About EIKEN Grade 2

Grade 2 incorporates the knowledge and applied skills acquired up to Grade Pre-2 in a wide variety of real-life situations. This level is aimed at Japanese high school graduates. Examinees are expected to be able to understand and use English at a level sufficient to allow them to take part in social, professional, and educational situations. Grade 2 certification provides a wide range of benefits, such as its usefulness in applying to post-secondary academic institutions and obtaining academic credits, in addition to serving as preparation for the National Center Test for University Admissions. Furthermore, it is widely accepted as a qualification certifying general English ability for studying or working overseas. The examination is divided into two parts, Stage 1 (a written examination including a listening section) and Stage 2 (an interview-format speaking test). From the first administration of the 2016 test, a writing test has been added to the first-stage test.

Pass level comparison

Grade 2A 2150 276 B1+ 500 61
Grade 2 1980 226 B1 450 45
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  • Click here for more information about the EIKEN CSE Score.

What is Grade 2A?

Grade 2A designates an examinee passing the Grade 2 test with a minimum EIKEN CSE score of 2150. This places the examinee between Grades 2 and Pre-1 within the EIKEN framework of ability levels.

Because the Grade 2A certification is used primarily for admissions at institutions outside Japan, the designation does not appear on the EIKEN pass/fail certificates sent to examinees within Japan. For those who have taken the Grade 2 test prior to June 2016, please contact EIKEN Study Abroad Information Center online or by calling (03) 3266-6839 to determine whether your scores qualify as Grade 2A. Inquirers will be asked to provide contact details and the examinee number that was issued when they took the Grade 2 test. Results are provided in 3-5 business days, and there is no charge.

Level description

Can understand and use English at a level sufficient to allow him/her to take part in social, professional, and educational situations.

Overview of test structure

First stage

Time allotted: Reading & Writing(85 minutes)/ Listening(app. 25 minutes)

Skill area Task Format Items Response type
Reading Sentence completion 20 short texts (one or two sentences/dialogues) from which one word or phrase has been omitted 20 Multiple-choice (Four printed options)
Gap fill (passages) 2 passages from which several words or phrases have been omitted 6
Q&A based on passages 3 passages followed by questions 12
Writing English Composition 1 topic question with 3 suggested points 1 80 - 100 word composition
Listening Q&A based on dialogues 15 recorded conversations/discussions followed by questions 15 Multiple-choice (Four printed options)
Q&A based on monologues 15 recorded announcements, advertisements, news stories, or short lectures followed by questions 15

School, hobbies, travel, shopping, sports, movies, music, food, weather, giving directions, foreign cultures, profiles of people, history, education, sciences, nature, environment, etc.

Second stage

English interview (app. 7min)

Skill area Task Format Time allotted Notes
Speaking Oral reading Preparation Examinee reads passage on question card silently 20 seconds

Evaluation Criteria:
Examinees are evaluated on their responses to each of the tasks and for their attitude toward actively engaging in communication. The following categories are also taken into account: pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.

No. of Examiners:1

Reading aloud Examinee reads passage aloud
Q&A No. 1 Examiner asks question based on content of passage
Narration No. 2 Preparation Examinee reads card silently and prepares to narrate three-panel illustration shown on card 20 seconds
Narration Examinee gives narration of illustration
Q&A No. 3 Examiner asks question to elicit examinee’s opinion about trends, ideas, and issues broadly related to topic of passage
No. 4 Examiner asks question to elicit examinee’s opinion about topic related to everyday life (may not be related to topic of passage)

Summary of Can-do statements

Below are summaries of the main features of the tasks and activities that typical Grade 2 certificate holders feel confident about performing in English in real-life language-use situations.

Reading Can understand lengthy expository texts and find necessary information in texts of a practical nature.
Listening Can understand information and explanations relevant to everyday life and understand the content of extended speech.
Speaking Can describe everyday experiences and convey his/her needs and requirements.
Writing Can write texts at some length about topics from everyday life.

Virtual speaking test (Grade 2)

An animated, easy-to-understand walkthrough of the Stage 2 Interview Test, showing the entire process from the time the examinee enters the room until he or she leaves it. (requires Japanese)