Image of front coversKEY FACTS

Guided learning hours: 350-400 approx
Independent study/Exposure: 175-200
Total qualifcation time: 525-600
AIM certificated: AIM Level 3 qualification in ESOL on the UK National Qualification Framework.
UCAS points: This qualifications has been awarded the following tariff points:
Distinction 24; Merit 20; Pass 16. 

Ofqual qualification number: 601/4947/4
Pass marks: Refer:<55%; Pass at C1: 50-64%; Pass at C2: 65-74%; Merit: 75-89%; Distinction: 90%+

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(rev Feb 2022)
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What does the Masters STEP test?

Over the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking (optional though recommended for anyone wanting to use this qualification to enter university).

New elements tested at this level:

  • Evidence of very wide vocabulary
  • Evidence of excellent control of structures and organisation of language
  • Full control of collocation
  • Full control of style, idiom, inference
  • Nuanced differentiation of variety and tone

What does the student have to do in their Masters test?

  • A formal academic composition
  • Formal and informal messages
  • A summary
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Matching
  • Definition / substitution
  • Gap fill
  • Sentence transformation
  • Note-taking

The student can confidently manipulate the language and use it both for any study or professional purpose.

Student performance indicators

  • Take notes while listening to information given at normal speaking pace and then use those notes for a targeted task
  • Take notes from a long text on any topic and use those notes to argue a case in clear, organised written text
  • Show understanding of a variety of texts in both a detailed and global way
  • Understand and produce language in a variety of styles and idioms

Example of structure composition

Use your own ideas, look through the notes and write a structured composition of between 330 and 400 words: ‘Circuses are outdated and there is no place for them in the world of entertainment nowadays.’

  • Animal cruelty
  • Clowns, acrobats and entertainers
  • Public demand and opinion
  • Family entertainment
  • Traditional circuses
  • Modern circuses
  • Increased technology

You may use rough notes and they will not be marked by the examiner.

A good example of an essay at this level:

The circus, great entertainment or an outdated business?

Nearly everyone has been to one at some point in their life and all children, except those afraid of clowns, seem to love them. But in this modern world of internet, computers and television, isn’t the circus slowly becoming a little out of date?
One of the circus’ main attractions is definitely the animals, when you visit a circus you’ll be able to see all sorts of exotic animals performing all kinds of spectacular tricks. But in these modern times you’ll be confronted with all sorts of moral issues about those very animals, with entire organisations criticising the circus because of the way the animals are treated there. Some circuses try to go with the public opinion and perform shows without animals, but most if the time this results in less attendances and thus, less revenue.
I personally think it is okay to use animals in the circus, though the living conditions of the animals should undergo some big improvements. Sure, if you want to see some wild animals you could just switch the telly on and watch some Animal planet, but to actually see the animals for real is an entirely different experience, which we should not withhold from future generations.
But, because of what they see on television and on the internet, these days people are less and less easily amazed. So the circus has to become more spectacular and even more wild. In other words, modern times call for modern circuses. The human part of the performance becomes almost extreme, just for the sake of entertaining the audience. The public demand for circuses might be shrinking, but what’s left of it wants to enjoy some extreme shows and is probably willing to pay more money for it.
All in all the circus is still a very popular form of family entertainment and always will be, because, in my opinion, the circus is something that’s simply timeless. And despite the increasing negative public opinion on circuses, I highly doubt that the demand for them will ever cease