Test Format (GETS Higher)

The GETS Higher test, covers all 4 skills i.e. Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The modules can be taken together at the same time
or each module can be taken separately.

The GETS Higher test can be taken as a Paper based test or on the Internet, as an internet based test.

The test format and overview of each module and what is tested is given below :


4 Parts / 30 questions

Approximately 40 min:

  • Part 1 : 1.5 to 2 min

  • Part 2 : 03 to 3.5 min

  • Part 3 : 3.5 to 04 min

  • Part 4 : 3.5 to 04 min

Each track is played twice.


Task types : Gap-fill; sentence completion; table completion; three option multiple-choice; True/ False and similar objective-type questions based on listening of dialogues, monologues or narratives in a standard variety of accents.

Skills tested : Following dictation; listening for specific information and for details; listening for detailed meaning; listening to identify attitude and opinions of speakers; listening for gist and main idea. Listening texts are set in both familiar contexts and those outside the everyday experience.

Text source : Designed using authentic and/or adapted real-world listening tracks such as announcements, dialogues, discussions, interviews, lectures, monologues, narratives, presentations, radio programmes, talks, telephone conversations.

No. of questions : A total of 30 questions.

Marking : One mark for each correct answer. No negative marking for incorrect answers.


60 min

5 Parts / 40 questions

Approximate text length:

  • Part 1 :250 - 300 words

  • Part 2 : 200 - 250 words

  • Part 3 : 400 - 450 words

  • Part 4 : 500 - 550 words

  • Part 5 : 400 - 450 words


Test takers are required to respond to questions based on a reading of approximately 1800 to 2000 words.

Task types : Gapped text; multiple matching; multiple-choice questions; True/False/Not Given.

Skills tested : Reading for specific information and for details; reading to understand main ideas; reading for detailed comprehension; reading to understand attitude, opinions and purpose of the writer; reading for gist and global meaning; reading to interpret information (inference); reading to understand meaning from context; following text organisation features; reading to understand text structure, cohesion and coherence.

Text source : The test is designed using authentic or adapted real-world materials such as advertisements, articles from newspapers, brochures, data information sheets, encyclopaedia entries, fiction, magazines, manuals, messages, notices, personal correspondence, reports and websites.

No. of questions : A total of 40 questions.

Marking : One mark for each correct answer. No negative marking for incorrect answers.


60 min

3 Tasks

  • Task 1 : 35 - 40 words

  • Task 2 : 90 - 120 words

  • Task 3 : 180 - 200 words


Task 1 : Write an e-mail, message, note or a short personal letter.

Task 2 : Compare, contrast and summarise the key points of input data or graphical information.

Task 3 : Present a piece of discursive writing as a summary of the arguments for and against a particular viewpoint and one’s opinion about a topic or subject of general interest. Test takers maybe required to outline a problem, present a solution or their opinion and justify it.


12 - 14 min

5 Parts


Part 1 : (2 - 3 min) Answer questions on family, home, interests, study, work and other familiar topics.

Part 2 : (1 min) Read aloud four sentences.

Part 3 : (1 - 2 min) Talk on a given topic for 1 minute. Candidates are provided verbal prompts and have 30 seconds to prepare their talk.

Part 4 : (2 - 3 min) Make comparisons between two pictures on a related theme. Candidates need to talk for 1-2 minutes.

Part 5 : (2 - 3 min) Answer general questions on topical subjects related to the theme of the pictures in Part 4. Candidates are required to express their views and feelings, expand and support their ideas and provide extended responses.


Scores are awarded out of 100. Raw scores for each skill / module are converted to GETS Levels 1 to 7 as detailed in the GETS Scale of English.

Each module carries 25% weightage.

A reference to CEFR levels against the GETS scores achieved is reported, basis research carried out by the GETS test development team.

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