What is the AOC-Check?

The AOC-Check is a tool for learning oriented assessment which has been developed in close collaboration with NILE (Norwich Institut for Language Education). The abbreviation AOC stands for Awareness, Orientation and Coaching. The main purpose of the AOC is to raise learners‘ awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses.

The 3 parts of the AOC-Check

The AOC-Check consists of three parts:

  • AOC Online Check (receptive skills)
  • AOC Writing Check
  • AOC Speaking Check

Why has it been developed?

The AOC has been developed to identify learners‘ strengths and weaknesses at the beginning of upper secondary vocational education, by which time students should have reached level A2 and partly B1. CEBS was asked to develop a suitable assessment tool, a quick check which would provide data about leaners‘ competencies.

Student-Teacher Conferencing made easier.

AOC Reports

The results of the AOC-Check should be used to discuss leaners‘ individual strengths and weaknesses and make them aware of their share of responsibility in the learning process. Together with the learners, strategies to improve their performance should be developed and learning steps identified.

System Reports

After doing the AOC Online Check the system generates individual reports based on each student’s performance. A student’s performance in each part is presented in a bar chart so that the students can find out how well they did in each part. In addition a short summary of their performance is provided. There are three categories: Below A2, A2 or A2 and beyond. Each summary is phrased  with  „I can“ statements.

Here  you can find the English version of the report.

Learning Oriented Feedback

Each report is accompanied by learning tips and study techniques. If students only do the AOC Online Check then only tips for reading and listening will be part of the student’s report. If you do the AOC Speaking Check and the AOC Writing Check also tips for improving their speaking and/or writing skills will be included.

Here  you can find the English version of the tips for study techniques.

1) The AOC Online Check

Do I have A2 when it comes to listening and reading? That question can be answered by doing the AOC Online Check. And maybe you are even beyond.

The test consists of 6 parts:

Part 1:

Listening discrimination – differentiating between sounds

Part 2:

Listen and read – choosing the correct answer

Part 3:

Listen and match the speakers – choose the correct statement

Part 4:

Grammar and vocabulary in context – multiple choice

Part 5:

Reading signs, notices and visuals – multiple choice

Part 6:

Intra-text banked gap-fill: reading a text and fill in the correct word

Intra-text banked gap-fill – an example

In order to do the AOC Online Check teachers and students create their own AOC accounts via If any other interested person would like to see how the AOC Online Check works, they need to register as a student and try out the AOC Practice Test, which can be accessed via any student’s account. N.B: Students can only do the AOC Practice Test once.

2) The AOC Writing Check

The AOC Writing Check helps students to find out whether their writing competences are at A2 level or not. In order to find out whether students have already reached B1 in some areas some of the tasks were designed in particular for that.

Time needed: 35-40minutes

3 parts:

Part 1:

Filling in a form. This task is many to be a warm-up. Students are not supposed to write in full sentences

Part 2:

Writing a note. Students are expected to write a text of 60-80 words within 10-12 minutes in order to write short and to the point.

Part 3:

Writing an email or a blog. Within 20 minutes students should write a coherent text of 120-150 words.

AOC Writing Check – Practice Test

If you want to see how the real test might look, click here.

AOC Writing Check – Assessment Grid

As the first part is to be seen as a warmer, please only assess parts 2 and 3. The scale is made of 4 criteria: Task Achievement, Organisation, Range and Accuracy.

The scale consists of 10 bands. Band 10 is beyond A2, band 8 is upper A2, band 6 is A2 and if a student’s performance displays features of lower A2 then band 4 should be awarded.

3) The AOC Speaking Check

Students‘ spoken production and spoken interaction skills are assessed with the AOC Speaking Check. Again the target level is A2. Some tasks are in parts already at B1 level in order to find to describe communicative actions that are beyond level A2.

Time needed: 7-8 minutes

3 parts:

Part 1: a warmer of 1-2 minutes
Teacher – student interaction

Part 2: a 1 minute monologue
Student production

Part 3: a 3 minute discussion
Student interaction

In this part students should sit face-to-face to each other in order to facilitate interaction.

Here you can find a video of a pair of students doing the task.

AOC Speaking Check – Practice Test

If you want to see how the real test might look, click here.
(Teachers will get additional questions and ideas to help students in the teacher’s version of the AOC Speaking Check.)

AOC Speaking Check – Assessment Grid

The scale has five criteria: Communicative effectiveness, Interaction, Range, Accuracy and Pronunciation.

The scale consists of 10 bands. Band 10 is beyond A2, band 8 is upper A2, band 6 is A2 and if a student’s performance displays features of lower A2 then band 4 should be awarded.

For further details on

  • test specifications
  • benchmarked performances (writing, speaking)
  • analysis of results
  • teaching ideas

please see the AOC Guidelines (in German).