Which English Exam To Take

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Which English Exam To Take

There are so many English language exams that it can be hard to know which English exam to take.

CEFR

Most English exams are based around the ‘Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)’. This is a scale from A1 (beginner) to C2 (proficient). You can see this scale with some different exams in the picture below from www.cambridgeenglish.org.

Here is a general guide to what these mean:

A1 - beginner level.
A2 - lower intermediate (understands basic English).
B1 - intermediate (can express what they want most of the time, but it may not be expressed clearly).
B2 - upper intermediate (can communicate fairly well, but often makes grammatical mistakes and has some confusion surrounding technical language).
C1 - advanced learner. Has a very good working knowledge of the language, but still makes some mistakes.
C2 - proficient. Almost native speaker.

Which English Exam To Take

 

English Universities

You can access a lot of English universities by having passed the CAE exam or having achieved an IELTS score of 6 … but it DOES depend on the university and sometimes the degree.

On this website you can select a country and a university/workplace and see which English exams they accept: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/why-cambridge-english/global-recognition/

 

IELTS - A1-C2

Positives?

IELTS is probably the most well known English language exam in the world.
You cannot pass or fail the IELTS. It simply shows your level of English as a score which can be measured on the CEFR scale (A1-C2).

Negatives?

This exam validation expires 2 years after the test date.

The exam format is not very simple. There are many different tasks which you have to complete. You cannot be sure which types of task will be asked in the exam. In my opinion it is more difficult to prepare for than the CAE/FCE exams.

 

 

Cambridge Advanced (CAE) - C1

Positives?

This exam is well known around the world.

The exam format is fairly straightforward.

You know what types of exam tasks you need to complete.

There is no expiration date for this exam.

It has the word 'Cambridge' in the title.

Negatives?

This is a difficult exam (C1 – Advanced level).

You can fail this exam (but your score is still shown on your certificate: B2 etc.)

 

 

First Certificate (FCE) - B2

Positives?

The exam format is fairly straightforward.

You know what types of exam tasks you need to complete.

There is no expiration date for this exam.

It has the word 'Cambridge' in the title.

Negatives?

This exam is probably not as well known as the CAE or IELTS.

You can fail this exam (but your score is still shown on your certificate: B1 etc.)

 

If you are still unsure which English exam to take, you can book a free 20 minute chat with Rory and he will help you choose.

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