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Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)

Home >> Tips for learning >> International exams >> Cambridge ESOL


Cambridge ESOL offers the world’s leading range of certificates for non-native English speakers of all ages and levels. The exams cover general English, business English, legal English, financial English, and teaching qualifications. The Cambridge ESOL certificates are globally recognised by thousands of educational institutions and employers all over the world. 

 The most popular examinations in general English are KET (Key English Test), PET (Preliminary English Test), FCE (First Certificate in English), and CAE (Certificate in Advanced English). There is also an exam for children – YLE (Young Learners English Tests).
 

1. Structure and assessment

Each examination is designed for a particular language proficiency level.

YLE (Young Learners English Tests) are exams for children aged 7-12. There are three levels for children to work through, YLE Starters, YLE Movers, and YLE Flyers.

They have no “Fail” result.

KET (Key English Test). This exam is designed for learners with a good elementary level and corresponds to Level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

It includes three parts: Reading and Writing – 1 hour 10 min, Listening – 30 min, Speaking – 10 min.

Reading and Writing part carries 50% of the total marks for KET, while Listening and Speaking both carry 25% of the marks each. There are two Pass grades – Pass (requiring 70-84% of right answers) and Pass with Merit (85-100% of right answers).

Certificates are awarded to candidates who achieve Pass grades. All candidates (including those who have failed) are given an exam report explaining how they performed in each of the papers.

PET (Preliminary English Test) is for learners with a very good intermediate level and corresponds to Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

The exam consists of three parts: Reading and Writing – 1 hour 30 min, Listening – 30 min, Speaking – 10 min.

Each skill carries 25% of the total marks. There are two Pass grades – Pass (requiring 70-84% of right answers) and Pass with Merit (85-100% of right answers).

Certificates are awarded to candidates who achieve Pass grades. All candidates (including those who have failed) are given an exam report explaining how they performed in each of the papers.Candidates who have not achieved a passing grade, but have 45-69% of correct answers, are awarded a certificate stating Council of Europe Level A2.

The КЕТ and РЕТ examinations are available for teenagers and adults.

FCE (First Certificate in English) is at Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (upper-intermediate).

This exam has five parts: – 1 hour, Writing – 1 hour 20 min, Use of English (grammar and vocabulary) – 45 min, Listening – 40 min, Speaking – 14 min.

Each component of the exam carries 20% of the total marks. There are three Pass grades, A (80-100% of right answers), B (75-79%) and C (60-74%) — candidates reaching these grades are awarded a certificate. Candidates achieving grades D or E do not receive a certificate, but get the Statement of Results.

CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) and CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) are at Level C1 (advanced) and C2 (proficient) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages correspondingly.

These examinations are accepted by many universities as a proof of the level of language. СРЕ is the most prestigious and the most difficult of the five Cambridge exams. It is aimed at people who use English for professional or study purposes.

The exams include 5 parts: Reading – 1 hour 15 min (САЕ) and 1 hour 30 min (СРЕ), Writing – 1 hour 30 min (САЕ) and 2 hours (СРЕ), Use of English (grammar and vocabulary) – 1 hour (САЕ) and 1 hour 30 min (СРЕ), Listening – 40 min (САЕ) and 45 min (СРЕ), Speaking – 15 min (САЕ) and 19 min (СРЕ).

Each component of the exam carries 20% of the total marks. There are three Pass grades, A (80-100% of right answers), B (75-79%) and C (60-74%) — candidates reaching these grades are awarded a certificate. Candidates achieving grades D or E do not receive a certificate, but get the Statement of Results.
 

2. Cost

 The cost for each exam differs and depends on the level and other factors. The higher the level is, the more it costs. The exact figure for the upcoming session is available at any local test centre.
 

3. Where and when

The Cambridge ESOL examinations are available throughout the year.On the official web site you can find all the relevant timetables, however the decision about holding an exam is taken by local centres. The registration finishes 6-8 weeks before the exam.
 

4. Validity

The Cambridge ESOL certificates are valid for life.


 

 Official web-site: www.cambridgeesol.org