Exam Preparation Courses (Cambridge, IELTS, etc...)
In order to make language levels comparable, the Council of Europe introduced the Common European Framework (CEFR), divide learners into six different levels: A1 Beginner, A2 Elementary, B1 Intermediate, B2 Vantage or Upper Intermediate, C1 Advanced and C2 Mastery or Proficiency.
Usually, the expected level for study programmes in Europe is around B. However, certain universities or programmes (e.g. English literature) might require a higher level than that.
Cambridge University Certificates (British Council)
These certificates are mainly used within the UK but they are also accepted in many universities outside of the UK. In contrast to many other certificates, the Cambridge certificates do not expire.
KET – Key English Test
It is the easiest of the Cambridge exams, a basic level qualification that shows you can use English to communicate in simple situations. It also shows you have made a good start in learning English, and it equals to A2 on the Common European Framework.
PET – Preliminary English Test
This exam shows that you can communicate in English in practical, everyday situations. It equals level B1 on the Common European Framework.
FCE – First Certificate in English
It is the upper-intermediate level in English (B2 of the CEFR). It is the most famous and most required level for people who need to prove they can use every day written and spoken English at an upper-intermediate level for work or study purposes. It is comparable to IELTS 5.5-6.5.
CAE – Certificate in Advanced English
It is oriented at the quite high C1-C2 levels (IELTS 6.5–8.0) and is required at many British universities. The demand for high-level English language skills is increasing all around the world (more than 15,000 educational institutions, businesses and government departments around the world accept CAE as proof of high-level achievement).
CPE – Certificate of Proficiency in English
It is the most advanced qualification offered by Cambridge English Language Assessment and has been developed to show achievement of an extremely high level of English. It equals an 8 and above in the IELTS test.
TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language (Educational Testing Service)
TOEFL is an English certificate organised by the Educational Testing Service which aims for academic use and is especially popular in the US. However, it is also widely accepted at European universities.
IELTS – International English Language Testing System (British Council)
Like TOEFL, IELTS is widely recognised in all English-speaking countries as well as for many English-taught programmes in Europe. Besides, IELTS is also accepted as language proof for certain working permits as well as for immigration.
TOEIC – Test of English for International Communication (Educational Testing Service)
Questions in this test are based on real-life work settings in an international environment (meetings, travel, telephone conversations…).
BEC – Business English Certificate (British Council)
Tests your English in a business context. They are designed for individuals, and are very useful preparation for someone studying on a business course.
TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language (British Council)
It refers to teaching English to students whose first language is not English. TEFL usually occurs in the student’s own country, either within the state school system, or privately, e.g., in an after-hours language school or with a tutor. There are different official English exams in this category, but don’t worry, we will tell you more about them soon!