Cambridge exams are used around the world by students like you to evaluate and prove their English language abilities. Cambridge ESOL is the administrator of the exams listed below but they also helped to create the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
IELTS is by far the most widely known and used exam from Cambridge. It is used by students who are looking to enter universities, to emigrate to countries like Australia. It is also a requirement for jobs which need a certain level of English.
The Cambridge Proficiency Exam (CPE) is said to be the most difficult of the exams. It is recommended you do this test when you are very sure of your English ability (C2 in CEFR or 9 in IELTS). There are 5 sections; reading, composition, use of language (grammar and vocabulary), listening and interview.
The Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) is an exam for advanced students. The level of this exam is recommended for students who can communicate with confidence and who get about 7.5 in IELTS or C1 in the CEFR. It has 5 sections, reading, writing, use of English (tests ability to use grammatical structures and vocabulary), listening and speaking.
The First Certificate in English (FCE) is an exam that is appropriate for Upper-Intermediate students. This means that if you attain the B2 level in CEFR or a 6 in IELTS, this exam is for you. The FCE has the same 5 sections as the CAE.
The Preliminary English Test (PET) has 3 sections; reading, writing and listening. The PET is an intermediate-level exam. It is said that at this level, you should be able to enjoy a holiday in an English-speaking country. This exam is equivalent to a 4.5 in IELTS or B1 in CEFR.
The Key English Test (KET) is a test for elementary students. It has 3 sections; reading and writing, listening and speaking. This is test is for students who have achieved A2 in CEFR or less than 4 in IELTS.
Business Cambridge exams
The Business Language Testing Service (BULATS) is a multi-level test. IT will give you a level similar to the way IELTS gives you a band. There are 4 sections which can be done separately; computer test, standard test (which includes listening and reading and language knowledge), speaking and writing.
The Business English Certificate (BEC) has three levels
There are three levels of BEC:
- BEC Preliminary (B1 in CEFR)
- BEC Vantage (B2 in CEFR)
- BEC Higher (C1 in CEFR)
This exam is designed to be useful preparation for business English courses.