To all of you who have been living the experience of learning English for years, names like Cambridge, Trinity or IELTS. Learning English in itself is a very wise decision and even more wise is to demonstrate your level of English with an official certificate.
The exams that must be passed to obtain official qualifications are known to be quite demanding, but if you have good preparation we assure you that you will be successful. You will surely wonder what the differences are between some exams and others and which one you should opt for according to your objectives. Well, let's go with the information that interests you.
In addition to the Cambridge exam, are there other official exams?
Yes of course. Although cambridge exams They are the most recognized in Spain, and in general throughout Europe, there are other official exams developed by institutions with a very good reputation. Let's see below what are the official exams that you can take.
We start with the best known of all. The cambridge exams They are so widespread worldwide due to their direct relationship with the University of Cambridge, a highly prestigious center. One of the characteristics of these exams is that the title is only achieved if the 60% is passed for the FIRST, ADVANCED and PROFICIENCY exams, and the 70% for the PET and KET. The Cambridge ADVANCED certificates They are one of the requirements of some universities to admit students who do not have English as their native language, since this ensures that the student can follow the classes correctly.
It may not sound familiar to you, but this exam is also considered very important, since it is the official one of the British Council. Unlike the cambridge exams, only those over 16 years of age can take these exams. This type of exam is popular among adults who need to certify their level of English in a job.
This exam has been developed by the University of Cambridge and the British Council in collaboration, but it works in a totally different way to the previous two, since you do not take the exam at a specific level, but rather the score you get in the exam (from 1 to 9) certifies your level of English. In addition, IELTS has two test options, one for academic purposes and the other for work purposes.
This exam is especially important in the academic environment of the United States, since it is the one you must take if you are not a native English speaker and want to study at an American university. The TOELF works in a similar way to IELTS, your score defines your level of English.
The TOEIC exam also has great relevance in the United States, but in this case at the workplace level. That is, if you are thinking of going to the United States to work, you should take this exam since on the American continent it is more important than the cambridge exam. As in the previous ones, this exam is not failed either. Your score, from 0 to 990, will officially establish your English level.
This exam is made for both students and teachers and is highly recognized in the United Kingdom. Unlike the previously mentioned exams, the Trinity covers other areas apart from academics and work.
How much does it cost to do these exams?
Taking these exams requires a financial investment. The prices of the different exams vary and can range from more or less 60 euros for the Cambridge children's level exam to almost 250 euros for the TOEFL exam.
What is evaluated in these exams?
In these exams you must demonstrate your skills in Listening, speaking and writing, in addition to the correct use of grammar and vocabulary knowledge. Each of these skills corresponds to a part of the exam. In some cases each part is evaluated and scored independently and in others the exam is graded globally. These official exams are so complete that they are able to identify exactly what level of English the student has reached.
What official exam should I take?
As we have already mentioned previously, each of the official exams serves a different objective. If you want to certify your level of English to begin your studies at a British university, you should take the cambridge exam, but if you are going to cross the pond to study in the United States you should opt for the TOEFL. If your university years have already passed and you now need to certify your English to apply for a better job or you simply want to stand out in the labor market, we recommend APTIS, IELTS or TOEIC.
Please note that in the case of cambridge exams With the FIRST (level B1 of the European framework), ADVANCE (level C1) or PROFICIENCY (level C2) you only have the option of passing or failing the exam, if you do not pass the Cambridge exam you will not receive your degree. If you are unsure about applying to a specific level, don't do it just to try your luck, because it will be a waste of time. Rather, we would recommend taking one of the exams such as the IELTS, TOEFL or TOEIC, in which you will not fail, you will simply obtain a title corresponding to your level. In relation to these exams you should know that they are valid for 2 years, while the Cambridge exams have no expiration date.
Do I need specific preparation to take these exams?
If you are going to take one of the specific exams, such as the cambridge exams or those of Trinity you will need prior preparation. These exams have a specific structure and it would be difficult to pass them if you do not know their typology and how to divide time during the test so as not to get stuck in any of its parts and be able to complete it in its entirety. If you prepare at an academy or with a teacher specialized in this type of exams, you will have the opportunity to do the same type of exercises that appear on the exam to get used to them and even do mock exams. The preparation time for this type of tests depends on the hours you invest per week, it can range from a couple of months to a year.
We hope that this article has been helpful to you and that you are now clearer about which official exam suits your needs. Remember that an official degree that guarantees your level of English will open doors for you academically and at a professional level and will help you achieve your goals.