Elementary Podcasts

Jamie's taken his exam and is waiting for the results. Adam and Jo talk about the meaning of different exam results in the UK.

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3

Task 4

Task 5

Task 6

Task 7

Task 8


Leave a comment below!

  • Exams or continuous assessment – which do you prefer?
  • Which do you think is better?

Leave a comment and we'll discuss some of your answers in the next podcast.


Language level

Elementary: A2
Intermediate: B1


I really don't know the real difference between exams and the continous assessments. Anybody can explain to me of a more clear form?


Hello brunoRosa,

These are two different ways of determining students' grades in a course. In continuous assessment, students get grades on several or many pieces of work (e.g. small exams, homework, essays, research papers) and then their final grade is determined by all of this work. In the other system, students take one final exam and the grade they get on that exam is the grade they get for the course.

Which system have you studied in?

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

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Hello everybody, Actually universities in my country-Jordan- use continuous exams, we call them first, second, and final. Second exam may be an assessment or a paper research.
Teachers may specify special units of the material for finals, others may include all units.
In fact I'd rather continuous exams than only one final, that is continuous exams give students the chance to be connected to the material they study more and more and learn better.

Hi everyone!

I've been studying in exams system since I become a student till now (almost for 18 years!) and I think it's kind of a bad thing. I perceive students would be more active in a continuous assessment system and this system would inject motivation into the students' society. The main and only system in my country is exams, I guess, but I'm going to rule my own class as a continuous assessment system class, when I make one of my dreams come true and become a teacher.

Thank You


Hi everyone! I'm freshman in comments on the LearnEnglish podcast. Glad to be here. I learn English only eight months and that is very interesting for me. When I read about Luiz Carlos, from Brazil, is 69 years old, who never improved his English like now, I was impressed and also inspired, because I'm 52 years old.
Thanks a lot!

Hello musician777,

You're very welcome here and we wish you the best!

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team


Hi everyone!

Reading this postcard, I'm descoveredes the important about some examen in our lifes, maybe it's true that the result that we can obtaing could change our lifes.As a far I'm concerned we must take account all for where and when we make the next step in our lifes. I give your a piece of advice, if I have in your shoes I would study all my ways and chose always the best one.

Best wishes!

At my university there was not an homogeneus way of determining students grade, it was up to the professor. Must times it was fifty-fifty. Anyway I prefered continous assessment, cause if you are constant at study you don't have to make big efforts at the end. Some professors or subjects (or both) were really hard and must people used to fail at the regular course, in those cases we had three or four chances (I dont remember well I failed two or three times) to apply for an exam, if even then you fail youŕe out of the school.
Sometimes when the professor was really good at teaching and we liked the subject we took the risk to apply for one of those exams expecting to get a better mark, I never make it better but thank God I never failed.