Guide for candidates EXAVER 3


General information

The performance expectations of a candidate for the Exaver Level Three exam correspond to ALTE 3 which, in turn, derives from the Council of Europe’s B2 or upper intermediate level as expressed in documents such as The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (latest edition, September 2008) and Vantage (J.A. van Ek and J.L.M. Trim, published by the Council of Europe & Cambridge University Press, 2001). At this level learners are able to cope with transactional situations in everyday life, and are able to deal with these when they are problematic or take an unexpected direction. They are thus able to ask for repetition, clarification and explanation in these unpredictable transactions. They can also analyse people’s opinions and argue for or against them, summarise discussions, express conclusions and explain reasons for maintaining or altering their own arguments, on the basis of reading or discussion.

The examination papers for EXAVER 3

There are three examination papers for the Exaver Three exam.

Paper 1

Skill: Reading and writing comprehension
Description: Paper One consists of five parts. Candidates need to demonstrate comprehension of the main ideas and/or specific details of a variety of written texts, as well as their understanding of and use of vocabulary and grammatical structures within a text.
Number of questions: 57
Time: 1 hour and 25 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, as well as the mood(s), opinion(s) and/or attitude(s) of the speaker(s) in a spoken text. In some instances they may also need to deduce the meaning of something from the specific context of a spoken text.
Number of questions: 25
Time: 40 minutes.

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 an examiner and by themselves.
*Note: While, the actual Speaking Test takes approximately 15 minutes per pair, candidates should nevertheless plan to wait up to 2 hours to take the test, depending on the total number of candidates taking the Exaver 3 exam that day.

1) Language purpose

  • Personal information
  • House and home
  • Ecology and environment
  • Daily activities, including work and study
  • Leisure activities
  • Cinema and theatre
  • Travel and holidays
  • Family, friends and other relationships
  • Health
  • Education
  • Food and Drink
  • Clothing
  • Shopping
  • Giving directions to places
  • Language
  • Public and private services
  • Weather
  • Contacts with officials
  • Arrangements for accommodation
  • Arrangements for meals
  • Shopping: buying consumer goods
  • Using public transport
  • Using private transport
  • Using information services
  • Visiting public places
  • Using public services
  • Educational services
  • Finding the way
  • Communicating at work
  • Private hospitality

2) Language structures

  • VERB FORMS (includes affirmative, negative and interrogative forms unless otherwise stated) Lexical Verbs
    • Present Tense
      Simple: for states and habits
      Continuous: for present actions and future plans
  • Past Tense
    • Present Tense
      Simple: for past events
      Continuous: for interrupted actions, parallel past actions
  • Simple Future: for offers, promises, predictions
  • Going To (Idiomatic Future): for future plans / intentions
  • Future Perfect and Future Continuous
    Present perfect: recent past, general experience, unfinished past Simple Continuous
  • Past perfect: for narrative, reported speech
    Simple/ Continuous
  • Auxiliary Verbs
    • Non-modal (BE, DO, HAVE): all forms (includes “tenses”)
    • Modal Verbs
  • Other Verb Forms
    • Passive voice structures: all tenses
    • Reported statements and questions using a full range of reporting verbs
    • Conditional structures
    • Gerunds and infinitives
    • Wish/it‟s time/I‟d rather/as if/though
    • Causative have
    • Word order – adverbs and adjectives
    • Adjectives/nouns/verbs/followed by prepositions
    • Prepositions preceding nouns and adjectives
      • Linkers
      • Phrasal Verbs


    • Subject pronouns
    • Object pronouns
    • Reflexive pronouns
    • Possessive pronouns
    • Indefinite pronouns
    • Relative pronouns
    • Demonstrative pronouns
    • Impersonal pronouns:
      • there is / there are
    • Definite
    • Indefinite
    • Demonstrative
    • Possessive
    • Relative
    • Interrogative
    • Quantitative
    • Identifying
    • Pre-determiners
    • Post-determiners
    • Time
    • Place
    • Distance
    • Direction
    • Origin
    • Arrangement
    • Duration
    • Manner
    • Instrumentality
    • Inclusion
    • Similarity
    • Color, size, shape, quality, nationality
    • Cardinal and ordinal numbers
    • Possessive adjectives
    • Quantitative some / any / many / much/ a few / a lot of / all
    • Comparative forms of adjectives
    • Superlative forms of adjectives
    • Participial
    • Manner
    • Frecuency
    • Time
    • Degree
    • Direction
    • Sequence
    • Comparative and superlative forms

3) Language functions for EXAVER 3

Candidates at this level able to converse on a variety of topics related to their own lives and experiences, opinions, views, attitudes, emotions and wishes. They are also able to negotiate joint action.
General categories of interaction

Some specific examples of interaction
  • language learning
  • personal life/activities
  • possessive adjectives (her/ their )
  • living conditions and household activities
  • professions, trades and occupations
  • education
  • traveling
  • shopping & consumer products
  • eating out
  • social relations

For more information about the language purposes, structures and functions that candidates should expect to encounter in the Exaver Level Three exam, please see below. For a more complete list, please see Vantage and The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (specifically, the descriptors for level B2).

Summary of Functions for EXAVER Level 3 Speaking Test