General Information about Important Exams
All courses at Işık University are conducted in English. As the School of Foreign Languages (SFL), our primary aim is to help our students acquire the necessary language skills (reading comprehension, writing, listening, and speaking) they will need throughout their academic studies. Each new student has to prove that his or her level of English is sufficient for academic studies. Students can certify their English competence either by passing the Işık University English Proficiency Exam or by bringing a matching score from one of the language exams that are officially recognized by Işık University (TOEFL/ÜDS/YDS/PTE). (More information)
#English Placement Test
The Placement test primarily aims to determine students' level of English knowledge. The test is 75 minutes long and assesses grammar and vocabulary knowledge and reading skill. Students who cannot pass the Placement test are directly placed in the EFL Program. Those who pass the Placement test can take the Proficiency Exam.
The aim of the Proficiency exam is to decide whether students' level of English is adequate for academic studies in an English-medium university. The exam lasts about 4 hours and assesses reading, listening, writing and speaking skills. The exam is administered in two sessions – one in the morning, and the other in the afternoon after a lunch break. Speaking test may be given in the afternoon, the day before or the following day.
The Işık University Proficiency Exam (PE) consists of four components:
1. Reading (25%)
2. Listening (25%)
3. Response Essay (25%)
4. Speaking (25%)
1) Reading: In the first section, candidates read multiple texts about various topics. Then they answer related questions testing their comprehension of the text. Number of the questions vary according to the length of the texts.(15-20 questions)
Duration: 60-75 minutes
2) Listening: In this section, candidates listen to a lecture of about 1500-1600 words, on a general topic. The Listening Section aims to test the candidates' note-taking skills. The candidates listen to the lecture and take notes. Then the candidates answer the questions using their notes. (16 questions)
Duration: Lecture reading by the lecture reader approximately takes 15-20 minutes. The candidates are given 15-20 minutes to answer the questions.
3) Response Essay Writing: In this part of the PE, candidates are given a text of 500-550 words. They are expected to write an academic response essay using the information given in the text. The candidates are to summarize what they have read and respond to the text by answering a question given. They can agree or disagree as long as their ideas are well-supported.
Duration: 50-60 minutes
4) Speaking: In the final part of the exam, candidates are shown a photo. The interlocutor asks various questions related to the photo and the candidate is expected to answer these questions.
Duration: 7-8 minutes
If the student's score is at least 70/100 on the Proficiency Exam, s/he passes the Prep Program and becomes a freshman student.
The Exit Exam is administered three times a year, in January, June, and August. The January Exit Exam given at the end of the first semester is for Track 3 students. However, the prerequisites to take this exam include a term average of at least 70 and 90 percent attendance to lessons. All students who have not exceeded the absence limit can sit the June Exit Exam. The Exit Exam consists of four main sections: Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. Each skill exam weighs 25%.
Students who fail to pass the June Exit Exam have another opportunity at the end of the summer school.* If they fail again in the August Exam, they can sit the Proficiency Exam together with the new students in September. Another failure in the September Proficiency Exam means these students are Resit students who need to repeat the Prep Program.
The term average of all lessons makes up 50 percent of the passing grade in the Prep Program. The other 50 percent comes from the Exit Exam grade. The average of the Prep Program grade and the Exit Exam score should at least be 70, and the minimum exit exam score a student is expected to achieve is 65. The term grade is calculated by taking the average of homework assignments, common quizzes, pop quizzes, portfolios, participation and attendance, and midterms and finals.
A student may be exempted from the Preparatory School Program without taking the Proficiency Exam, or Exit Exam, only if a student has received one of the following test scores from an officially accepted test centre within one year.
*These scores are valid starting in 2022-2023 academic year.
* TOEFL and PTE scores are valid for maximum two years; YDS/e-YDS/ÜDS scores are valid for 5 years.
*Summer school is not compulsory. Students are asked to pay tuition. However, students with scholarships are exempted the amount of their scholarships.