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Cambridge ESOL

Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) exams are the world’s leading range of certificates for learners of English. Each year, they are taken by around 1.5 million people, in 135 countries and are recognised by thousands of educational organisations and employers throughout the world.

Cambridge ESOL is part of the world-famous University of Cambridge. Its English language exams are linked to the Common European Framework for Modern Languages, published by the Council of Europe. They are the only certificated exams referred to in the Framework document as specifically linked to it by a long-term research programme.

General English – Main Suite

The Cambridge ESOL Main Suite exams are designed for learners at all levels from the very advanced Certificate of Proficiency in English to the elementary level Key English Test.

The Main Suite exams are known throughout the world and are widely recognised for work and study purposes. They give candidates practice in using English in a wide variety of contexts, relevant to work, study and leisure activities.

Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
CPE is a very advanced level exam, for learners who have achieved a high level of language skills and are able to function effectively in almost any English-speaking context. This exam is at Council of Europe Level C2.

Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
CAE is an advanced exam. CAE tests the ability to communicate with confidence in English for work or study purposes. This exam is at Council of Europe Level C1.

First Certificate in English (FCE)
FCE is an upper intermediate level exam. It tests the ability to deal confidently with a range of written and spoken communications. FCE is the most widely taken of the Main Suite exams, with over 250,000 candidates every year. This exam is at Council of Europe Level B2.

Preliminary English Test (PET)
PET is an intermediate level exam. It tests the ability to cope with everyday written and spoken communications. This exam is at Council of Europe Level B1.

Key English Test (KET)
KET is an elementary level exam. It tests the ability to cope with everyday written and spoken communications at a basic level. This exam is at Council of Europe Level A2.

General English – Modular Assessment

Certificates in English Language Skills (CELS)
The Certificates in English Language Skills (CELS) provide modular assessment of English language skills and are ideal for people who do not need to achieve the same level across all four skills (reading, writing, listening or speaking). Each skill is assessed separately at each of three levels, and candidates can enter for any combination of skills and levels. CELS Higher is at Council of Europe Level C1; CELS Vantage is at Level B2; and CELS Preliminary is at Level B1. CELS was introduced in 2002.

Business English

Business English Certificates (BEC)
BEC is a suite of three exams – BEC Preliminary, BEC Vantage, BEC Higher – designed to test English language ability used in the context of business. They are suitable for adults (aged 16 and over) who are either preparing for a career in business or already in work. The exams cover the same range of language skills as the Main Suite exams, but with the emphasis on activities that are common in business. BEC is available at three levels: BEC Higher, at Council of Europe Level C1; BEC Vantage, at Level B2; and BEC Preliminary, at Level B1.

The Business Language Testing Service (BULATS) is a multilingual assessment service for companies that require a rapid, accurate means of assessing language skills in English, French, German and Spanish. Tests are available in both ‘pencil-and-paper’ and computer based formats. BULATS is run jointly by Cambridge ESOL, the Alliance Française (France), Goethe Institut (Germany) and the Universidad de Salamanca (Spain). For more information, visit www.BULATS.org

English for Young Learners

Cambridge Young Learners English Tests
The Cambridge Young Learners English Tests are designed to assess the English of primary learners between the ages of 7 and 12. There are three levels: Flyers, at Council of Europe Level A2; Movers, at Level A1; and Starters, below Level A1. The tests are taken by over 250,000 children every year and provide a gentle introduction to public exams.

Research shows that children find the tests highly motivating. Each level of the test has three components – Reading/Writing, Listening and Speaking – and all candidates receive an award showing the level they have achieved in each component.


International English Language Testing System
IELTS is a language testing system for people who need to demonstrate their level of achievement in English for a specific purpose. IELTS scores are recognised by universities and colleges in the UK, USA and many other countries and by employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies as evidence of English language skills.

IELTS is run jointly by Cambridge ESOL, British Council and IDP Education Australia. Tests are taken throughout the year at centres in more than 100 countries. Candidates receive a test report form showing their performance in a range from 1 (non-user) to 9 (expert user). For more information on IELTS, visit www.IELTS.org

Teaching Awards

In addition to the exams for learners of English, Cambridge ESOL provides a range of internationally recognised qualifications for language teachers. These include the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) and the more advanced Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults (DELTA). There are also certificates for people who wish to specialise in teaching young learners and for language teaching managers. For more information on the teaching awards, visit www.CambridgeESOL.org/teaching

University of Cambridge
ESOL Examinations
1 Hills Road
Cambridge, CB1 2EU
United Kingdom

Telephone +44 1223 553355
Fax +44 1223 460278
e-mail ESOL@ucles.org.uk


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