RATEr content and practice tasks

Radboud Academic Test of English (RATEr) consists of four components: reading skills, writing skills, speaking skills and listening skills. This page provides more information and sample questions for each component.

Reading skills

Duration: 90 minutes max.
This component consists of approximately 40 multiple choice questions about authentic, well-known academic texts and is divided across 3 sections:

  • Reading comprehension questions about short articles dealing with contemporary issues, in which the writers present arguments for certain positions.
  • Reading comprehension questions about longer academic and popular science articles.
  • Putting paragraphs in the right place in a short, academic or semi-academic text.

Writing skills

Duration: 80 minutes max.

This test component consists of 5 writing assignments. The writing assignments reflect the daily practice of students. The following are some examples of the writing assignments:

  • Writing a report based on provided data;
  • Providing motivated opinion on a particular topic;
  • Write an formal or informal email;

    The writing assignments are assessed by trained evaluators using a detailed assessment model that awards points for content, structure, consistency, grammar, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.

Speaking skills

Duration: 20 minutes max.
This test component consists of 10 speaking assignments. The speaking assignments reflect the daily practice of students. The following are some examples of the speaking assignments:

  • Describing and explaining a table or graph;
  • Describing study performance to a student counsellor;
  • Presenting an opinion and providing arguments;

Candidates hear the instructions and read along on the screen. Each assignment starts with a situation description, a question and supporting visual material. Each assignment is followed by a beep, after which the candidates provide their response.

Trained evaluators assess the answers using a detailed assessment model that awards points for content, grammar, vocabulary, consistency, tempo and pronunciation.

Listening skills

Duration: aprrox. 50 minutes
The exam comprises 40 questions, divided into 3 blocks.

  • multiple choice questions about (semi) scientific lectures, interviews and conversations,
  • summaries of (semi) scientific lectures, which some words have been omitted from, and
  • a verbatim transcript of a text in which missing words have to be filled in.

Sample questions

RATEr practice tasks

More information

If you would like to know more about taking the test on campus, please contact the Radboud in’to Languages Service Centre:
T: +31 24 361 21 59  |  Einfo [at] into.ru.nl (info[at]into[dot]ru[dot]nl)

If you would like to know more about taking the test online, at home, please contact the Wageningen in’to Languages Service Centre:
T: +31 317 482552  |   Einto [at] wur.nl (into[at]wur[dot]nl)