Rules, terms and conditions
The below version of the Rules, Terms and Conditions of the BIE contest was updated on the 22nd of October 2020
1. Purpose of the test
The Best In English test shall encourage secondary school students to study English, motivate them to improve their language skills and help them with finding their level of English while comparing their test results with their peers and students from all around the world.
Based on that we strongly recommend all teachers to nominate only those students in the contest who studied and learnt the language by their own effort while investing energy and time in learning the English language at school or by themselves in their home non-English speaking country. The goal is to create even and fair conditions for all test participants.
Furthermore, it is requested that no student whose first language is English shall participate in regular category of the BIE competition, as well as students who lived abroad in an English speaking country for a longer time (more than 18 months) and students who come from a multilingual family that is using English language for communicating within the family.
A student who does not comply with this paragraph shall either compete as an IB student under his School ID in category IB Schools (English Colleges or high schools) or/and while entering the test the student should mark an answer in the form field My English Language Background*. The answer, in this case, should be: "I'm not a native speaker, I've lived abroad in an English speaking country for more than 18 consecutive months, and/or come from a multilingual family where English is being used on an everyday basis. I understand that I will compete in a separate category with students with a similar background. " Students with an answer: "I'm a native speaker. The English language is my mother tongue. " will be disqualified.
2. Who Can Join the Contest?
Each school must nominate at least 8 students (rule changed in 2020) to take part in Best In English (BIE or further referred to as Contest), in order to participate in the Contest. There is no maximum number of students who can participate from one school. Secondary school students between 14-19 years of age are eligible to participate.
3. Who Organises the Contest?
4. The test
The Test is created by a team of English Language University teachers (Jan Eichler and his colleagues) under Czech-us agency and reviewed by Evropské centrum jazykových zkoušek a Jazyková škola s právem státní jazykové zkoušky, s.r.o., www.elec.eu
The maximum score an individual student can receive is 125 points. In case of equal scores received by two or more students or two or more schools (both further referred to as Competitor), the winner is determined by the best time under which the Test was completed.
The Test is divided into three parts, that is, grammar, reading, and listening. The level of the Test is based on the scale of B1 to C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Majority of the content is set to the B2-B2+ level. Considering the Test is difficult, both knowledge-wise and time-wise, there is no need to worry if not completed or not knowing all the answers.
The Test will take place on the 22nd of January 2021, the login into the test is possible between 9:00 AM till 14:00 AM CET (Central European Time – UTC +1:00). Your school’s ID was sent to you by email, after the registration to the Contest. The date was postponed from the 27th of November 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic measures and too many closed schools in November 2020.
The link with the Test will be sent to the Teachers on the 21st of January and will appear on the BIE website. We will also disclose all the audio and video files that are part of the Test, which can be used in case the Internet does not work properly, or the internet connection is too slow. There will be also an audio version of the video located next to it for the students to switch to audio if the video does not appear due to some technical difficulties. The time limit for the Test is 60 minutes and the timer starts after entering the Test. The test will close down after clicking on Submit the test or when the time elapses.
After accessing the Test for the first time, do not close the window nor refresh the page. If the Test is not available within 60 seconds after it is opened, do refresh the page by pressing the F5 button. Do not open any other windows or files during the Test. Using other devices and/or dictionaries is strictly forbidden. Do not talk to or chat with your classmates or anyone else. There are several security checks incorporated in the Test that are set to recognize any cheating attempts and suspicious keyboard and mouse movements.
All participating students from one school must take the Test at the same time under regular circumstances, which will be specified by the Teacher within the given starting timeframe (9:00 – 11:00 Central European Time). In case of using more classrooms, the Test must be initialized at the same time in all places within one school. A different scenario applies in case the school will be closed, quarantined, affected by a lockdown and/or some other measurement will be taking place - please refer to the COVID-19 Conditions below.
A pedagogical supervision is requested at all times while the Test is being taken (offline or online).
Prizes will be announced on the bestinenglish.org website, section “Prizes”. It is strictly forbidden to exchange prizes for money or anything else. Prizes are non-transferable. The students have to claim the prize by February 28th 2021 at the latest.
For schools, the highest average score is determined by the average result of the 10 best students from a particular school. That is, if a school nominated 50 students, only the results of the 10 best students will be considered to calculate the average score. The school with the highest average score wins, however in the case of the same score, the school with faster average completion time wins. Each school wishing to participate thus needs to nominate at least 10 students.
7. Software Conditions
The Test is optimized for the newest version of Google Chrome for OS 8.1, 10, and also for mobile devices with OS Windows 8 and Android 4.4 or newer. It was successfully tested on Firefox 70, Apple devices with iOS 13 and macOS Mojave. However, some errors or failures of the system may occur for MS systems, like Microsoft EDGE featured some problems with the videos if not used with a full screen using F11 on the keyboard. Microsoft Explorer is not supported. It is quite possible that the Test will work on every device made ever since the year 2000.
Students are allowed to use their own devices, however, they still need to be supervised during the Test. Students will need headphones/earphones to use during the listening part of the Test. All devices should be wired using the Ethernet connection (UTP network cable), or through the wireless network (Wi-Fi). Please, do consult the options of connecting devices outside your school’s network with your IT specialist.
Please, do check and test all the devices you plan to use during the test, if possible. In order to check the speed of the Internet connection, it is recommended to carry out the mock test on more devices at the same time. If the mock test displays errors, please consult your IT specialist.
8. Final results
Preliminary results will be announced on the 15th of December 2020. The individual final score of each student will be displayed right after the end of the Test. Full final results will be available in early January 2021 at the latest.
9. Test videos
The videos used in comprehension exercise, are included directly in the test. In case the internet connection is too slow, the teacher can download them into his/her computer for later use. Videos will be sent to the teachers by e-mail one day before the competition. In addition, each video has an audio alternative to listen included in the test. The audio version is, of course, less data demanding.
Students can replay the video repeatedly, as needed. Every participant has to have own headphones, to prevent the distraction of other students. It is not allowed to play music or watch / listen to any other content during the test. In the case that the video cannot be played for technical reasons, the voice track version will be also sent to the teacher by e-mail.
10. License fee conditions:
Participation in the Best in English contest comes with a License fee of 35EUR (900CZK) per school.
Until 2019 the competition had been free of charge and supported only by a limited number of partners and sponsors with no government or EU funds. The main organization bearing the costs of the project has been our company, Czech-us agency. We would like to develop the contest further mainly when it comes to the technical aspects of the competition. We strongly believe this change will contribute to an increased quality of the BIE competition and the test itself. Introducing the License fee will serve for further BIE development.
Refund and cancellation policy in case:
- your school will not join the test if we are notified 2 days prior to the contest the latest
- students will not be able to submit the test due to technical problems (less than 10 results will be submitted)
- more than 40 per cent of the participating students will not receive a result due to technical problems (a list of the respective students needs to be provided on the day of the test)
- not enough students participating in the test due to sickness (less than 8) - needs to be announced at least 2 days prior to the contest
- the license fee will be paid by a local agency, ministry of education or other entity for the school
- the BIE contest 2020 will be cancelled by the organizer
In the above mentioned situations the License fee will be fully refunded to the corresponding school.
Form of License fee payment: either wire transfer or online using a debit/credit card. The license fee will be due after the school registration to the competition. More information will be provided upon registration.
11. COVID-19 Conditions
Since the current pandemic development is unpredictable and a significant percentage of secondary schools may be closed we have decided to adapt to the current situation and soften the competition rules.
- Students from closed down schools due the COVID (under a quarantine or a lockdown) or where due to the applied measures the students will not be able to join the contest at the school premises will be allowed to access the test from their own device from outside the school. *More info below
- Students from schools which are not under a lockdown or quarantine may join the test in waves - there can be for example 4 groups of students from different classes/grades taking the test in different times (so that they don't mix up), like group 1 at 9:00, group 2 at 10:15, group 3 at 11:30, group 4 at 12:45.
- The Test session will be prolonged from 9:00 - 14:00 (last group should enter at 14:00, the test session will be closed at 15:00)
- The minimum number of students participating from a single school is lowered from 10 to 8 students (maximum is not limited). School results will be calculated based on the top 8 from the particular school.
* In case the student is not supervised by a teacher in person due to closed schools and will be taking the test alone and on his/her device, a distant learning tool is to be activated (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.) by the teacher/s as used during regular online classes and the students will join the session together with the teacher/s. This way they will Log in (fill out log in page) and launch the test while being supervised by the teacher through a web-camera which shall stay on during the test as well as the microphone. The teacher should make a list of the students opening the Online class session in order to have control of who was supervised during the test from the particular school. There might be trouble with the internet connection sometimes and running cameras may slow down the data flow, but it is advised to check the internet speed upfront and to keep students connected during the test.
The rules and terms and conditions are a possible subject to change and/or an update, if necessary. In case of any amendments made to the rules, and terms and conditions, all the participating schools will be notified by e-mail and a new version will be posted to the BIE website.
In case of emergency, the emergency contact details are considered to be the e-mail addresses provided by each Teacher to the Organizers at registration, and thus any communication will be dealt with via e-mail.