DELTA students FAQ


  • What is DELTA?
    The Diagnostic English Language Tracking Assessment (DELTA) is an English language proficiency measurement system designed specifically for the Hong Kong academic context. Through the DELTA, students can diagnose their strengths and weaknesses in reading, listening, grammar and vocabulary; track their English language gains; and plan their English language learning.


  • Does taking DELTA affect my GPA?
    Taking the DELTA is in addition and complementary to all other English programmes that you do while at university. Your performance on the DELTA does not directly affect your scores in your credit-bearing English subjects and is not counted towards your GPA. However, monitoring your progress in English by taking the DELTA at regular intervals while working to improve your English proficiency can only help improve your scores in your English subjects.


  • Are the tests always the same?
    Each time you take the DETLA you will do a different set of questions.


  • What is the test format and how long will it take?
    The DELTA consists of four parts: listening, reading, grammar and vocabulary. All questions are four-option multiple-choice. Each assessment consists of 100 questions and takes 70 minutes.


  • How do I practise and prepare for DELTA?
    You should read the DELTA Guidelines which are available on this website and which provide detailed information on how to prepare for the DELTA. You should also make use of the resources available through the Centre for Independent Language Learning to improve your proficiency in the four skill areas of listening, reading, grammar and vocabulary.


  • What help is available for candidates with special needs?
    Candidates with special needs should contact the English Language Testing Unit before enrolling for the DELTA to ensure that we can cater for your needs.


  • Registering for the DELTA

    • Where can I take DELTA?
      You can take the DELTA at any of the partner institutions: Hong Kong Polytechnic University, City University of Hong Kong and Lingnan University of Hong Kong.
    • When can I take DELTA?
      DELTA test sessions are open at various times during the year. You should check the Test Session page on this website or contact the English Language Testing Unit for details of next available test sessions.
    • How much does it cost?
      The DELTA is free of charge to students who study at the partner institutions.
    • How do I enroll for the test?
      You can enroll to take the DELTA through the Test Enrolment page on this website.
    • What if I need to postpone or cancel my scheduled test?
      If you need to postpone or cancel your scheduled test session you should inform the English Language Testing Unit as early as possible.
    • What if I am absent or sick on the test day?
      If you miss your scheduled test session you should contact the English Language Testing Unit to rearrange your test session.

  • Taking the DELTA

    • Is the DELTA completed in one day?
      Yes, each DELTA session lasts 2 hours, which includes 70 minutes for the assessment itself plus some time for logging-in and other procedures.
    • What if I am late for my test session?
      You should arrive at the test venue at least 10 minutes before the session is scheduled to begin. If you are late you will not be admitted so as not to cause disruption to the other candidates.
    • What can I bring into the examination room?
      You should bring your PolyU Student Card. You will also need a pen or pencil to take notes with.
    • Which part do I take first?
      You must take the listening component first. Then you have the remaining time to do the reading, grammar and vocabulary in an order you wish.
    • What kinds of accents can be heard in the listening component?
      You will hear a variety of accents including British, American, Australian, Hong Kong and others.
    • Does the listening recording provide instructions and pauses?
      Yes, there are instructions and pauses built in to each recording.
    • Can I take notes during the test?
      Yes, you can take notes and note paper will be provided.

  • Test Results

    • How are the tests marked?
      All questions are machine marked. Each question has a set difficulty level and designated subskill(s) required to answer it. This information contributes to your overall score or DELTA Measure plus your Component Diagnostic Report. For more information, go to Results & Reports on this website.
    • Who sets the ‘pass’ mark for the DELTA test?
      There is no ‘pass’ mark for the DELTA. DELTA scores should be seen as developmental, in other words, they indicate your proficiency at one particular time. The aim of every test taker should be to improve their DELTA scores each time they take the DELTA. Research into equivalences between DELTA scores and scores on other English language proficiency tests, scales or frameworks is ongoing and will be published once they have been fully validated.
    • When will I receive my test results?
      Test takers will normally be informed by email that their DELTA Report is ready for viewing and downloading within one week of taking the DELTA.
    • What if I feel my test result is wrong?
      If you have any questions about your DELTA results you should contact the English Language Testing Unit.


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