The English Yardstick Exam


The end-of-year language proficiency exam for first-year students at IEAS, the English Yardstick Exam (the EYE for short) is a skills-based exam that measures students’ competence in English in relation to the requirements set for second-year students pursuing a full-time undergraduate course. The exam is designed to test general English as well as English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The EYE is intended to measure language proficiency described at Level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference.

The exam consists of five sections: a Listening Test, a Reading Test, an integrated Reading-Writing Test, a Writing Test, and a Speaking Test. While the Reading, the integrated Reading-Writing and the Writing Tests focus on measuring EAP, the Listening and Speaking Tests are designed to test general English.
The Test Specifications give further details about the tasks and text types used.

The written exam, which consists of the Listening, Reading, integrated Reading-Writing and Writing tests, takes ca. 190 minutes, including a twenty-minute break after the first 70 minutes. The use of mono- or bilingual dictionaries is not allowed in any components of the EYE, as in both the productive and receptive tasks students are expected to demonstrate their own knowledge of English vocabulary. This feature of the exam is intended to generate a positive washback effect on students’ vocabulary learning habits.

The score for each paper and the total score for the EYE are expressed in percentages. Students’ performance in the five sections is equally weighted (5 x 20%= 100%). Students’ sub-scores and final scores, which will be converted into grades, as well as the pass marks for each paper will be announced only after all the tests (both the written and oral parts) have been administered. In order to earn an overall pass, students must pass all the exam components. This means that if a student fails any one component, s/he has failed the whole exam and so a total score will not be computed in such cases. The final score of a student who has failed one or more exam components is invalid even if his/her score is above the overall pass mark.

All students must take the EYE in the May-June examination period (there are no exam dates in the exam period in winter). There are three exam dates announced in May-June in order to comply with the examination regulations of the university. However, the third exam (EYE3) will be primarily administered as a resit exam. Anyone who has failed an exam component in EYE1 or EYE2 will be required to retake only the failed exam component(s).

Students can take the EYE only if they have registered for the exam via NEPTUN. For the EYE speaking exam students must sign up in pairs in the institute office (Room 114). The dates of the examinations will be announced minimum 1 month prior to the exam. For quality assurance reasons, the oral resit exams in EYE3 will be digitally recorded to make the reevaluation of the exam performances possible. Those students who fail to comply with this regulation will be automatically excluded from the reevaluation procedure.

Students with special needs (e.g. students with a visual or hearing difficulty) are asked to contact the institute office by the end of April so that special arrangements can be made for them.

Students can access sample tasks for each examination component and the criteria for assessment for the Writing, Reading-Writing and Speaking Tests. Students are advised to look at some useful tips for taking the EYE exam.


Updated: 2020.10.28.

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