Versant™ English Test

Measure English speaking and listening skills quickly, accurately and reliably

Versant™, a smarter way to test language skills

Used by top global companies, local authorities and universities, over 1,000,000 VersantEnglish Language Tests are used each year to screen candidates and applicants for proficient use of the english language through the use of an adult english assessment. If you have hundreds of candidates to screen or require a way of objectively measuring English language skills anytime, anywhere, the Versant English Test meets these needs.

Our expertise combined with the accurate and efficient delivery of the Versant English assessment, helps organisations with recruitment of new employees, special assignment projects and benchmarking language skills.

Support for Test-Takers >>

Why is assessing English Language proficiency important? 

Communication and collaboration are two of the four core skills many organisations expect staff to be competent in. Assessing English Language Proficiency can help organisations:

  • Improve quality of communication
  • Improve customer relations
  • Reduce complaints related to language problems and mis-understandings
  • Improve productivity
  • Improve alignment across teams and regions
  • Contributes to safe-guarding measures
  • Enable faster recruitment decisions
  • Reduce risk of poor recruitment decisions

The Versant™ English Test for adults is an approved spoken English language test that will also help organisations tailor their staff English language development activities to ensure staff will gain the necessary English training to reach the required English language level.

Use Versant™ Spoken English Test to objectively assess and measure English speaking skill proficiency:

  • Evaluate the ability to understand spoken English
  • Evaluate the ability to be understood when English is spoken
  • Enable consistent English language proficiency levels throughout your organisation
  • Evaluate English spoken language proficiency and objectively.

The Format of the Versant English Test Explained

The Versant English Test only takes 15 minutes to complete, with results delivered in minutes. Candidates respond to different types of questions (63 in total) via web, software or mobile app covering:

  • Sentence builds
  • Story Retelling
  • Short answer questions
  • Reading
  • Repeats
  • Open questions

Results are analysed in minutes and retrieved by the administrator from Pearson’s ScoreKeeper management system. The scores evaluate the candidate’s overall abilities plus their fluency, pronunciation, sentence mastery and vocabulary skills.

Learn More About Versant English Tests

NEW Features:

  • Versant Assessment + Remote Monitoring

Giving you confidence and security, when testing remotely via a computer. Using AI technology, Versant tests including the Versant English Test can now be monitored automatically and suspicious behaviour tagged for review. Now candidates can test anywhere, and anytime whilst giving you the insight and confidence you need to select candidates and future employees.

Read the latest news on remote testing >>

  • Versant Mobile – Pearson’s new English testing app available via your smartphone. 

A new way of testing for a mobile-friendly world. Versant Mobile is our newest language test delivery method, available right from your smartphone.

    • It offers candidates practice tests
    • Offline testing when Internet connection is unavailable (and to prevent interruptions during testing)
    • Large scale testing for groups of candidates
    • Flexible testing – anywhere including off-site testing such as at recruitment events
    • 24/7 availability
    • Instant scores helping you to make decisions confidently and efficiently.

Why use Versant™ Mobile English language assessment for your recruitment solution?

With Versant Mobile you have a flexible solution that is designed for any testing situation:

  • Large recruiting events when speed and scale means everything
  • In the office for onsite interviews
  • At-home testing as a pre-screening tool
  • Offline testing for low bandwidth conditions.

Watch Verstant’s Mobile Testing App

How Versant™ language test administration works

Versant english language testing is available 24/7 avoiding complications when looking to screen candidates across time zones or logistically. Spoken language testing can be completed via mobile app, web or software.

Before the test:

  • Test administrators are responsible for providing candidates with the test instructions, creating the test session and assigning the unique Test Identification Numbers (TIN).
  • Testing instructions and unique codes can either be downloaded on demand, or auto-sent to the test-takers’ email addresses for off site testing.
  • Test administrators prepare their testing site environment, ensuring it is quiet and secure to avoid distractions.
  • Alternatively candidates can access the test by smartphone or remote testing online.
  • Versant test credits are accessed via Pearson’s ScoreKeeper test management account. Within Scorekeeper, administrators can download Versant testing materials, view scores within minutes of test completion, and export data. Easy-to-use wizards allow for quick test setup and monitoring of results.

During the test: 

  • Candidates are required to follow onscreen instructions to set up their equipment and prepare for the test. They then answer the questions as directed onscreen.

After the test:

  • Test administrators retrieve the scores via immediate access in ScoreKeeper. Score reports can be downloaded for individuals and groups.

What does Versantmeasure?

Versant™ enables you to assess levels of spoken English language skills necessary for a  job. The questions cover the following areas:

  • Sentence builds – candidates listen to a group of three short phrases presented in random order and then rearrange them to make a sentence.
  • Story Retelling – candidates listen to a series of brief stories and retell them in English and in their own words.
  • Short questions – candidates listen to a series of questions, and are instructed to answer in a simple response.
  • Reading – candidates should read the sentences as instructed
  • Repeat – candidates are required to repeat each sentence they hear.
  • Open questions – candidates should respond to two questions after the beep, within a time period of 40 seconds.

The results are then available immediately with a personalised report. Recommended cut-off scores (pass/fail marks) have been carefully calculated but we can work with you to determine job specific bespoke cut-off scores if required.


The candidate achieves an overall score with sub-scores in the following areas:

  • Pronunciation. This reflects the ability to produce consonants, vowels and stress in a native-like manner in sentence context.
  • Fluency. This reflects the rhythm, phrasing and timing evident in constructing, reading and repeating sentences.
  • Sentence Mastery. This reflects the ability to understand, recall and produce English phrases and clauses in complete sentences.
  • Vocabulary. This reflects the ability to understand common everyday words spoken in sentence context and to produce such words as needed.

Recommended cut-off scores have been carefully calculated but we can work with you to determine job specific bespoke cut-off scores if required.

The score report looks at the candidates current capabilities, recommendations for improvements and coverage of the scores relationship to other other scales that measure or describe language proficiency.

Test Validity

Backed by years of research, the Versant™ approved English language test was created by leading language testing experts. The test had been extensively tested and validated to provide results you can trust when making hiring decisions.

Download Validation & Reliability Report

How Does Testing English Language proficiency improve the Recruitment Process?

  • Reduce recruitment costs – Versant™ has been proven to help screen applicants on a supervised or unsupervised basis, so that recruitment managers only put those candidates forward for interview, who are able to meet an acceptable level of spoken English. These spoken english tests are simple and intuitive for native speakers and for proficient non-native speakers of English. Tests can also be conducted remotely saving travel cost and time.
  • Score without bias – Versant™ tests are scored automatically, reducing the risk of inconsistency and human bias. Items have also been reviewed for fairness and bias-free usage.
  • Save time – Up-scale your recruitment process by testing thousands of candidates quickly, efficiently and reliably.
  • Benefit from our experience – Over 1,000,000 Versant™ tests are used each year. Versant is part of the Pearson Talentlens – an approved English language test provider for businesses. VersantEnglish tests has proven quality and accuracy, delivering reliable and trusted results. It is used by large corporate companies and local authorities to confidently make selection decisions.
  • Quality recruits – Many local authorities and councils use Versant™ as part of their candidate selection process. With safeguarding a key concern, Versant™ can provide assurance that employees or licence holders have the required level of English proficiency, helping to improve safeguarding for vulnerable service users.

Using VersantEnglish Language Test In Your Recruiting / Company

Join the thousands of global businesses that use the Versant English Test as part of their recruitment and selection processes.

Contact Our Team for a Product Tour

Download our on-demand Webinar Safeguarding and the Importance of Testing English Language Proficiency

Related Pearson resources

Further information on Versant products including other Versant tests available can be found on the Pearson English Site:

Alternatively if you are a test-taker looking to develop your skills further you may wish to look at:

Or seek out support from your local college.

Our experience | Why choose Pearson TalentLens UK

TalentLens is part of Pearson PLC, the world’s learning company and global market leader in assessments. We are an international talent assessment business, using psychometrics to help organisations select and develop top performers and high potential.

Our range of assessments will help with recruitment, staff development and team enhancement. The TalentLens portfolio includes the renowned Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, and Versant™ English Test.

Our Team. Your Service

Many Local Authorities choose tools such as the Versant™ English Test to help them select and develop the right people. Our objective is to provide you with ongoing assistance to review your practices, understand and define your needs, and support you in choosing and using our assessment solutions.

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