The Cambridge Certificates of English, which are part of the University of Cambridge, are taken by over three million language learners from about 130 countries each year. Writing an exam is a great possibility to find out how good your English skills really are.
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and the Cambridge Certificates
The CEFR is an European guideline used to describe the different language levels. Finally there are six levels which are known as A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2. These levels describe the language skills (and also the knowledge) from each learner in the parts listening, writing, reading and speaking.
If you want to know more about the Common European Framework, read these two articles on Coursefinders:
- Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
- Advantages of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
The language categories A2-C2
Every passed Cambridge certificate is valid for your whole life. By now you can write the exam in over 135 countries all over the world.
A2: Key English Test (KET)
The KET is the easiest exam of the University of Cambridge. It takes about 2 hours and is divided in three parts: (1) reading and writing, (2) listening and (3) speaking.
B1: Preliminary English Test (PET)
The Preliminary English Test is situated on an intermediate level. There, the language learner is tested in different tasks with the help of daily examples. The exam takes about 2,5 hours and is also divided in three parts: (1) reading and writing, (2) listening and (3) speaking.
B2: First Certificate in English (FCE)
The FCE is also known as “First”, which is the non-standard name. It is comparable with the English certificate TOEFL. For the First Certificate in English you need about 3,5 hours. The exam is divided in four parts: (1) reading and use of English, (2) writing, (3) listening and (4) speaking.
C1: Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
With the Cambridge Certificate (level C1) you are allowed to study at universities in Great Britain. The CAE certify your good language skills and helps you to get the job you want. The exam takes about 4 hours and is divided in four parts: (1) reading and use of English, (2) writing, (3) listening and (4) speaking.
C2: Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
The hardest Cambridge Certificate ist the CPE which shows the possiblity to use English in nearly every situation – without faults. The Certificate of Proficiency in English takes about 4 hours and is divided in four parts: (1) reading and use of English, (2) writing, (3) listening and (4) speaking.
Prices and preparation
The prices comply with the levels of the language certificate, but you should expect that the exam for one level costs about 150 – 200 €.
To prepare yourself for a Cambridge certificate you could visit a language school or take a preparatoy course in your hometown.
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