Changes to EIKEN Tests – Summer 2016

Changes to EIKEN Tests – Summer 2016

Some sections of the EIKEN tests have changed this summer. Starting from the first administration of the 2016 EIKEN tests in June, changes have been made to the writing sections and the scoring criteria have also been adjusted.

Students preparing to take the EIKEN tests will know the importance of getting to know the structure of the exams. Each part of the test has a very distinctive structure which can be confusing for candidates. That is why our EIKEN preparation course is designed not only to prepare students for the language they will find in the exam, but also to help them to become familiar with the exam structure. This helps students to feel more confident on examination day.

There have been changes to the format and scoring system of all grades of the EIKEN tests this year. I have summarised these changes below for each grade, starting with the most advanced; Grade 1.

 

Grade 1

(*CEFR level C1)

Changes to the writing section

  • Candidates will be asked about a topic with a high degree of social relevance.
  • Responses must be supported with three reasons of the candidates choosing. These must follow an essay format.

Changes to the rating criteria

  • Items will be rated on 4 separate criteria: **Content, cohesion and coherence, vocabulary, and grammar.

Changes to the scoring

  • To pass the first stage, candidates must have a CSE Score (combined Reading, Writing and Listening) of at least 2028 out of 2550.
  • To pass the second stage, candidates must achieve a score of 602 out of 850.
Grade Pre-1

(*CEFR level B2)

 

Changes to the writing section

  • The response format has changed from an email to an essay format.
  • The suggested length of the response has increased from 120 to 150 words.

Changes to the rating criteria

  • Items will be rated on 4 separate criteria: **Content, cohesion and coherence, vocabulary, and grammar.

Changes to the scoring

  • To pass the first stage, candidates must have a CSE Score (combined Reading, Writing and Listening) of at least 1792 out of 2250.
  • To pass the second stage, candidates must achieve a score of 512 out of 750.
Grade 2

(*CEFR level B1)

 

Changes to the writing section

  • The duration of the writing section will be increased from 75 to 85 minutes. This is the only grade that has changed duration.
  • The new Grade 2 Writing Test asks candidates to write an English composition of 80-100 words on a given topic.
  • Candidates must give their opinion on the given topic and provide two reasons for this opinion. Three points will be given to help the students to provide reasons for their opinion, but candidates can choose not to use these if they wish.
  • The word reordering part of the exam has been removed.

Changes to the rating criteria

  • Items will be rated on 4 separate criteria: **Content, cohesion and coherence, vocabulary, and grammar.

Changes to the reading section

  • The passage gap-fill section has been changed to be more like that of Grades 1 and Pre-1. Instead of omitting 1 word per question, now several words are omitted in each question.
  • As this is more challenging, the number of questions has been reduced from 8 to 6.

Changes to the scoring

  • To pass the first stage, candidates must have a CSE Score (combined Reading, Writing and Listening) of at least 1520 out of 1950.
  • To pass the second stage, candidates must achieve a score of 460 out of 650.
Grade Pre-2

(*CEFR level A2)

 

Changes to the reading section

  • As with Grade 2, the passage gap-fill section has been changed to be more like that of Grades 1, Pre-1 and 2. Instead of omitting 1 word per question, now several words are omitted in each question.
  • As this is more challenging, the number of questions has been reduced from 8 to 5.

Changes to the scoring

  • To pass the first stage, candidates must have a CSE Score (combined Reading and Listening) of at least 876 out of 1200.
  • To pass the second stage, candidates must achieve a score of 406 out of 600.
Grade 3

(*CEFR level A1)

 

Changes to the scoring

  • To pass the first stage, candidates must have a CSE Score (combined Reading and Listening) of at least 746 out of 1100.
  • To pass the second stage, candidates must achieve a score of 353 out of 550.

*You can download a self-assessment grid of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) here.

**The 4 Analytic Rating criteria for the writing section of Grade 1, Pre-1 and 2 are defined in the following way:

  • Content: the extent to which the response fully answers the topic question
  • Coherence and Cohesion: the extent to which the flow is logical and cohesive
  • Vocabulary: the extent to which the vocabulary is appropriate to the topic question and whether it is used accurately
  • Grammar: the extent to which the examinee shows a variety of grammar structures and whether they have been used accurately

Due to the complicated instructions and format of the exam, Intrepid English does not cover Grades 4 and 5 because it is recommended that students preparing for these grades work with an English teacher who can also speak Japanese.


If you would like to prepare for Grades 1 – 3 with an experienced native English teacher, you can book a lesson by going to our EIKEN Exam Preparation Course page.

For more information, please visit the EIKEN website or for more information in Japanese see this press release.

As always, if you have any questions regarding the EIKEN exams or would like to arrange a free trial lesson, you can contact us here or send an email to lorraine@intrepidenglish.co.uk

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