Derby English Language Test

Test your English language skills

The Derby English Language Test (DELT) is an online test in two parts: reading and writing, and listening and speaking. The online test is proctored: in other words it contains software to ensure that candidates are not accessing external help, and therefore replicates a full invigilated exam.

If you have an offer to study at the University, you can access the exam through our online shop. The cost is £80. You can book your time for the reading and writing exam through our online shop. You will then be contacted by the university to book a separate time for the speaking and listening exam. Once you have taken the test, you will be informed of your result within 5 working days.

Computer requirements

It is really important that applicants have a computer that meets at least the requirements below. Without a computer with these specifications, they may not be able to open, complete or submit the test.

  • Laptop / computer with 4GB of ram (no chrome books, tablets or surface pro)
  • A Windows v7.0+ or Mac10.8+ operating systems
  • Intel Core i3 (or equivalent) and 4GB RAM
  • A working webcam that can be used to scan the room, microphone and speakers
  • Internet connectivity with continuous internet speed of a minimum of 516kbps

Next steps

Once you have checked that your computer meets the necessary requirements, you can head to our online shop to book a convenient test date.

Book your test

Applicants are required to download the TestReach application ahead of the exam. Details will be included in the confirmation email.

Please note that we have a limited number of places available so applicants may be asked to consider the next available date.

What do the tests involve?

Speaking and Listening Format:

The speaking and listening test for entry to the University of Derby will be a combined test lasting 10-12 minutes via Skype. In this test you will be asked questions from a variety of possible topics. These will be general topic areas typical of an IELTs speaking exam, such as your studies and future plans, hobbies, home town, family, as well as more academic topics such as protecting the environment or language learning.

The topics do not require prior research, but aim to give you the chance to share opinions and discuss topics in a balanced way.

You will be assessed on your comprehension of the questions asked, your clarity, fluency and pronunciation, the accuracy and range of your vocabulary and the accuracy and range of your grammar.

Reading and Writing Format:

These skills will be tested separately (2 hours).

  • Reading (1 hour): You will have 1 reading text to read and then a variety of multiple choice (comprehension and vocabulary checking) and short answer questions to answer (for this part you will get 1 point if you identify the answer correctly from the text and 2 points if you can explain the answer in your own words).
  • Writing (1 hour): You will have a choice of 4 essay titles. You will need to choose 1 essay title and write at least 300 words. The topics will be typical IELTs type questions, ie general topics that require no prior research.

You will be assessed on how well you have planned, structured and answered the question, the accuracy and range of your vocabulary, including your academic style and the accuracy and range of your grammar, paragraphing and spelling and punctuation.

At the end of these tests you will receive feedback and an overall IELTs equivalency level as well as a similar level for each skill (speaking, listening, reading and writing). You will be notified whether you have passed the exam from these results and then informed how to proceed with your application.

Practice materials

The exams are based on the IELTs format so we recommend looking at the IELTs websites for practice of the various skills and to review tips, especially for the writing which follows the pattern of IELTs Task 2 (for example, how to structure an academic essay). Here are some suggested websites:

Contact us

Our international recruitment team can support with any questions you or your students may have about the Derby English Language Test or email us at