Why should I study English?
Studying English is an exciting way to communicate with new cultures, to travel the world with ease and to enjoy entertainment sectors like music or film. Apart from the social benefits of learning the language, English is also beneficial for career advancements. Studying English for your job or to enrol into an English speaking University require general and academic training. The ETS (English Testing Service), The Cambridge Language Assessment and The British Council provide a range of testing procedures that grade your language skills.
Why take an examination course?
Taking an Examination Course gives students the possibility to fully concentrate on the four skills of the English Language: Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking, these skills are exhausted in class with the help of a teacher to guide and correct students’ mistakes. Other facets of the language such as Grammar and Vocabulary are tested through production and help boost up students’ scores in the exam.
Which exams are available?
TOEFL® and TOEIC®
TOEFL® and TOIEC® are provided by the ETS. TOEFL® is usually taken by students who want to study in English speaking Universities. TOEIC® is normally studied by students who want to work in an English speaking company.
Cambridge English Language Assessment
The Cambridge English Language Assessment holds a variety of exams at different levels to help you achieve your academic goals and reach your professional targets in the work place.
Following the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) Cambridge University English Language Assessment provides the following courses and exams;
Examination Course - Level
Key English Test (KET) - A2
Preliminary English Test (PET) - B1
First Certificate in English (FCE) - B2
Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) - C1
Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - C2
For those looking to increase their English knowledge in a business context, a similar framework has been prepared;
Examination Course - Level
Business Preliminary (BEC) - B1
Business Vantage - B2
Business Higher - C1
The British Council offers the IELTS Preparation Course and Examination, available in two versions; the ‘General Training’ test and the ‘Academic’ test. As in the other examinations, IELTS is composed an intense focus on Listening, Reading and Writing but a great focus is given to the Speaking element of the exam which is carried out in a private conversation with an examiner.
Every student of any level can take the course and the exam but it is suggested that students have a minimum Level of B1.
What about the results?
The results differ for all of the exams, the TOEFL® and TOEIC® are both calculated by a point system that correspond to the CEFR. There is no pass or fail, only an indication to which level the student belongs.
The Cambridge exams all relate to the Cambridge English Scale where the CEFR level (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2) shows the score reached in the exam. That said, when taking a KET exam, a level prepared for A2 students, it is possible for a B1 level to be obtained.
As for the IELTS exams the scores range from 0 to 9. The scores 6 to 9 are considered good results for the IELTS exam but every university demands a certain level so keep that in mind when attempting the Preparation Course.
Which course is best for me?
Before choosing your examination course you should research what kind of level your specific university needs. Something very important to remember is the life span of your qualification.
It is also very important for candidates to familiarise themselves with the format of the exam and to know what the examiner expects from them. This is why a qualified and experienced teacher is important to help you pass the exam and do well.
With the information above, you are ready to set out on your English adventure. Take up the challenges of a new language and culture and focus on your goals. Good luck!