Guide for candidates EXAVER 2


General information

EXAVER 2 is the second of the series of 3 proficiency examinations in General English designed by Universidad Veracruzana. EXAVER 2 is not related to any particular course syllabus in any way. This exam follows the general principles and standards of The Council of Europe’s Threshold 1990 document. The standards of the exam coincide with ALTE Level 2 and are similar to those required by UCLES at Preliminary English Test Level.

For a better understanding of the exam candidates should know some basic information about it, such as how the exam has been organized.

Examination papers for EXAVER 2

The EXAVER 2 exam consists of 3 parts called “papers”.

Paper 1

Skill: Reading Comprehension and Writing
Description: Paper One consists of five parts. Candidates need to demonstrate they can identify sources of texts, comprehend the main ideas and/or specific details of a variety of written texts, as well as understand and use vocabulary and grammatical structures within a text. :
Number of Questions: 40
Time: 60 minutes

Paper 2

Skill: Listening Comprehension Description: Paper Two consists of four parts. Candidates need to demonstrate comprehension of the main ideas and/or specific details of a variety of spoken texts, by answering questions about factual types of information and completing forms. In some instances they may also need to deduce the meaning of something from the specific context of a spoken text.
Number of Questions: 21
Time: 35 min. approx.

Paper 3

Skill: Speaking Comprehension and Production
Description: Paper Three consists of three parts. Candidates take this part of the exam with another candidate or, in some instances, with two candidates. Candidates need to demonstrate their ability to speak about a range of topics with the candidate(s) they are paired with, with two examiners and by themselves. Candidates are also given visuals to promote oral production.
Number of Questions: Candidates will be asked on several topics. Time: 13 minutes

The EXAVER 2 test comprises:

1) Topics

The contexts within which the above abilities take place may be:

  • personal life, home, family
  • community and social relations
  • current events
  • weather
  • work and/or studies
  • leisure activities and interests
  • travel, places of interest, different countries
  • shopping
  • eating out
  • personal information
  • house and home
  • daily activities, including work and study
  • travel and holidays
  • family relations
  • health/education
  • food and drink
  • clothing/shopping
  • giving directions to places
  • lenguaje/services

2)Language purposes for EXAVER 2

A candidate for the EXAVER Level 2 exam should be able to carry out everyday transactions, for which he/she has to demonstrate his/her ability to ask for repetition, clarification and explanation in written or spoken mode, in a variety of contexts like:

  • with immigration/security officers, police, officials.
  • while making arrangements for accommodation, meals.
  • during situations arising while shopping/buying consumer goods.
  • during situations arising related to the use of public transportation.
  • using information services/visiting public places.
  • offering and accepting private hospitality.
  • using private transportation/using public services.
  • seeking/using educational services.
  • finding the way
  • communicating at work.
  • offering and accepting private hospitality.

3)Language functions

EXAVER 2 candidates are expected to be able to:

  • give and get factual information.
  • express and find out attitudes (agree, disagree, express probability, certainty, preference, intention, regret, sympathy, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, fear, surprise, disappointment, approval, gratitude.
  • get things done (suggest, advise, warn, instruct, ask for help, invite, accept and decline invitations).
  • socialize (greet, address people, introduce, take leave).
  • structure and repair communication (ask for clarification, introduce a topic, correct oneself, summarize, exemplify, ask for help, paraphrase, ask for spelling, close a conversation).

4) Wordlist

For a complete wordlist see Threshold 1990, pp157-177

5)Language structures

At this level it is expected that candidates know structures like:

  • Verb to be
  • Imperative
  • Simple present: affirmative, negative interrogative: for states and habits transitive and intransitive forms
  • Present continuos: affirmative, negative, interrogative: for present actions and future plans
  • Simple past: affirmative, negative, interrogative: past events
  • Present perfect: affirmative, negative, interrogative
  • Past continuos: affirmative, negative, interrogative: interrupted actions, parallel past actions
  • Simple future: offers, promises, predictions
  • Going to -idiomatic future: future plans / intentions.
  • Present perfect: recent past, general experience, unfinished past
  • Past perfect: narrative, reported speech
  • adverbs manner / frequency / time degree / direction / sequence comparative and superlative forms
  • imperatives
  • passive voice structures: present, past simple, + infinitive (I prefer my fish to be fried), with should (I think we should be told!)
  • adjectives: attributive / predicative /participial colour, size, shape, quality, nationality, cardinal and ordinal numbers
  • verb phrases, such as: I want to dance / I enjoy swimming
  • possessive adjectives: physical attributes / characteristics physical qualities of objects / moral qualities of animates emotional states / probability quantitative / some / any / many / much/ a few / a lot of / all / a little / lots of / regular
  • modals: can, could, would, will, shall, should, may, might, have (got) to, ought to, must, mustn’t, need, needn’t, used to + infinitive
  • reported statements and questions using 'say', 'ask', 'tell'
  • pronouns: : subject pronouns, object pronouns, reflexive pronouns, possessive pronouns, indefinite pronouns, relative pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, identifying. impersonal pronouns: there is / there are / genitive (and apostrophe)
  • conjunctions
  • prepositions: time, position, distance, (at, in, on) direction, origin, duration, anteriority, posteriority, frequency, manner, agency, instrumentality, benefaction, possession, inclusion, exclusion, similarity see: threshold 1990, p.132/133 for complete list
  • verbs used as subjects
  • and irregular comparative forms of adjectives / regular and irregular superlative forms of adjectives.
  • conditional structures: type 0, type 1, type 2
  • determiners: indefinite article „a‟, for unspecified persons/things (there is a man at the door), to specify frequency (twice a day), to designate amount (15 pence a kilo). definite article “the”, pre- and post-determiners
  • gerund as present participle

Summary of Functions for EXAVER Level 2 Speaking Test