Detailed presentation of the NOCN Esol International Certificate

NOCN Listening
Passing Mark: 16/31
Duration: B1 - B2 35'
C1 - C2 40'

The Listening unit consists of 31 multiple choice questions (a, b, c) and is divided into 3 parts. Each part of the test is heard twice.

Before each part, candidates have 2 minutes to read the questions and another 2 minutes at the end to check and transfer their answers on the Answer Sheet.

The topics are based on everyday situations / scenarios.

  • Part 1ο: Consists of 10 sentences / questions and some may check grammar & vocabulary.
  • Part 2ο: Consists of 2 dialogues with 5 questions each.
  • Part 3ο: Consists of 2 broadcasts for B1 & B2, and 1 debate & 1 discussion for C1 & C2, with 6 and 5 questions respectively.

NOCN Reading
Passing Mark: 16/31
Duration: B1 - B260'
C1 - C275'

The Reading unit consists of 4 texts with 31 multiple choice questions (a, b, c).

Candidates are asked to answer clear written comprehension questions and questions related to error detection (e.g. spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax), synonyms, opposites or fill in a blank. Candidates must submit their answers on the Answer Sheet.

NOCN Writing
Passing Mark: 12/24
Duration: B1 - B2 60'
C1 - C275'

The Writing unit consists of 2 parts where for each part the candidates must write one composition. For each composition, the candidates are given 3-4 optional development points. The overall mark for the Writing unit results from each composition’s mark divided by 2. See here the criteria by which the compositions are marked.

  • Part 1: Candidates are invited to write a formal composition and can choose between two topics. The type of composition that may be requested is:

    • letter or email
    • article
    • report
    • description
    • argumentation

  • Part 2ο: Candidates are invited to write a composition in an informal format. This composition is mandatory and is always either a letter or an email.

The range of words for each composition, depending on the level being examined, is defined as follows:

Level 1st composition 2nd composition
B1 75-100 100-125
B2 100-150 150-200
C1 150-200 250-300
C2 200-250 250-300

Candidates write both compositions on the Answer Sheet.

NOCN Speaking
Passing Mark: 17/33
Duration: B1 - B29'
C1 - C213'

The Speaking unit consists of 3 parts with an examiner and a candidate and the topics are drawn from everyday situations.

The oral examiner, when necessary, reformulates the question and gives examples to the candidate.

  • Part 1: The candidate is asked to answer 5 personal questions, in 2 of which he is asked to answer by listing 3 of his options (e.g. three favorite holiday destinations).
  • Part 2: The candidate is asked to analyze how he will deal with and what they will say in 2 hypothetical situations. The description of the situations as well as the points to be mentioned are given to the candidate in writing.
  • Part 3: The candidate is invited to develop a dialogue with the examiner based on a script with specific roles. The candidate is examined in 1 scenario which is also given to him in writing. Two minutes preparation time is given as well as the possibility for the candidate to keep notes.

See here the criteria by which Speaking is graded.