Test of Interactive English, C1 Level

Qualification Structure

The Test of Interactive English consists of two units:

Unit Name
Spoken Test of Interactive English
Written Test of Interactive English
Unit Name Examination Title
Spoken Test of Interactive English Spoken Test of Interactive English B2-C2
Written Test of Interactive English Written Test of Interactive English B2-C2

Candidates must achieve a grade of at least C1 level in each examination in order to achieve the overall qualification at C1 Level.

Overview of Candidate Knowledge, Skills and Understanding at C1 Level

Unit: Spoken Test of Interactive English
The Candidate can:
Use language flexibly and effectively for social purposes, including emotional, allusive and joking usage
Easily follow and contribute to complex interactions in group discussion even on abstract, complex unfamiliar topics
Easily keep up with a debate, even on abstract, complex unfamiliar topics
Argue a formal position convincingly, responding to questions and comments and answering complex lines of counter argument fluently, spontaneously and appropriately
Participate fully in an interview, as either interviewer or interviewee, expanding and developing the point being discussed fluently without any support, and handling interjections well.
Give clear, detailed descriptions of complex subjects
Give elaborate descriptions and narratives, integrating sub themes, developing particular points and rounding off with an appropriate conclusion
Deliver announcements fluently, almost effortlessly, using stress and intonation to convey finer shades of meaning precisely
Give a clear, well-structured presentation of a complex subject, expanding and supporting points of view at some length with subsidiary points, reasons and relevant examples
Handle interjections well, responding spontaneously and almost effortlessly
Skilfully use contextual, grammatical and lexical cues to infer attitude, mood and intentions and anticipate what will come next
Synthesise and report information and arguments from a number of sources
Select a suitable phrase from a readily available range of discourse functions to preface his remarks appropriately in order to get the floor, or to gain time and keep the floor whilst thinking
Relate own contribution skilfully to those of other speakers
Backtrack when he/she encounters a difficulty and reformulate what he/she wants to say without fully interrupting the flow of speech
Follow most lectures, discussions and debates with relative ease
Understand complex technical information
Understand a wide range of spoken language including some non-standard usage, and identify finer points of detail including implicit attitudes and relationships between speakers
Understand in detail speech on abstract and complex topics of a specialist nature beyond his/her own field
Unit: Written Test of Interactive English
The Candidate can:
Understand in detail lengthy, complex texts, whether or not they relate to his/her own area of speciality, provided he/she can reread difficult sections
Understand in detail a wide range of lengthy, complex texts likely to be encountered in social, professional or academic life, identifying finer points of detail including attitudes and implied as well as stated opinions
Write clear, well-structured expositions of complex subjects, underlining the relevant salient issues
Expand and support points of view at some length with subsidiary points, reasons and relevant examples
Write clear, detailed, well-structured and developed descriptions and imaginative texts in an assured, personal, natural style appropriate to the reader in mind
Express him/herself with clarity and precision in personal correspondence, using language flexibly and effectively, including emotional, allusive and joking usage

Topics and Text Types at C1 Level

Details of the general topics and text types that Candidates are expected to be familiar with and may be examined upon as part of their assessment for the qualification at this level.

At C1 Level, Candidates will encounter topics which are both familiar and relevant to them as learners of English. These will include:

  • Family and Community Life
  • Hobbies and Pastimes
  • Personal details / experiences
  • Holidays and Leisure Activities
  • Information Technology
  • Shopping
  • Careers
  • Health
  • Academic Study, Education and Training
  • Services
  • Weather and the Environment
  • Transport
  • Law and Order

At this level, Candidates are expected to read and understand complex texts of varying length on a variety of topics accurately and independently, reading and obtaining information from different sources, in texts such as:

  • Lengthy, complex articles and reports
  • Complex instructional texts
  • Persuasive/ argumentative texts
  • Technical and specialised texts
  • Fictional and literary texts

At this level, Candidates are expected to be able to write a variety of texts composed for different purposes and different audiences, and reflect those in their choice of lexis, grammar and register.

They are expected to write to communicate information, ideas and opinions clearly and effectively using length, format and style appropriate to purpose, content and audience in a wide range of documents.

Candidates will be assessed on their ability to write the following text types:

  • Letters and emails
  • Articles
  • Essays / reports

Candidates are also expected to be able to plan, draft, proofread and revise their own writing.

Language Specification at C1 Level
Functions Grammar Discourse markers Topics
  • Conceding a point
  • Critiquing and reviewing constructively
  • Defending a point of view persuasively
  • Describing hopes and plans
  • Developing an argument systematically
  • Emphasizing a point, feeling, issue
  • Expressing attitudes and feelings precisely
  • Expressing certainty, probability, doubt
  • Expressing opinions tentatively, hedging
  • Expressing reaction, e.g. indifference
  • Expressing shades of opinion and certainty
  • Responding to counterarguments
  • Speculating and hypothesising about causes, consequences etc.
  • Synthesising, evaluating and glossing information
  • Adjectives and adverbs
  • Future continuous
  • Future perfect
  • Future perfect continuous
  • Inversion with negative adverbials
  • Mixed conditionals in past, present and future
  • Modals in the past
  • Modals of deduction and speculation
  • Narrative tenses for experience, including passive
  • Passives - all
  • Past perfect
  • Past perfect continuous
  • Phrasal verbs, extended, including splitting
  • Reported speech
  • Will and going to, for prediction
  • Wish / if only for regrets
  • Would expressing habits, in the past
  • Connecting words expressing cause and effect, contrast, etc
  • Linking devices, logical markers
  • Linkers: although, in spite of, despite
  • Markers to structure and signpost formal and informal in speech  and writing
  • Arts
  • Books and literature
  • Film
  • Languages
  • Media
  • News, lifestyles and current affairs
  • Personal feelings, opinions and experiences
  • Scientific developments
  • Social interactions
  • Work and jobs

Communicative Functions & Notions at C1 Level

  • Greet and sustain social interaction
  • Give personal information
  • Ask for personal information
  • Describe self/others
  • Ask for descriptions of people
  • Give general and specific descriptions of things and places
  • Ask for descriptions of things, places
  • Narrate
  • Ask about past events
  • Give factual accounts – define within explanations
  • Ask for definitions
  • Give factual accounts – give examples
  • Give factual accounts – classify
  • Generalise and compare/contrast
  • Give factual accounts – describe a complex process
  • Ask about processes
  • Express obligation in the past
  • Express definite and tentative arrangements in the future report
  • Explain and give reasons
  • Give instructions
  • Summarise
  • Hypothesise
  • Speculate
  • Give views, opinions and justification
  • Ask for advice
  • Respond to requests for confirmation
  • Ask for confirmation
  • Clarify
  • Rephrase for clarification or emphasis
  • Check back
  • Express feelings, likes and dislikes, wishes ask about people’s feelings, opinions, interests, wishes, hopes
  • Make requests in informal and formal situations – ask for something
  • Make requests in informal and formal situations – ask someone to do something
  • Make requests in informal and formal situations – ask for permission
  • Criticise, rebuke
  • Give reassurance and praise
  • Negotiate
  • Persuade
  • Complain
  • Warn and threaten
  • Interrupt
  • Disagree
  • Change the topic
  • Take leave
Key Language Items at A1 Level
Simple, compound and complex sentences, with more than one subordinate clause
  • Word order in complex sentences, including choice of order for emphasis
  • There could be/would be/should be
  • Could have/would have/should have
  • Wide range of conjunctions, including on condition that, provided that
  • Conditional forms, using had + would/could/should have
  • Comparative clauses
  • More complex participial clauses with –ing and –ed
  • Fronting and cleft sentences for emphasis
  • Reported speech, using a range of verb forms
  • More complex embedded questions
  • Reported questions, using a range of verb forms
  • Statements with question tags, using level 2 verbs and tenses
  • Imperative + question tag
Noun phrase
  • Noun phrases of increasing complexity
  • Use of zero article with a wide range of countable and uncountable nouns in a range of construction
Verb forms and time markers in statements, interrogatives, negatives and short forms
  • Use of a wide range of simple, continuous, perfect and perfect continuous verb forms, active and passive
  • Would expressing habit in the past
  • Use of had + would/could/should have in conditional sentences
  • Modals expressing past obligation, possibility, rejected conditions
  • A wide range of phrasal verbs with a number of particles
Adjectives Connotations and emotive strength of adjectives
Adverbs and prepositional phrases
  • Prepositions + –ing form
  • Prepositions followed by noun phrases
  • A range of logical markers
  • Sequence markers