BİLET Stage 2 (Proficiency Exam)

BİLET Stage 2 has three parts; Speaking (35%), Reading (30%), and Writing (35%). Below you may find the details for each section. Students who receive a grade of 60 or higher from this exam are exempt from the English Preparatory Year and can begin their departmental studies. Students who get a grade lower than 60 from this exam start at their relevant level in the English Preparatory Year according to their results from BİLET Stage 1.

Speaking Component

The weight of the speaking component of the exam constitutes 35% of the whole exam.

Each student takes the exam individually, and is asked questions in English by English instructors. The exam takes about 4-5 minutes and each student is asked 3 - 4 questions about general topics that the student can express an opinion about.

  • Students are asked a few questions from general topics that anyone can have an opinion about. Each student will be asked about 3 - 4 questions from one of these general topics.
  • Students are asked agree/disagree types of questions as well as their thoughts about a certain topic by giving reasons and explanations.
  • There is no right or wrong answer to these opinion-type questions. They do not aim to test their knowledge on a certain topic but rather how they express their thoughts on that particular question/topic.
  • The questions may require students to describe something, to discuss the causes and effects of a situation, the advantages and disadvantages of something or comparing and contrasting the given situation with another.
  • Students should avoid giving short answers. They should try to provide sufficient details or explanations to the questions they are asked. The questions should be answered by giving as many examples and /or reasons as possible. Irrelevant answers should be avoided.
  • It may be useful for students to study basic communication techniques (e.g. when they cannot understand or hear a question well or they can ask the examiners to repeat or rephrase the question, self-correct, or clarify their points etc.)
  • Students should try to speak the language as accurately as possible and use a variety of structures and words.
  • If/when a student answers a question with mistakes or uses wrong words, they should stay positive. The communication should continue by using different strategies.
  • Long pauses should be avoided while speaking and the questions should be answered in a clear fluent tone of voice.
  • The effective communication techniques should be adhered to (eye contact, body language, tone of voice etc.)
  • Speaking skills will be assessed by considering the following:
    • Communication
    • Fluency
    • Accuracy and variety in using the language
    • Accuracy and variety in using vocabulary


Reading Component

The weight of the reading component of the exam constitutes 30% of the whole exam.

Questions in the reading exam may ask for information relating to:

  • The main idea/point
  • Detailed comprehension
  • Comparison
  • Causes and effects
  • What is stated and not stated in a text
  • What is true and false in the text
  • What can be inferred from the text

There are two possible formats for the reading exam.


Reading Exam Type 1

Students are given a semi-academic reading text between 1000-1500 words in the reading component of the exam. There are between eight and twelve questions. The questions are open-ended, and may require one word, phrase, or sentence answers.

Questions ask about information in the reading text in a chronological order.

Possible question types:

  • Typical “Wh- comprehension” questions (while answering these types of questions, information from the text can be directly used or students may wish to use their own sentences).
  • “Sentence completion” type of questions (these questions are answered by making use of the words from the text).
  • “Completion of a summary” type of questions (students are expected to complete the parts that are left blank meaningfully. It is possible to answer these questions using the words from the text).
  • Completing a table (a table with some information from the text is given and students are expected to complete the information by referring to the text).
  • A multiple choice question that asks for the main idea of the text.
  • A multiple choice inference question that asks for information alluded to in the text.


Reading Exam Type 2

Students are given five semi-academic reading texts between 250-300 words in the reading component of the exam. Each text has two or three questions. There are between 10 and 15 questions. The questions are multiple choice, with one correct answer from a choice of four.

Reading questions ask about information in the reading text in any order.

Possible question types:

  • Multiple choice to complete a sentence
  • Multiple choice to answer a “wh-“ question.


Things to consider for either type of reading exam:

Students should remember the following when they take the exam:

  • Read the exam instructions carefully.
  • Before reading the text(s), read the question(s) and try to understand what is specifically expected of you. Then start reading the text.
  • Focus on some key words within the text or finding the parts that are related to the questions will help you find the right answers to the questions.
  • Instead of translating every single sentence in the text, try to understand what message the paragraph as a whole is conveying.
  • There may be words within the text that you do not know. Do not let this upset you. Those unknown words may be guessed from the context or they may not be necessary for you to answer the questions.
  • Remember that you may make use of the linkers and conjunctions within the text as hints for you to understand the text.
  • Use your time efficiently.
  • For open-ended questions, answer the questions clearly and directly. For your answers to be accepted as correct, the answers should not include irrelevant or incorrect information.
  • For open ended questions, make sure you answer the sentence completion or summary type of questions within the indicated word limits. If you are expected to answer using 5 words, the answers that contain more words than that are disregarded while marking.

 

Writing Component

The weight of the writing part of the exam constitutes 35% of the whole exam.

  • You are expected to write a 350-word (approximately) essay in this part of the exam.
  • Read the given topic well and make sure you understand what is exactly expected of you. Your ideas on the cause or effect, advantages or disadvantages, pros or cons of an issue may be asked. If you are asked to give the causes of a topic and you write the effects of it instead, your essay will not be marked as it does not answer the question.
  • Spare some time to think and plan on what you would like to write about before you start writing. It is important to plan what you are going to write. If you start writing without planning, you may likely digress or may find it hard to support your ideas. You may end up wasting more time if you start without planning or outlining your essay.
  • You will be given 3-4 prompts that you may wish to use while you are writing your essay. Read these prompts very well and think about how you can relate these to the topic and how you could support them with examples and explanations.
  • You do not have to use the given prompts. You may write by using your own ideas about the given topic.
  • You do not have to follow a certain pattern while writing your essay; however, you are expected to express your ideas in an organized manner which would allow the reader to follow your ideas. For that reason, as in any composition, there should be an introduction, development of ideas and a conclusion
  • A 350-word essay would take about 2 pages when it is in a standard hand-written format. Do not waste your time by counting the words. Unless your essay is much shorter or longer than the indicated number, not having exact word count will not create a problem.
  • Try to use legible handwriting if on campus.
  • Check the language and vocabulary usage in your essay when you are finished writing.
  • Your essay will be marked by taking the following into consideration:
    • Content
    • Organization
    • Accuracy in language and vocabulary usage
    • Range and variety in language and vocabulary usage