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Registry

English Language Graduation Requirements

Students admitted from the 2021-22 academic year, including students admitted to first year or directly to second year or above

I. Password Test
1. Undergraduate students who are admitted to Year 1 or directly to Year 2 or above are required to take the Password Test twice according to the timeframe stipulated below: 
Student admitted to Timeframe
Year 1: once in Year 1 and once in Year 3 or 4, but students scoring 5.5 or less in the Password Test in their first attempt has to take the test again in or before the first term of Year 3
Year 2: once in first term of Year 2 and once in Year 3 or 4, but students scoring 5.5 or less in the Password Test in their first attempt has to take the test again in or before first term of Year 3
Year 3: once in first term of Year 3 and once in first term of Year 4
   
2. Students shall meet the English language requirement by taking the Password Test twice as prescribed in 1) above before they can graduate. The requirement is waived for those who have achieved the minimum IELTS threshold for their Majors or an equivalent qualification before or during their studies, as detailed below:
  • For students who have achieved the minimum IELTS threshold for their Majors or an equivalent qualification before their first attempt of the Password test in their first year, the entire Password requirement of taking the test twice is waived.
  • For students who achieve the minimum IELTS threshold for their Majors or an equivalent qualification after the first Password Test is attempted in their first year, the requirement to take the Password Test once more is waived.
3. To use an equivalent qualification for waiving the test requirement, students should submit an application to CEAL.
4. While no specific threshold score is stipulated as a requirement, students who score 5.5 or less in the Password Test in their first attempt are required to take an additional remedial course as soon as possible.
5. An administrative system for booking of test sessions is accessible on CEAL’s website https://www.ln.edu.hk/ceal.
6. Students are fully subsidised for their two required attempts for taking the Password Test. If students would like to take the Test voluntarily, it would be at students’ own cost.
   
II. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
1. An overall band score of 6.5 in International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Academic) is set as the University-wide English language minimum graduation requirement while students of the following programmes shall attain different minimum threshold scores:
Major Programme Minimum overall band score in IELTS (Academic)
Bachelor of Arts in Chinese; and
Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Literature, History and Philosophy
6.0
Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary English Studies; and
Bachelor of Arts in Translation
7.0
2. Students shall meet the English language requirement prescribed in 1) above or obtain an equivalent qualification  before they can graduate. To use an equivalent qualification for fulfilling the requirement, students should submit an application to CEAL.
3. Students may meet the requirement anytime before graduation but it is strongly recommended that students take IELTS after completion of the four English Language Enhancement (ELE) courses.
4. Students whose IELTS score is below the required threshold may retake IELTS. There is no limit on the number of retakes.
5. Students are given one year longer than their normal study periods to meet the English language graduation requirement prescribed in 1) above. It means that for those admitted to Year 1, they have to fulfil the requirement within 5 years; those admitted to Year 2 within 4 years; and those admitted to Year 3 within 3 years. Nevertheless, exceptional approval for fulfilling the requirement in a longer period can be granted on a case-by-case basis under exceptional circumstances. The student concerned has to apply in writing three months before the end of the period prescribed above providing reasons for the extension, the requested period of extension and a plan to attain the requirement, e.g. planned time line to retake the IELTS, with results of IELTS in previous attempt(s) attached. The application has to be submitted to the Programme Director/Head of Department concerned who will make a recommendation to the Dean concerned for approval. The extra period approved will be specified if an approval is granted. Please submit your application for extension via the University portal. A user guide for the system is available here.
6. The status of having attained or not attained the English language graduation requirement will be stated in the student transcripts, without showing the IELTS results.
7. For a student who has reached the minimum IELTS threshold for his/her Major or obtained an equivalent qualification during his/her studies at Lingnan but subsequently obtains another IELTS score that is lower than the threshold for his/her Major, he/she is not required to retake IELTS to attain the minimum threshold before he/she can graduate.
8. Generally, undergraduate students who have attained the minimum IELTS threshold for their Majors or obtained an equivalent qualification upon admission should be recognised as having fulfilled the English language graduation requirement. However, in case a student takes IELTS during his/her study period at Lingnan for such purposes as going on exchange and obtains an IELTS score lower than the threshold for his/her Major, he/she may retake IELTS at his/her own cost and attain the minimum threshold, or obtain an equivalent qualification, before he/she can graduate.
9. The University provides financial support to students in their first attempt for IELTS. For details of obtaining financial support for taking the IELTS test, please refer to https://ln.edu.hk/co/ielts.
10. For students who sit the IELTS test on LU campus, the IELTS results concerned are transferred directly to the University (i.e. no online submission of IELTS results is needed). For IELTS taken in a test centre outside LU, if the student has attained the minimum overall band score in IELTS (Academic) required for his/her major programme, he/she can upload the IELTS results via the online system for “Submission of IELTS Results from Test Centres outside Lingnan University” in the intranet portal. A user guide for the system is available here.
11. The University has established the Best Award Scheme to give a prize to each of the top ten students with the best overall IELTS scores each year.
For resources on IELTS preparation, please refer to https://www.ln.edu.hk/ceal/IELTSinformation.php
   

Provisions for Native English Speakers

1. Anyone who claims to be a native English speaker may apply to CEAL for exemption from the courses on the English Language Enhancement (ELE) programme and English language graduation requirements.
2. A native English speaker who achieves the highest band of 9 in the speaking and writing and the highest band of 7 in listening and reading components of the Password Test is exempted from taking the entire ELE curriculum, the Password Test and the IELTS graduation requirements. Since the ceiling band in the normal Password Test is 7, a special session of the Password Test will be arranged to applicants for measuring their speaking and writing proficiency up to Band 9. This can count as one time of taking the Password Test toward the English language graduation requirement regardless of the application result.
3. Depending on students’ test results, the Head of CEAL (in consultation with the Exemptions and Transfer Committee of CEAL and, if necessary, with the Department of English and the Department of Translation) could prescribe the following pathways for students who do not attain the highest band of 9 in the speaking and writing and the highest band of 7 in listening and reading components of the Password Test:
  • Full exemption from the entire curriculum but not the Password and IELTS graduation requirements
  • Partial exemption from one, two or three courses in the ELE curriculum and from the Password and IELTS graduation requirements
  • Partial exemption from one, two or three courses in the ELE curriculum but not from the Password and IELTS graduation requirements
4. For a native English speaker who is exempted from the IELTS requirement but he/she takes IELTS on his/her own initiative during his/her study period at Lingnan and obtains an IELTS score lower than the threshold for his/her Major, he/she may retake IELTS at his/her own cost and attain the minimum threshold, or obtain an equivalent qualification, before he/she can graduate.
5. Students are fully subsidised for their two required attempts for taking the Password Test, including the first attempt of taking the test for the purpose of exemption from the ELE courses and test requirements.