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Test structure

Aptis Advanced consists of five components: core (grammar and vocabulary), listening, reading, speaking and writing. You may be taking one skill component (for example, listening) or all four skill components, depending on the requirements by your organisation or institution.

You can click on each component below to learn more and access practice tests – it is a good idea to take them so that you become familiar with what you need to do.

Please be aware that the practice tests do not provide results. When taking the Grammar and Vocabulary, Listening and Reading components of the practice tests, take note of your answers and check the answer keys after you have completed the test.

The information below and all preparation materials are relevant for Aptis Advanced and Aptis ESOL Advanced.

Grammar and Vocabulary test

The Grammar and Vocabulary component is the core element of the Aptis Advanced test. It has two parts and you will have 25 minutes to complete it.

The first part tests your knowledge of English grammar and the second part focuses on your knowledge of English vocabulary.

The Grammar and Vocabulary test is marked on a scale from 0 to 50. No CEFR level is awarded for this component but the score is used to assign you to the correct CEFR level for the other skill components.

Take a practice test

Answer key

Part 1: Grammar

In the Grammar section, you will be presented with 25 multiple choice questions where you should complete a sentence by choosing the correct option. Read the whole sentence before choosing the answer.

You can flag up questions you find difficult and go back to complete them later in the test.

Part 2: Vocabulary

The vocabulary part also has 25 questions. There are several question types:

Word definition - match a word to its definition.

Word pairs - match a word to another word of very similar meaning.

Word usage - choose a word to be used in the context of a sentence.

Word combinations - combine words that are frequently used together.

Top tips for the Grammar and vocabulary test

  • Read all the options before choosing your answer.
  • After you have chosen an option, read the sentence again to check your answer before you move on.
  • Do not spend too long on any of the questions. Remember you have to answer 50 questions in 25 minutes. If you can’t think of the answer immediately, it’s better to continue with the test and then come back to it later.
  • Improve your vocabulary through practice games and activities on the LearnEnglish website.

Listening test

The Aptis Listening Test contains 11 tasks and a total of 11 different recordings focusing on different aspects of real-life listening. You will have 30 minutes to complete the listening test.

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Answer key

Part 1: Identifying factual information

In this part, you will listen to five short recordings of monologues or dialogues and answer one question for each recording.

Part 2: Identifying opinion and attitude

In this part, you will listen to three recordings of monologues and you will have to answer two questions for each recording.

Part 3: Understanding an extended spoken text

In this part, you will hear a discussion between a man and a woman. On the screen you will see a number of opinions. You will need to identify who expresses which opinion: the man, the woman, or both the man and the woman.

You will only hear the recording once and you have 20 seconds to read through the options before it starts.

Part 4: Understanding an extended story

In this part, you will hear two separate monologues. You will need to select the correct answer from a table.

You will only hear each monologue once.

Tips for your listening test:

  • Read the questions carefully before listening, identify key words and understand what it is you need to listen for.
  • Watch for synonyms – you may see a word in a question and hear a different word with a similar meaning in the audio.
  • Use the second listening, when it’s possible, to check or confirm your answer.
  • Listen to the whole recording before choosing your answer.

Reading test

This component is divided into four sections and the tasks become more difficult as the test progresses. The maximum time allowed for the reading component for is 60 minutes.

Take a practice test

Answer key

Part 1: Opinion matching

In this part, you will match people’s opinions to statements. You will read four people’s opinions on the same topic. Then you need to read seven statements and decide which person’s opinion matches each statement. This part tests your ability to read and understand short texts.

Part 2: Long text comprehension

In this part, you will read a long text (about 750 words). You will also read eight headings. The task is to match seven of the headings to paragraphs in the text. There is always an extra heading that does not fit with any paragraph.

Part 3: Reading for global understanding

This is a short text of around 300 words with missing gaps. You must choose the right word or phrase from the drop-down to complete the gap.

Part 4: Reading across two texts

You have two short texts on the same topic. You need to fill in the blank with the appropriate phrase.

Top tips for the reading test

  • Read all the sentences carefully first, then decide on the correct order. You need to look for words that show how the sentences link with each other.
  • To perform well in section one, first read each paragraph so you understand each person’s point of view. Then read the statements and decide which person’s opinion it best represents.
  • In section two it is necessary to scroll the reading text to see all of it. Select the appropriate heading from the drop-down list on the left-hand side. There is always an extra heading that does not fit with any paragraph.
  • In section three, make sure you read the whole text before trying to answer. This isn't a grammar test so all the options can fit grammatically into the sentence. You need to understand the whole text to choose the correct one.
  • And finally, it is important to remember that the best way to become a better reader is to practise. You can look at the comment section in online media and practise summarizing the main opinions or read magazine articles and find the main idea for each paragraph.

Speaking test

The Aptis Advanced Speaking component tests your ability to communicate in English in real-life situations.

It takes about 12 minutes and it is divided into three sections. On the test day, your responses will be recorded and marked by our examiners.

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Marking scales

Part 1: Describe, compare and provide reasons and explanations

In this part, you are asked to compare two pictures and then answer two questions related to the topic. The three questions increase in complexity (from description to speculation). You are expected to talk for 45 seconds for each question.

Part 2: Discuss personal experience and opinion on an abstract topic

In this part, you will be asked three questions about an abstract topic. You are given one minute to prepare an answer and can take notes. You are expected to talk for two minutes.

Part 3: Presentation and question on your presentation

In this part, you need to speak on a topic for one and a half minutes. You will have one minute to prepare. After your presentation, you will be asked an additional question about the topic and asked to speak for 45 seconds. There is no preparation time for this additional question.

Top tips for the speaking test

  • Make sure you understand the questions and respond appropriately and fully. Try to explain or expand your answers.
  • Use your preparation time in section four efficiently; keep your notes short and simple, and think about how to structure your ideas logically
  • Practice speaking as much as you can, do not worry too much about mistakes. Instead, focus on whether your message was successfully communicated.
  • Record yourself speaking and try to improve your vocabulary and pronunciation. To prepare for speaking test, record yourself speaking as fluently as possible for a minute or two. 

Try the following topics:

  • introducing yourself;
  • talking about your personal experiences & preferences;
  • comparing two different things - perhaps two cities or two houses 

When you listen to your recording the key things to note are:

  • grammatical accuracy
  • appropriacy of vocabulary
  • effective pronunciation
  • hesitation
  • well-sequenced ideas properly linked together

Writing test

In this part of the test you will be able to demonstrate your ability to use written English in real-life situations. There are three parts to the Writing test.

You will interact in a social media-type written conversation, write an email and write a short article for an online publication. On the test day, all tasks are marked by an examiner.

The maximum time allowed for the reading component for Aptis Advanced is 45 minutes.

Take a practice test

Marking scales

Part 1: Three written responses to questions

In this part, you will have a social network type interaction. You will receive three questions and need to respond.

Part 2: Formal writing

In this part, you will read an email from an authority. You need to respond to the email in 120 –150 words, using the notes provided, expressing how you feel about the situation.

Part 3: Article for website publication

In this part, you will write an article for a website that is both informative and interesting. Notes about the topic are provided and you need to use the information to help write the article. The article needs to be between 180–220 words.

Top tips for the writing test:

  • Make sure you fully understand the question and respond appropriately
  • Plan what you are going to write before you start
  • Remember to review your writing and correct any errors, before moving to the next question
  • Keep to the word limit – there is a word counter to help you keep track.
  • Focus on accuracy