Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the video to get a greater insight into the concept and services offered by Examagram. For more information, please visit the frequently asked questions below. 

What is Examagram?

Examagram is an English test or examination that allows you to quickly and accurately assess the English competence of your current or future work force for free. Our tests are written by a certified writer of English test material and is assessed in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. (CEFR). Examagram also offers strong analysis and comparison tools and has no limit on the amount of tests you can send.

 

OK sounds good but can Examagram give me 6 good reasons why I should use the service?

Yes we can.

1) It is 100% Free (See Service Level). Examagram will save you money on your recruitment budget, making your department more cost efficient and your business more profitable

2) Examagram will save your valuable time by reducing wasteful candidate interviews and phone screening. By taking 30 seconds (or less) to send a test to each candidate prior to interview, you will receive an accurate assessment of their level of English understanding.  If you are unsure if you want to interview or employ someone then Examagram can be a useful tool to help you decide.

3) You gain credibility with internal stakeholders within your business or clients. By testing each candidate prior to interview it shows the ultimate value add to the line or hiring managers as well as clients. By showing that you have conducted such communication due diligence you will ensure that you are seen as a credible recruiting professional to you business and market.

4) It gains credibility with potential employees. By making the candidate take the test, you obtain ‘job buy in’ from the candidate in regards to the role and company. A credible English test before the interview stage offers the candidates a professional outlook to your business. It will ensure that the candidates are better prepared for the next stage of interviewing.

5) You get to compare each candidate against other candidates. Whether its other candidates that you sent the test to or comparing them against the national averages it gives you a completely transparent and real life insight into how strong their English communication skills are.

6) You can use EXAMAGRAM to test your current workforce. It is important to understand whether there are any areas of improvement required in communication or any training requirements within your team. It is useful to know the capability of your team when comparing them to other staff members, the employment market or the national average.

7) Ok, so we said 6 reasons but we thought we should give you a seventh. Lastly, everyone else is doing it so can you afford not to. In a world where time is valuable and recruitment resource is at a premium it is important to keep with the times to ensure that you can maximize the recruitment tools at your disposal. If the service is free and takes no time to send a test you have nothing to lose. Please look at our Service Level Agreement to see case studies of typical Examagram use.

 

How much does it cost?

Examagram is 100% free to use, we do not charge for any part of the standard service.  All we ask is that if you do find the service useful that you please recommend us to your colleagues and business contacts. Please look at the Service Level agreement to understand more on this.

 

How many times can I use Examagram?

As much as you like! Whether its one test or one thousand tests, you are free to use the service as often as you need (and always be sure to recommend us to your business contacts in return for a great free service)

Who should I test?

The test is designed to examine the English competence of candidates that you are considering employing. Most employers use Examagram with candidates who use English as their second, third or fourth language. You can also use Examagram to examine your current workforce or even yourself. There are some good examples in our Service Level Agreement.

When should I use Examagram?

Examagram can be used for any situation where you need to test the English skills of your current or prospective candidates.  A typical scenario is prior to the interview process, where Examagram can be a vital tool in narrowing down submitted profiles. Whether you are recruiting for an accountant, IT specialist or sales person, it is important that you can examine and assess their communication skills before making a decision on inviting them in for an interview. Examagram offers a fast, accurate and free method of ensuring that short-listing a candidate is the right move. There are many examples for when people have used the test some are listed below:

  • Internal Recruitment teams in need of testing the English competence and communications skills of potential employees either before or after the interview process.
  • Line Managers and Directors looking to test their current work force to understand their English competence in order to recognize any shortfalls in communication along with any training requirements for their staff. 
  • Shared Services Centers/Recruitment Process teams/Offshore Centers embarking on volume recruitment. Examagram is used to manage the high numbers of applications down to a workable number in order for the recruitment team to pre-screen/interview the candidates.
  • External Recruitment Agencies testing their existing and future candidates in a value adding service that is passed on to their clients with no additional costs.
  • Large Associations or official bodies recommending Examagram to their members.
  • Individuals simply wanting to test themselves, colleagues, friends and family.  

 

Can’t I just phone or even interview the candidates the candidates to test their level of English?

A phone call can only test the verbal and listening skills of a candidate, and it is very difficult to arrive at an accurate assessment of these, particularly when trying to compare one candidate against another.  Examagram tackles the reading and writing aspects of language, focussing on accurately and consistently assessing grammar and vocabulary.

Examagram can be used to pre-screen candidates before contacting them. For example, from 30 applicants, you may only want to talk to 10. Examagram can assist you in compiling this shortened list. No matter how you plan to use Examagram, it is 100% free (Service Level Agreement).

There is also a useful blog (Face of Fictions) that explains the difficulties in obtaining a genuine guide to a candidate English competence from alternative methods. 

Can Examagram be applied to business English?

Examagram has been designed to examine the ability of each candidate within a work/corporate environment. The terminology in the test has been deliberately written to test the everyday business language use of the candidate. This include receiving work e-mails, memos,instructions from the manager etc.

Who uses the test?

Anyone who is interested in a free evaluation of English language abilities Examagram however, the product is aimed primarily at internal recruitment teams, external recruitment agencies or line managers/recruiters looking to shortlist candidates for interview.

 

How long does it take to send a test?

Once you have completed the one minute sign up or logged in either through Examagram.com or linked in, you can instantly send tests by inputting some basic data on each candidate. For large usage, we are happy to upload the information for you (once you have provided us with the candidate details normally via an excel spreadsheet.

What happens when the candidate completes the test?

They will instantly be sent an e-mail documenting the results and analysis of their results. At the same time, you will be sent similar information of their results and how to interpret and examine these. The information is quick, decisive and very easy to understand. 

 

Can I send the test results on to other people?

Yes, once the test is completed you can log in to your personal dashboard and forward the results with analysis to a line manager, colleague or one of your clients. The results will include analysis so that your colleague or client can examine the data. This service is also 100% free and can be sent as many times as you like.

 

How do my test results compare?

You can compare results across all of your candidates, and even across averages from candidates in the same country, another country or even worldwide.Using Examagram’s powerful analytics you can obtain a true indication of the English competence of each potential candidate. Nothing is speculative, the results are produced purely on fact.

 

Is the test credible?

Absoloutely, it is written by a professional who has 14 years’ experience of writing material for UBELT, KET, PET, TOEFL and TOEIC.

She has worked in private language schools and a number of UK universities including Loughborough, Bath and Bath Spa as well as worked with publishers including Pearsons Longman (UK), HarperCollins (UK), Klett (Germany) and FLTRP (China).
The test is written in correlation with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. (CEFR) as used by Cambridge University language assessment ESOL examinations. It has also been used by thousands of people across most countries in the world.

 

How long does the test last?

There is a time limit of 30 minutes for each test however the user will typically finish the test in 20-25 minutes. There are 60 questions, allowing an average of 30 seconds for each question.  It is important that the candidate is able to focus on the test without distraction and would ideally be working on it in a room by themselves. They are given some instructions before the test on how and when to sit the test. We also advice that you make sure they give themselves time within the best environment when they sit the test.

 

Is the test unique? Can the candidate sit the same test twice?

Each test is unique therefore ensuring any candidate who takes the test more than once does not have an unfair advantage.  Each question is randomly selected from a large question pool, and the test itself regulates it’s difficulty throughout, based on the abilities of the candidate. At the top level, the chances of getting the same test twice id over 3,000,000 to 1.  

How long does the candidate have to complete the test?

Each candidate has a maximum of 48 hours to complete the test before it is deactivated and marked as expired. The test can also be resent after the expiry.

 

Can I resend an expired test?

Yes of course!  You can view all expired tests from your Examagram dashboard, and simply click resend to reissue the test to the candidate.

 

Can I find out more about the author of the test?

Naomi Styles has worked for 14 years in English Language Teaching, as both a teacher and a writer of English language learning and testing materials. She has taught students from all age groups and a wide range of nationalities, both in the UK and overseas. She has worked in private language schools and a number of UK universities including Loughborough, Bath and Bath Spa as a tutor on their pre-sessional and in-sessional programmes for international students. She is experienced in readying students for IELTS, CAE, FCE and other examinations.

She has been writing English language materials for over five years. She has worked with publishers including Pearsons Longman (UK), HarperCollins (UK), Klett (Germany) and FLTRP (China) as well as a number of online publishers. She has written formal exam materials for the UBELT examination, and practice materials for many others, including, KET, PET, TOEFL and TOEIC.

She also writes grammar, vocabulary, reading, listening and vocabulary activities for online learners of all levels.

Please visit her website www.eflwriter.co.uk for more information.

 

The test is written in correlation with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. (CEFR) Can I know more about this?

Yes, The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment which is also known as CEFR for short, is set of guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe and in other parts of the world such as South America and Asia.

The CEFR was put together by the council of Europe as the main part of the project “Language Learning for European Citizenship”. The CEFR’s main objective is to provide a method of learning, teaching and assessing which can be applied to all languages across Europe including English. The European Union Council Resolution recommend using the CEFR to set up systems of validation of language ability. The six reference levels are widely accepted as the European standard for grading an individual’s language proficiency.

Examagram is written in conjunction with these 6 levels and uses these levels to score and give analysis to on each test. The test covers the reading and writing aspects of language testing.

The 6 levels are derived from 3 categories and are listed below:

A Basic User
B Independent User
C Proficient User

The six levels
A1 Breakthrough or beginner
A2 Waystage or elementary
B1 Threshold or intermediate
B2 Vantage or upper intermediate
C Proficient User
C1 Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced
C2 Mastery or proficiency

If you want to find out more about this we would advise to visit the website for the council of Europe.

http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/education/elp/ELP-REG/CEFR_EN.asp

Or go to the CEFR homepage:

http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/CADRE1_EN.asp

 

Can you tell me more about the 6 levels and the Examagram scoring system?

On completing a test a user will be awarded an Examagram score which is a number out of 1000.  This number can be translated into a CEFR level as detailed below, as well as providing additional granularity as to the position of the candidate within the level. For a visual guide please visit The Examagram Scores

CEFR Level: A1 Breakthrough or beginner

Examagram Score: 143 – 245

At the very basic level the candidate can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of basic needs of communicating with the person. They can understand some simple notices and signs and can fill out simple forms.  They will be able to introduce themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where they live, people they know and things they have. They will also be able to interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help. However, users rely heavily on gestures, symbols and other visual stimuli to aid understanding which will put the at a disadvantage their position requires a lot of phone work. It is very likely that they would need additional training in the work place if it is a requirement to converse regularly in English.

If the Examagram score was closer to 143 it means that the candidate is at the lower end of this CEFR level. If their Examagram score is closer to 245 then they were at the top end of the CEFR level.

CEFR Level: A2 Waystage or elementary

Examagram score: 246 – 428

At this level, the candidate understands sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). They will be able to communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar matters. The candidate will also be able to describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need. They will understand the most commonly-used English vocabulary and be able to form simple sentences and questions, but will struggle to form or understand long or complex sentences. It is likely that the candidates at this level will need additional training if they are required to use the English language on a regular basis. Phone or group discussions will be difficult for this candidate.

If the Examagram score was closer to 246 it means that the candidate is at the lower end of this CEFR level. If their Examagram score is closer to 428 then they were at the top end of the CEFR level.

CEFR Level: B1 Threshold or intermediate

Examagram Score: 429 – 571

At the lower intermediate level, the candidate can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. They can deal most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken. They are able to produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest. They will also be able to describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. However, they will struggle to engage in conversations about more abstract topics. They will be able to understand simple texts, but will require guidance to understand authentic texts. It is expected that candidates at this level would be functional in their role (assuming that the English language is not fundamental to the role) but will require flexibility in their English communication from other colleagues.

If the Examagram score was closer to 429 it means that the candidate is at the lower end of this CEFR level. If their Examagram score is closer to 571 then they were at the top end of the CEFR level.

CEFR Level: B2 Vantage or upper intermediate 

Examagram score: 572 – 714

At the upper intermediate level, the candidate can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete (practical) and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialisation. They can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. They will be able to produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.  However, their limited vocabulary and exposure to authentic English means they may be unable to catch finer details with regards to tone and implied meaning. It is expected that candidates at this level will be able to perform in the work place and their level of English should not heavily prohibit their ability to do their work. Occasionally, when working with groups of conversed native English speakers, the candidate may seek clarification on work meaning and on occasions they may struggle if the pace of conversation is very fast.

If the Examagram score was closer to 572 it means that the candidate is at the lower end of this CEFR level. If their Examagram score is closer to 714 then they were at the top end of the CEFR level.

CEFR Level: C1 Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced

Examagram Score:  715 – 857

At this advanced level the candidate can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. They can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Their use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. They will be able to produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.  Only when exposed to heavy accents and idiomatic language will the user struggle to understand. It is unlikely that the candidate will ever need assistance when talking in the English language. Their English competence is very high and in some cases they may even sound like a native English speaker.

If the Examagram score was closer to 715 it means that the candidate is at the lower end of this CEFR level. If their Examagram score is closer to 857 then they were at the top end of the CEFR level.

CEFR Level: C2 Mastery or proficiency

Examagram Score: 858 – 1000

At the top level the candidate can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. They will be able to summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. They will be able to express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.  They will understand a vast number of idiomatic phrases, recognise the implications and tone behind their usage and be able to use them correctly according to the social setting. In many cases, candidates at this level will sound like a native English speaker and will have the vocabulary and grammatical skills to match. Some native English speakers may not achieve this level.

If the Examagram score was closer to 858 it means that the candidate is at the lower end of this CEFR level. If their Examagram score is closer to 1000 then they were at the top end of the CEFR level.

 

What can we do to help?

Simply continue to champion our service, use it as often as possible and please ensure that you refer us to all of your colleagues.  If you are feeling particularly generous,  you could write us a testimonial explaining what you love about Examagram!

 

What is the next stage?

Essentially start using the service by signing up . For a more detailed understanding, please visit our Service Level Agreement page, where you can download further details.