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The Password Skills Language Test

Student with headphones and speaking to flag images

About the test 

Password Skills Test is made up of four test modules – reading, writing, listening and speaking. The test takes 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete and is run in two parts. Test-takers can take a break between the two parts and can schedule the two parts at a similar time or days apart. 

Part 1 (1 hour 45 minutes) 

Password Reading 

This part consists of five sections, in each section there is one reading task to be completed. Test-takers have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete all tasks. 

Password Writing 

This section assesses a test-taker’s ability to write an essay. Test-takers are presented with a choice of two essay titles to choose from and are given instructions regarding length and content. The test takes 30 minutes. 

Part 2 (1 hour 20 minutes) 

Password Listening 

This part consists of five sections. In each section there are one or more listening tasks to be completed. Once test-takers press the play button, it is not possible to pause or restart the recording. Test-takers will hear the recording twice. The second time they hear the recording the question(s) will appear. Notes can be made to help prepare answers. Test-takers have 1 hour to complete the five sections. 

Password Speaking 

Password Speaking has five sections with one or more speaking tasks (questions) in each, simply answered by speaking into a microphone. There is about the same amount of time available to prepare answers as there is to speak. Notes can be made to help prepare answers. The test takes 20 minutes. 

You can find out more and see example questions on the Password Website. 


Once the test has been taken, results should be available to the University within 10 working days. However, if there are any issues identified during the test, results could take longer as they will need to be investigated. 

Test results will go directly to Durham’s Admissions and you will be notified via of the outcome. 

You can only take the test three times per academic year and will not be given access to take a test for a fourth time. 

What will you need to take the test? 
  • You will need a Windows laptop or computer with access to either Edge, Chrome or Firefox. If using a Mac you must use Chrome, and not Safari.
  • Check your internet connection is stable and it needs to be more than 1 Mbps. You can check this via, it is a quick check and must be done before starting your test.
  • Check your headphones and microphone are working.
  • Government issued photo ID: This can be your passport or drivers’ licence if it includes an English translation. It needs to be the original document which is in date and has not expired.
  • A test login code, which will be provided to you following receipt of the required payment.
  • A test password, which will be provided by your proctor/instructor at the start of each of the tests.

Once you are happy you have all of the equipment needed, we recommend you test your equipment with Proctor-U before making your payment. 

Paying for the test 

Taking the password test cost £80, this covers the cost for the test paper, the marking of your exam and the invigilating costs. 

Once you have made this payment you will receive one test login code for your test. This will give you access to your test paper when it is time for your test. It will also provide you with a link to schedule a time slot for your tests with Proctor-U. 

To make the payment please click on the link below. You will need your Student Number in order to pay this number is 9 digits long and begins with 000. 

The payment is non-refundable so please ensure you have everything you need to take the test before you pay. 

▸ Make Password Language Test Payment