About EIKEN Grade Pre-2

Grade Pre-2 is an important step towards the next grade as it combines the knowledge and application of basic skills acquired in Grades 5, 4, and 3. This level is aimed at second-year Japanese high school students. Examinees are expected to be able to understand and use English at a level sufficient to allow them to take part in general aspects of daily life. Grade Pre-2 certification provides a wider range of benefits than the lower levels, as it is useful for applying to post-secondary academic institutions and obtaining academic credits, in addition to serving as preparation for the National Center Test for University Admissions. The examination is divided into two parts, Stage 1 (with reading, writing, and listening tests) and Stage 2 (an interview-format speaking test). As of the June 2017 test, a writing test has been added to the first stage of the examination.

Pass level comparison

Grade Pre-2 1728 150 A2 350 20
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Level description

Can understand and use English at a level sufficient to allow him/her to take part in general aspects of daily life.

Overview of test structure

First stage

Time allotted: Reading & Writing(75 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 in dialogues 4 short texts (dialogues) from which one or two phrases have been omitted 5
Gap fill in passages 2 passages from which several words or phrases have been omitted 5
Q&A based on passages 2 passages followed by questions 7
Writing English Composition 1 topic question 1 50-60 word composition
Listening Conversation completion Examinees listen to short conversations and choose the best response to complete the last turn of the conversation. 10 Multiple-choice(Three recorded options)
Q&A based on dialogues 10 recorded conversations/discussions followed by questions 10 Multiple-choice (Four printed options)
Q&A based on monologues 10 recorded stories or explanations followed by questions 10

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. 6 min.)

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
No. 2 Examiner asks question about illustration on card
No. 3 Examiner asks question about illustration on card
No. 4 Examiner asks question to elicit examinee’s opinion about trends, ideas, and issues broadly related to topic of passage
No. 5 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 Pre-2 certificate holders feel confident about performing in English in real-life language-use situations.

Reading Can find information on graphs and tables and understand simple expository texts.
Listening Can understand topics from everyday life and simple explanations and instructions.
Speaking Can handle routine tasks from everyday life and express his/her ideas about topics that he/she is interested in.
Writing Can write simple texts about things he/she is interested in.

Virtual speaking test (Grade Pre-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)