The Filter exam is a proficiency assessment, which measures whether your written communication is at the required level for you to be able to write your final research thesis and your spoken English is proficient enough for you to defend it.
Tip from your instructors and faculty
The best way to ensure that you are fully prepared for the exam is to ensure that you use the strategies you are taught in your language improvement classes and apply these to your academic subjects. This way, you will develop your vocabulary and be more proficient in explaining yourself.
Another thing you can do is to be fully engaged and active in all of your seminars; this will give you lots of practice in using your English in a range of different situations. You can also join the speaking clubs at the American Corner and the monthly creative cafes.
Task types at the Filter Exam
Task types include 3 reading tasks, one comprehension and two skill-based tasks (reading for specific information, for example). There are also two writing tasks: one email, letter or review and one discursive essay.
Some writing task examples are:
- Many people believe that formal “pen and paper” examinations are not the best method of assessing educational achievement. Discuss this view and give your own opinion.
- Modern communications mean that it’s no longer necessary to write letters.To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
- You live in a room, which you share with another student, in the halls of residence. There are a number of problems with this arrangement and you find it very difficult to work. Write an e mail to the accommodation officer at the halls
- describing the situation
- explaining the problems and why it is difficult to work
- asking for the type of accommodation you would prefer.
The speaking component has three parts:
Part one is a short question and answer section, where you will be asked questions about your current life. These questions will elicit the use of the past, present and future tenses.
Part two is a monologue: you will be a given a topic and one minute to prepare what you would like to say. Following your talk, your partner or the panel may ask you a question or two about what you have said.
Part three is a discussion with your partner about another given topic. There is no preparation time for this as it measures your spontaneous language use skills.
Examples of questions are:
- Why did you choose this course?
- How important is marriage in your culture ?
- Why do you think sports personalities take drugs to enhance their performance. Do you think it is fair?
If you have any questions about the exam at any point, please contact Claudia Molnár for any extra guidance or support. Please note that the language improvement classes are not filter exam preparation classes, although you will, of course, have the opportunity to take a mock exam and do dome task practice prior to the exam. The main filter is taken at the end of the second year (4th semester) with a retake opportunity at the end of the following semester.