaning, interaction, and pragmatics

The Writing module has two parts and takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. In the second part, the test taker has a choice of items, allowing them to play to their language production strengths.

  • Giving information
  • Expressing and responding to opinions and feelings
  • Inviting, requesting and suggesting
  • Writing to develop an argument
  • Narrating and describing
  • Writing to persuade or suggest

The Speaking module has four parts and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

  • Responding to questions
  • Giving factual information
  • Organising extended discourse
  • Describing, comparing, contrasting, speculating and suggesting
  • Appropriacy