Next year, The Big Challenge celebrates its 25th anniversary! Receive your information pack and posters for your classroom.
The Big Challenge is a European English language contest for primary and secondary school students, enabling them to make progress in the language while having fun at the same time.
The main aim of the contest is to encourage the learning of English through a fun and educational activity, and to support the teaching of English in schools.
A great motivational tool, the contest is taken by over 260 000 students every year in Europe.
From primary to secondary school
At the school
No losers, everyone wins!
The contest is available in a choice of two formats.
The flexible format is on paper. Students answer the pre-printed answer sheets. The questions can be projected or printed.
The Online format offers audio. It assumes that your school is sufficiently equipped for students to have individual access to the internet, but can be organized in several sessions.
The content of the test
Test questions cover vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and civilization.
In order to perfectly match the school curriculum, a specific questionnaire is drawn up for each level.
For each level, the test lasts 45 minutes.
The assessment is carried out centrally by The Big Challenge.
The questionnaires have 3 categories of questions (easy, intermediate and difficult). The most difficult questions earn the most points, and for each wrong answer, a quarter of the points awarded are deducted.
At the end of the contest, the school receives a list of its students results and each student receives a certificate showing the number of point obtained and their ranking (school, department/region, country).
The Big Challenge contest is open to all students from primary to secondary school. Registration is made by the school’s coordinating teacher; individual registrations are not accepted.
The Big Challenge is financed solely by the students’ participation fees. These fees essentially cover the organisation of the event and the development of training materials that can be used throughout the year. Registration fees are to be transferred collectively by the coordinator.
On The Big Challenge PLAY app, students can practise their English with a range of games (Quiz, YesNo…). The content covers the entire syllabus and language skills in a fun and educational way.
They will also find the exam papers on the app, so they can practise under real conditions in preparation for the test.
Every participant is rewarded with a diploma and a poster, regardless of their result, and over 50% of pupils also receive an additional prize.
The best-placed pupils receive the prestigious awards given to the top finishers at departmental/regional and national level, as well as the medals awarded to the top performer at their school.
Organising The Big Challenge is as simple as possible: all you have to do is register your students on our dedicated page.
For the online format, we will send you the contest access details before the event. For the flexible format, you will receive the conditions for downloading the contest material in advance.
We then draw up the scores and rankings and send the prizes to the schools. All that’s left is for you to celebrate your students’ success together!
Find all the information you need to organise the contest in your school. Share it with your students, their parents and your colleagues.
What they say
Pictures of the Big Challenge
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can choose to take the test either on paper or online.
The test papers, audio files, and answer sheets can be accessed through your teacher account and printed for students to take the test on paper.
Alternatively, you can take the test online using a computer, tablet, or smartphone with an internet connection. The link to the online test and the access code for your school can also be found in your teacher account.
It is up to you to decide which format is best for you and your students.
No, it is not necessary to tell us which format you choose for the test.
Everything will be made available in your teacher account to allow you to take the test in either online or paper format.
You are free to have some of your students take one format and others the other.
To give as much flexibility as possible, we have opened the competition for several weeks so that you can decide for yourself when to hold the competition.
Especially if the classes should be divided into smaller groups, you can plan as many rounds as you like. Our recommendation here is that you at least let the students from one level participate together or one after the other.
Within the contest period, you can determine the time frame completely independently. You do NOT have to inform us about it and it does not have to be activated separately anywhere.
If students can eliminate one or two answers, and are hesitating about the remaining two answers, it would be better to make an educated guess. If they have really no idea which of the four answers is correct, then it’s better not to answer at all. If students apply this method, it will give them an advantage in the end.
Students who answer randomly will have a final score close to zero. With one chance out of four of choosing the correct answer (and thus earning 5 points) and the risk of losing a quarter of the question’s value (1.25 points) with an incorrect answer, statistically they will end up with zero. On the contrary, a student who isn’t sure of the correct answer, but thinks carefully and is able to eliminate two answers out of the four, will have a distinct advantage.
Taking the time to think carefully before making a choice is clearly the best way to succeed. Of course, that is what we hope to teach our students in general: to think carefully before giving an answer!
You can find all the information about the grading process in our contest rules 'The Day of the contest' > 'Scores'.