Information & Registration


For more information about the Diagnostic English test (DET) and how to register for it click here.



What is the DET?


The DET is an English Language test set by the Centre for English Language Communication. It must be taken by all international graduate students from non-English medium universities whose faculties require them to take it.

The purposes of the DET are to:

  • determine which students will benefit from the Basic English Course (ES5000) before proceeding to the Intermediate Level Writing module (ES5001A)
  • determine which students will benefit from the Intermediate Level Writing module (ES5001A) before taking the Advanced Level Writing (ES5002) module to help them with their thesis writing and
  • identify which students may be exempted from taking either of the above-mentioned courses.


Preparation for the DET

Though there is no specific recommended preparation for the DET, students should ensure that they are familiar with the format of the DET. Students are required to read two to three texts and then respond to the question prompt. They need to show that they can use English accurately to write an academic text. Some of the general features of good academic writing include:

  • coherence - the ideas/arguments are logical and well-connected
  • clarity - the language is unambiguous
  • conciseness - the language is precise
  • cohesiveness - the language is fluent and well linked
  • correctness - the language is grammatical and appropriate
  • completeness - the information presented has scope and depth and provides sufficient support for the claims made
  • citations - the rules of academic referencing are properly used

Students should note that the University reserves the right to study students' DET essays for research purposes.



What do the DET results mean?


Results from the DET will determine whether students should be placed in a Graduate English Course module, and, if so, which one, or whether they should be exempt from the course.

The table below shows the progression of modules that students should take.

Results Modules to read
Band 1 ES5000 ES5001A (only upon completion of ES5000) ES5101 (only for ECE M.Eng/PhD students upon completion of ES5001A - Aug 2011 intake onwards) ES5002 (only for PhD students - not including ECE PhD students - upon completion of ES5001A.)
Band 2 ES5001A ES5101 (only for ECE M.Eng/PhD students upon completion of ES5001A - Aug 2011 intake onwards) ES5002 (only for PhD students - not including ECE PhD students - upon completion of ES5001A.)
Band 3 Exempted from all GEC modules except PhD students from YLL School of Medicine ES5002 (PhD students YLL School of Medicine)
From the August 2011 intake all ECE M.Eng and PhD students must take ES5101.

IMPORTANT: Students are strongly advised to complete ES5000 and/or ES5001A within the first year of study.