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ESL Library's Grammar Tests

June 1, 2017

Whether you’re just starting out with ESL Library, wrapping up the school year, or thinking about placement for next semester, ready-made tests are always a handy resource for teachers. 

Below you will find links to a series of grammar tests that can be used for placement, assessment, or review. This post, and the tests themselves, will help you determine which ESL Library level to use with your students as well as which targets to focus on. 


We have four new tests in the Assessment Tools category of our Resources section:


Though developed as a result of teacher requests for grammar placement tests, these tests can in fact be used for a variety of reasons:


Determine your students’ levels within your school’s program, or discover what level of materials to use within the ESL Library (specifically in our Grammar Practice Worksheets section).


Use these tests as major end-of-level tests to see how well students retained the grammar they learned. You could also select the parts of the tests that you covered in class during a certain period to create your own exit exam or review quiz (by skipping certain sections of the PDF or assigning only certain tasks in the Task Player).


Use these tests for review before students take school exams or other major tests like the TOEIC.


These tests can be used to personalize your classes by uncovering which grammar targets your students are struggling with. Center your lessons around these troublesome areas, or at least focus any extra time on these targets. You can find comprehensive lessons on the grammar points from the tests in our Grammar Practice Worksheets section.


Each test is out of 100 and includes an optional speaking and writing component. (If you choose not to do the speaking or writing, the total will be between 60 and 80, depending on the test.) Aside from the speaking and writing, the tests are meant to be scored quickly and thus contain multiple-choice and one-word answers as much as possible.

Our guidelines for placement are as follows:

Grammar Test 1

A low or mid-range score indicates that students should use our beginner-level materials. A high score indicates that they can use our low-intermediate or intermediate materials.

Grammar Test 2

A low or mid-range score indicates that students should use our beginner or low-intermediate materials. A high score indicates that they can use our intermediate materials.

Grammar Test 3

A low or mid-range score indicates that students should use our intermediate-level materials. A high score indicates that they may be ready for our high-intermediate or advanced materials.

Grammar Test 4

A low or mid-range score indicates that students should use our intermediate or high-intermediate materials. A high score indicates that they can use our advanced materials as well as authentic reading and listening materials.

Grammar Targets

The tests cover the following grammar targets:

Grammar Test 1

  • simple present
  • present progressive
  • parts of speech
  • subject & object pronouns
  • articles
  • nouns
  • adjectives
  • adverbs of frequency
  • prepositions of time
  • prepositions of place
  • simple present & present progressive (mixed-tense exercise)

Grammar Test 2

  • simple past
  • simple future
  • count & non-count nouns
  • pronouns
  • adverbs of manner
  • adverbs & adjectives
  • prepositions of direction
  • conjunctions
  • modals
  • gerunds & infinitives
  • simple present, past & future

Grammar Test 3

  • simple past & past progressive
  • simple future & future progressive
  • simple past & present perfect
  • present perfect & present perfect progressive
  • pronouns
  • tag questions
  • comparative & superlative adjectives & adverbs
  • first, second & third conditional 
  • review of simple tenses

Grammar Test 4

  • past perfect & past perfect progressive
  • future perfect & future perfect progressive
  • passive voice
  • past modals
  • causative & passive causative
  • adjectives clauses
  • adjective phrases
  • adverb clauses & phrases
  • direct & reported speech
  • embedded questions
  • subjunctive
  • review of all tenses

Digital Tasks

These grammar tests are available on our digital platform for users on any plan! Using the digital version of these tests means that some tasks, such as multiple-choice and matching tasks, will automatically generate students’ scores in real time. That means much less marking for the teacher! Note that tasks where students have to type out sentences will still require correction by the teacher.

Accessing Digital Tasks

To access the digital tasks for our grammar tests, click on Task Player on the main page of the grammar test of your choice. Click the title of each task under the "Launch" column to being each task. You can also click on the Assign Tasks button to assign the tasks to your students. For a step-by-step guide, see How to Assign Tasks (Digital Homework). If you haven’t set your classes up on our digital platform yet, see our Help Docs for guidance.

Assigning Digital Tasks

Teachers can assign the digital version of these tests in class or as homework by clicking on Assignment Manager. If you assign a test (or portions of a test) for homework, your students can complete it at home on a computer or mobile device and you will see their scores for each task in real time.

Scoring Digital Tasks

The scoring is similar to the pdf version and will total 100 points if you assign all the sections of a test. If you choose to forgo the writing and speaking portions, the total will be between 60 and 80, depending on the test. Note that our digital platform currently assigns a score per task, so you will need to calculate the student’s final test score based off the task scores. (We’re working on making a total available for each student for these tests.)

Other Ready-Made Tests & Tools

Aside from our new grammar tests, many of our sections include ready-made quizzes and assessment tasks and tools. Most of our Grammar Practice Worksheets lessons include a quiz at the end of the lesson, and many of our Functional English and Everyday Dialogues lessons include review and assessment tasks. You can also find ready-made and customizable assessment tools and forms in our Resources section.

What other types of tests and materials would you like to see on our site?

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Comments (8)

Annette P.(Teacher)

I would love some material for teaching these combinations: verb + preposition (i.e. adapt to), adjective + preposition (i.e. familiar with), noun + preposition (i.e. an increase in). Is there any in the works? :-)

Reply to Comment

Tanya Trusler(Author)

Hi Annette, thanks for your suggestions! So far, we've written one Verb Collocations lesson and one Phrasal Verbs lesson (in our Grammar Practice Worksheets section:, but the plan is to write many more. My students also struggled with preposition expressions because there is no real logic to them. I've added your suggestions to our to-do list. Thanks again!

Rachel F.(Teacher)

I believe there is a typo mistake in the Grammar Test 1, section: exercise 2 #6. It should read, “I am not taking a French class.” There is no “I” written in the original sentence. Maybe someone can update that, because it confused my student and I’m sure it will future students as well.

Reply to Comment

Tanya Trusler(Author)

Hi Rachel, we really appreciate you pointing this out to us! We're fixing it right now and the updated version will be on the site within an hour. So sorry for the confusion!

Danielle S.(Teacher)

Hi, is it possible to take pieces of each test and customize them?

Reply to Comment

Tammy W.(Ellii Staff)

Hi Danielle,

The grammar tests are not customizable. However, if you click into the PDF Viewer within a lesson, there are a few tools (pen and text) that you can use to write on top of the PDF.

Hope that helps to clarify!

Nicole N.(Teacher)

How can explain in an easier way when to use Gerunds vs Infinitive, but then there are also exceptions. Also how can I explain, for example "Despite" having/being/... (is with a gerund) but Despite the rain,.... (no Gerund)

Reply to Comment

Tanya Trusler(Author)

Hi Nicole, there are 6 rules that I usually present to my students to help them recognize when to use a gerund or an infinitive. Find them in this blog post:

You can find a more detailed explanation and practice exercises for your students in our Grammar Practice Worksheets lesson ( and our Fun Grammar Lesson ( Also, try typing "gerunds" into the top right search field (after you click on the magnifying glass icon) to find more practice (we have cards, charts, grammar stories, and more).

As for despite, see my old blog post here for tips: (Be sure to refresh your page—the old blog doesn't load properly on the first try in most browsers. We will port this post over to the new site soon!)

You can also find notes on despite followed by a gerund in our Adverb Clauses of Contrast lesson:

Hope that helps!

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