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Cambridge Exam Standards

If you are thinking about taking an English language exam to officially recognise your abilities in the language, take a look at my guide to the best exams out there. 

The University of Cambridge claims to provide the ‘most valuable English qualifications in the world’ on their website, but how true really is this? If you have even the slightest insight into the world of education, you will probably already be aware that Cambridge is frequently selected as the best university in the United Kingdom and came out in sixth place out of every university on the planet this year, according to the latest Times educational rankings. But just because they are an unarguably brilliant university, does that automatically mean they are the best place to go to get your official English language qualification? Well, quite possibly…


English language schools and Cambridge


For decades now, English language schools across the world have used the Cambridge English exam as the gold standard and have taught with the final exam in the forefront of their minds, in terms of exam style, technique and material. That isn’t to say there aren’t other places to get an English qualification, such as an IELTS certificate or TEFL or CELTA, but really, since the majority of English language schools, in the United Kingdom at least, teach towards the Cambridge syllabus, there really is no need to ignore such a great qualification.


What are the standards of a Cambridge English exam?


The exam at Cambridge is the gold standard in the TEFL industry for a very good reason: it is harsh but fair. Once you have a Cambridge English certificate under your belt, you are amongst the elite of students of English as a foreign language, so you can imagine that the exam isn’t going to be a walk in the park! The tests take place year round but you must book your place well in advance and, ideally, take a general English course or exam preparation course at a local English language school. The exam covers all four of the main language areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening. It may seem like a lot of work and you could probably take your English language exam at any, perhaps less rigorous institution, but really, getting an English language qualification from such a prestigious institution as Cambridge University is a chance that nobody should pass up on!


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