As the new school year starts, lots of students have been asking me about taking an exam to prove their level of English. However, many are unsure about the different exams available. This blog post will explain some of the most common exams you can take.
Most of my students ask about the Cambridge exams, especially First Certificate (FCE), Advanced (CAE) and Proficiency (CPE). FCE is a B2 (upper-intermediate) level exam, CAE is C1 (advanced) level and CPE is C2 (proficiency). You can visit the Cambridge website here to take a language test so that you can see which exam is most suitable for you. All three of these exams include elements of speaking (the test is taken with another student), reading, writing and listening (you hear the listening extracts twice). The reading part also contains the 'Use of English' section which tests your knowledge of English grammar, phrasal verbs and collocations. Students who pass the exam are given a grade: A, B, or C. You can find out more about these Cambridge exams, including costs and how to book the exam, on this section of their website.
Cambridge also offers the KET (Key English Test) exam at A2 (pre-intermediate) and the PET (Preliminary English Test) exam at B1 (intermediate) level.
If you're interested in studying at a university in the UK, you should look at the academic version of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam. The exam is graded in bands from 1 to 9, and each university asks for different scores. If you want to study for a Master's degree in the UK, you will need a score of approximately 6.5 (depending on the course/university; some will need higher scores). This exam also consists of speaking (taken individually), reading, writing and listening (you only hear the extract once). To find out more information about IELTS, visit the official website here.
I offer preparation classes for all of the above exams: please contact me for more information. If you have any questions, you can also comment on this blog below!