International ESOL


Aim of the qualification

This qualification is a communicative test of reading, writing and listening skills in English. It is set at six levels and is for non native speakers of the language who need to prove and improve their language competence.
IESOL is aimed at:

  • Young people or adults attending an English course
  • Students learning English as part of their school or college curriculum
  • People needing English for their everyday or working life
  • Learners who require externally recognised certification of their levels in English
  • Students who require a series of graded examinations to move up the ladder of proficiency

Available levels

  • Preliminary(A1*)
  • Access(A2*)
  • Achiever(B1*)
  • Communicator(B2*)
  • Expert(C1*)
  • Mastery(C2*)

Syllabus areas

The focus of the syllabus varies according to the level of the qualification.


  • Identify the function of short utterances
  • Recognise in short conversations: topic, purpose, context, speakers, gist, relationship, function, attitude, feelings and opinions, predict outcome
  • Show understanding of spoken input by selecting information for a specific task
  • Follow up a discussion and show understanding of gist, detail and the difference between fact, opinion, purpose and key ideas


  • Show knowledge of the structure of texts
  • Recognise features typical of texts. Recognise the coherence and cohesion of short texts adapted from authentic sources through organisational, lexical and grammatical features.
  • Understand authentic texts using emotive language and complex structures
  • Show awareness of text purpose and locate specific information
  • Careful reading to extract information and show overall comprehension of a text


  • Provide personal information
  • Correct punctuation and spelling mistakes
  • Construct a neutral or formal text such as a letter, message or note for a public audience
  • Produce a text such as a letter, narrative