Foreign Languages

English Preparatory Division

Gülşah Sobucalı

Division Coordinator

English Preparatory Program aims at improving English language skills of students at English-medium departments and enabling them to use English at advanced levels in their future studies.

The Istinye University English Preparatory Program aspires to offer quality English language education in Turkey by providing a well-rounded curriculum to help EFL speakers reach competent levels in academic English as well as develop the skills needed to succeed in their English medium instructed departments. In addition, the program strives to offer a positive work environment where all its faculty feel they can contribute knowledge while also utilizing the latest global research and up-to-date theories in the area of English language teaching.


Content-Based English, Academic English and General English courses are offered in English Preparatory Program.

Content-Based English:

Content-based language education courses focus on occupational topics and academic subjects students will perform at. This education provides you with the major language skills and content you will need both during your university life and after graduation. As a necessity of our approach and language education philosophy, Content-based course materials for each department and faculty are produced, developed and used by Foreign Language Education Department.

ISU Foreign Languages Department is the FIRST and ONLY department in Turkey to adopt this educational approach, to develop and apply their own language course materials.

Academic English Skills:

This course covers skills you will need in your academic studies such as academic reading, writing articles, literature review and presentations. Some of the materials used in this course are prepared by Foreign Languages Department while some are selected from a range of books widely known to be successful and quality around the world. 

General English:

This course covers language content and skills you will need in daily life and international communication. Materials are selected from the books by internationally well-known and successful publishers.

Educational process:

English Preparatory Program offers level education and it is two semesters (one academic year) long. At the beginning of the semester (at an announced date), English Placement Test is administered. Students are assigned to classes appropriate for their levels. Students who do not take English Placement Test are accepted as A1 level and take education at this level.

All levels have 25 hours of English every week.

Level Education

Students who are receiving level education are assessed as follows:

Formative Assessment:

1 Content-Based Test - 20%

1 Quarter Exam - 20%

2 Quizzes - 10% (in total)

Alternative Assessment:

1 portfolio – 40%

1 Attendance 10%


This testing component is made up of two exams and two quizzes. One of the exams is Content Based Test (CBT), which is done in the middle of level training, and the other one is Quarter Exam which is done at the end of level training. Each exam constitutes 20 % of the students’ grades. 

Furthermore, there are two quizzes in each level. These quizzes constitute 10 % of the total grade of the students.

This testing component constitutes participation grade and portfolios. Students put their weekly assignments, book reports, checklists and various projects into a file, which is named as portfolio. Students submit their portfolios at the end of each level to be graded. Portfolio constitutes 40% of the student’s grades. 

Attendance grade is determined by the number of the classes students attend. It makes 10% of their total grade.

Based on these assessment criteria, students with an average score of 80 or above become eligible for the Level Achievement Test (LAT). Students with an average score below 80 cannot take LAT and they repeat the level.

If students who are eligible get 75 or above in LAT, they can continue to the next level. Students who fail to get 75 from LAT are required to repeat the level.

Furthermore, students have to attend at least 85% of their classes. Students whose absenteeism exceeds 15% of their classes during level training without any excuse accepted by the management lose their right to take LAT and repeat the level.

English Proficiency Exam (ISTEP)

In one academic year; ISTEP (Istinye English Proficiency Exam) is administered 4 times in October, January, June and August. Students who score over 75 in İSÜ Placement Test, which is held 2 days before İstinye University English Proficiency Exam (ISTEP) are accepted to the first ISTEP in October. Students who score 74 or lower are not accepted to this first exam in October. 

Only the students who have reached or successfully completed B2 level can take ISTEP in January, June and August. Before each exam, the list of students who are eligible to take the exam is announced.

Students who score 60 or above in ISTEP are considered to have successfully completed the English Preparatory Program. Students who score below 60 points cannot start the department education. They are expected to enter the next ISTEP and succeed.

The Istinye University English Proficiency Exam is composed of 3 parts: listening, reading and writing. 

The listening part consists of two sections. 

• Selective Listening: In this section, the students are given a question sheet. The students are expected to answer the questions while listening to a lecture. 

Click here for sample Selective Listening questions and the answer key. 

Click here for the sample Selective Listening audio track.

• Note-Taking: In this section, the students are expected to take notes on a blank sheet while listening to a lecture. After the lecture is over, the students are given a set of questions, which they answer by using their notes. 

Click here for sample Note-Taking questions and the answer key.

Click here for sample Note-Taking audio track.

The reading part consists of 3 sections. 

• Reading 1: In this section, the students are given an academic reading text of approximately 1000 words and a list of questions. The students need to read the text carefully to answer the questions. The questions must be answered in 40 minutes.

Click here for Reading 1 sample reading text, questions, and the answer key.

• Reading 2: In this section, the students are given an academic reading text of approximately 500 words and a list of questions. In this section, 5 multiple choice questions are asked. The questions must be answered in 20 minutes.

Click here for Reading 2 sample reading text, questions, and the answer key.

• Reading 3: In this section, the students are given an academic reading text of approximately 500 words and a list of questions. A summary of the reading passage is given. There are 5 blanks in this summary. These blanks need to be filled with appropriate words from the text. The questions must be answered in 20 minutes.

Click here for Reading 3 sample reading text, questions, and the answer key.

The writing part consists of 2 sections. 

• In the first section, the students are expected to write an essay of 250-300 words.

• In the second section, a graph/table/map etc. and a short text are given to the students. The students are expected to answer the given question by writing one or two paragraphs of approximately 150 words, using the information on the graph/table/map etc. and the text.

Click here for sample Writing questions.

The writing part lasts 70 minutes in total. 


Assessment: Each part is evaluated out of 100 points. The scores of each part affects the average in the following proportions: Listening 30%, Reading 30%, Writing 40%. The students who score 60 or more pass the exam. 

Other Exams Accepted by the University for Exemption

Students who submit the required results at the announced date are exempted from the English Preparatory Program and the Erasmus English Proficiency Exam. Documents brought after the due date are not accepted.

NOTE: The validity period of these documents is 2 years. Expired documents are not accepted.