Can You, not that Your future employers, to meet this definition the level of language, as «read and translate with a dictionary», «fluent», etc. the fact that these concepts are very inaccurate, moreover, each person puts them in their understanding. I say everyone, because there is no common language level «read and translate with a dictionary» or «I studied English in school» is self-deception.
There is an international grading levels: Beginner, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, Advanced. The system proposed by the Association of ALTE (The Association of Language Testers in Europe) it is actually based Cambridge exams.
You have probably heard about the international certificates. Each of them not only proves Your level of language, but also gives the right. Most importantly, of course, is the right to work in foreign organizations, on certain (in accordance with the certificate) positions. But as they say, the main thing to start.
When referring to a group of Cambridge ESOL examinations, mean of five tests: KET, PET, FCE, CAE, CPE. When they are in the same row, separated by commas, just not easy to assess the importance of each of them. Try to understand more details.
KET (Key English Test) is a test that certifies Your basic knowledge of English. This Pre-Intermediate level. Of course, it is doubtful that You will be wasting time and energy to take it for travel or in order to read and write the language. However, this certificate will confirm Your ability in that and in other. But most importantly, many foreign firms offer foreigners a job with this certificate. As a rule, is a hotel or restaurant business. Read more – see website: Cambridge ESOL. And the main point: the KET examination consists of three parts. You must demonstrate your skills in reading and writing (time step 1 hour and 10 minutes), to listening (30 minutes) and show your fluency in conversational speech (8-10 minutes). The exam result is not just a «pass/ no credit». Here too there is a division: Pass with merit (85-100%), Pass (70-84%), Level A2 (45-69%). If You scored less than 45%… However, You still have a chance! If during the exam You have shown that you speak English at level A1, You will be given a certificate indicating this level.
It is logical to ask the question, if KET so, in essence, gives little, why pass it? The fact that together with the desired crust of the certificate You will gain invaluable experience of international examinations. This is Your first step. And if You prepare properly, Your first victory. You are on the challenging path of mastering English. Today, knowledge of this language is no surprise, a lot of competitors. And why it is especially important for the recognition of Your knowledge and abilities. International recognition…
PET (Preliminary English Test) – this is Your next step. This is a difficult exam, but pass it possible. You will have to prove that You know English not lower than Intermediate level. What it essentially means. You have to confirm that I can use a foreign language in their daily lives. Your vocabulary should be enough to be on top in typical language situations that arise every day at work or school, on vacation or at the store. You need to understand regardless of whether You are dealing with a person face to face or talking on the phone. This level requires your skills and sufficient volume of vocabulary. Necessary to use language constructs that have little to learn, but you should be able to apply. Because in preparation for the more complex Cambridge tests, so essential in the communicative approach.
Stages of the test are the same (but the complexity is different): reading and writing (1 hour 30 minutes) listening (30 minutes) speaking (10-12 minutes). Gradation of results seems to be: Pass with merit (85-100%), Pass (70-84%), Level A2 (45-69%), but this time, if You have shown a level of proficiency below the A2 You do not pass the test.
On the website Cambridge ESOL presented to institutions and organizations where the PET certificate is considered a decent indicator of Your English. You can hope for a vacancy, say, in representation of the company Samsung or Buckingham Foods Ltd. It all depends on You.
FCE (First Certificate in English). They say there are small lies, there are big lies and there are statistics. Often, the technical data may not give a full presentation, but in some cases numbers may be more telling than words.
So, according to statistics, the most popular international exam. His hand over a hundred countries of the world, people of different nationalities, but the vast majority of Europeans and citizens of South American countries. 88% of candidates possessing the certificate have passed preparatory courses. And the majority of people who are ready to pass this test, doing it for work. The system of examination is more complex compared to the two previously submitted examinations. The candidate must overcome the five stages: first reading (1 hour), the second writing (1 hour 20 minutes), the third – use of English (45 minutes), the fourth – listening (approximately 40 minutes), and the fifth – speaking (14 minutes). Candidates who successfully pass the test receive letter grades: A (80-100%), B (75-79%), C (60-74%). The test is considered failed if You got less than 60%.
FCE – a difficult test, but when You pass, You get a significant advantage over those who don’t. The opportunity to work in such missions as: Yukos Services (UK) Ltd and BMW – confirms this. When talking about CAE (Certificate in Advanced English), people understand that this is a test for those who have a high level of proficiency. On this level one not only needs to write and communicate properly, but needs to understand the interaction of language and culture, feel the development of traditions and trends, to understand the national characteristics. Here is appropriate to talk about the style of communication that the candidate for the exam should be able to choose depending on the proposed situation. He also must remember about the difference in British and American English, and in any case, even if it and provoke it, don’t go to the last. But most importantly – the use of language should be harmonious and flexible, and the speech – act of creation.
But, having a certificate, You can count on the fact that many universities in England will not refuse to put You in the ranks of its employees…
The testing steps remain the same, but… You know. First: reading (1 hour 15 minutes). Second: writing (1 hour 30 minutes). Three: Use of English (1 hour). Fourth: listening (40 minutes). Fifth: speaking (approximately 15 munut). Your assessment is divided into: A (80-100%), B (75-79%), C (60-74%). Less… And You still will not be needed.
Are you ready to continue learning and not stop there? CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) is a test that will confirm that You stepped on a higher level. This examination implies that You speak English at native-level. They often say that they begin to know the language when you start to think. For this reason there is a joke that for years to learn the language and to give in English with the janitor. In every joke, as you know, there’s only joke. Because language is not only grammar structures and rules, it is cultural heritage of the people. We, sometimes, only think that we think in English. In fact, we think in Russian, just bring our thoughts into English words. So, it is not sufficient to pass this test. This certificate confirms that You own is not worse than the English of educated native speakers of English. But after passing this exam You all doors are open. This test is recognized by all, without exception, universities UK, employers of all industries. The whole world.
Testing traditionally takes place in five stages. If You successfully passed all previous stages, You are already accustomed to. This time read You play 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours, in English 1 hour 30 minutes for listening and 40 minutes, and their knowledge in the spoken language You will demonstrate approximately 19 minutes.
And… there will be another step… gotta cross the threshold to a 60%…
For more information on the official website of Cambridge.