Test Format

Test Format

 Part  Time   allocated  Format
 Focus Task 10 minutes This section allows the candidate to read the Task Booklet. This part is not assessed.
 Part 1: Listening into Speaking
 Speaking 2 minutes Interview questions
 Listening 10 minutes Questions about a talk or lecture with short, written answers
 Listening &   Speaking 6 minutes A 3-minute summary and comments about the talk or lecture, followed by a discussion on the topic with the examiner.
 Part 2: Reading into Writing
 Reading 45 minutes A summary of a short academic text; 
Questions about a long academic text with short, written answers.
 Writing 45 minutes A formal academic essay (350 words) based on the topic of the reading and listening.

Note: The same topic is used throughout the test.


The test reflects the types of tasks that a student will be required to carry out at the University of Malta. These tasks include writing assignments based on reliable sources; reading academic papers; listening to lectures; and speaking to classmates and tutors about academic topics.

The topic in all parts of ISET is the same throughout the test. The objective of the test is to use the listening, speaking, and reading parts to gather ideas and information to use in the final task: writing. The listening and speaking part of the test is held individually with an examiner. The reading and writing part of the test is held later on the same day. The test taker is encouraged to take notes on the topic throughout the test on a Task Booklet which is provided at the start of the test. Clear instructions are given throughout the test.

Each of the sections of the test is graded using a set of specific assessment criteria to ensure that the test taker is graded fairly and impartially based on the language produced during the test. 


  • Listening: 20%
  • Speaking: 20%
  • Reading: 30%
  • Writing: 30%