There are many exams you can take in English nowadays to prove your level, but many of them are recognised more in some countries than others. In addition, some come with an expiry date, meaning that you need to take them again in a few years if you need them for something else. There is one set of exams, however, that is recognised all over the world, and that is the Cambridge main suite exams. These exams are an excellent way to get a permanent proof of your achievement in English, and are recognised all over the world.
The exams themselves are of different levels, and while you can take them at low level, employers and universities tend to be most interested in those which are of B2 level or above. The three higher level exams are the B2 First (previously known as the FCE), the C1 Advanced (previously known as the CAE), and the C2 Proficiency (previously known as the CPE). The C2 Proficiency exam is extremely difficult, so the exams that interest students most tend to be the B2 First and the C1 Advanced.
The exams themselves test all the major skills – speaking, reading, listening, and writing, as well as closely testing your grammar and vocabulary. You can find out more about the content and structure of the exams here, and here, on the official Cambridge ESOL website.
The Cambridge B2 First exam, proving that you possess B2 English, tends to be done towards the end of a student’s B2 studies. Similarly, the Cambridge C1 Advanced exam, which shows that you have C1 English, is usually done towards the end of a student’s C1 studies. The reason for this is that the exam tests a lot of things that a student learns in classes of these levels, and while exam preparation courses cover these areas, it is much better for the students if they are revising the majority of the content rather than seeing it for the first time.
The best way to do Cambridge exam preparation is almost certainly to do an exam preparation course. This way, you will be studying with an experienced teacher who can answer questions about the content of the structure of the exams, as well as working alongside other students in a similar situation, which is great for your motivation. It also means that you can learn from your fellow students and feel supported by being around other people with the same aim as you.
The absolute best way to study for these exams is in a classroom in a country that speaks the language, studying alongside other students with the same goals, and making the most of all that country has to offer. TopUp Learning (Tti) is a fantastic school in a wonderful location, in the centre of the greatest city in the world, London. You can find out more about TopUp Learning (Tti)’s Cambridge Exam preparation courses here.
Not everyone is able to travel to the UK, however, and in that case, online classes are the second best option. TopUp Learning offers excellent online courses that will get you the preparation you need without the need to travel a long distance. You can find out more about online B2 First courses here, and online C1 Advanced courses here.
Whether you study for your Cambridge exam in a classroom or online, you will likely find it one of the most rewarding challenges of your English learning journey, and TopUp Learning is happy and eager to be your guide on it.