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ESL Exams -  a Teacher's Guide

ESL Exams – a Instructor’s Information


It is the tip of one other class, and one pupil has stayed behind. No downside, you assume, possibly a straightforward grammar query, or a touch upon how they loved the category (or not!)… or possibly it is a query about an ESL examination. “What’s the difference between TOEFL and TOEIC?” “Should I take the FCE?” “Who recognizes IELTS?” So if you do not know your BEC out of your KET, or your CAE out of your CELS, this is a short information to the preferred ESL exams.

ESL exams fall broadly into three fundamental classes: Common English, Enterprise English and Educational English.

Common English

Most likely the preferred on this class are the Cambridge ESOL exams. One and a half million individuals in 135 international locations take Cambridge exams yearly. There are 5 Common English exams, generally known as the “Cambridge Main Suite.”

The primary two ranges are the KET (Key English Take a look at) and the PET (Preliminary English Take a look at). The KET and PET have studying and writing, listening, and talking elements, and are most frequently used to evaluate progress or to organize for the following examination within the collection. The PET can also be acknowledged by some employers and universities. KET and PET have two move grades, Move with advantage and Move.

Subsequent up from the PET is the FCE (First Certificates in English). The FCE has 5 sections, studying, writing, use of English, listening and talking. It’s widely known by employers and academic establishments and so may be very widespread with college students who need to examine or work overseas.

Many universities and employers, nonetheless, choose the CAE (Certificates in Superior English), which is the following degree up. This examination reveals {that a} pupil is able to following a college course or can operate in a spread of enterprise contexts.

After the CAE comes the CPE (Certificates of Proficiency in English), the very best degree within the collection. College students who move this examination have the power to operate successfully in nearly each English talking context. The CPE can also be a typical requirement for non-native audio system who need to practice as English academics. College students sometimes want 3 years of examine after passing the FCE to succeed in this degree (relying, after all, on how typically they examine and different elements).

FCE, CAE and CPE have 5 grades, A-E, of which A-C are passes.

Cambridge additionally has a collection of Common English exams for Younger Learners aged between 7 and 12 (YLE). There are three exams within the collection, Starters, Movers and Flyers. They’re taken primarily as a way of measuring progress, and likewise as preparation for the KET and PET. There is no such thing as a move or fail – college students are awarded as much as 5 “shields” for every element (studying and writing, listening, talking).

Different Common English exams

Cambridge additionally affords CELS (Certificates in English Language Abilities). These are particular person exams in every of the 4 abilities (studying, writing, listening, talking). College students can select which of the exams they need to take, in keeping with their strengths and necessities.

Pitman, a part of the British Metropolis and Guilds Group, is one other analyzing physique with a collection of Common English exams. The Worldwide ESOL covers listening, studying and writing, and the Worldwide Spoken ESOL is a one to 1 structured interview. Each have six ranges, from fundamental to superior.

Enterprise English

Yearly 4 and a half million individuals take the TOEIC (Take a look at of English for Worldwide Communication), run by the Instructional Testing Service (ETS). The TOEIC is a a number of selection examination in two sections, listening and studying, every scored out of 445, giving a complete of 990. Many corporations and authorities companies use TOEIC as a criterion for recruiting or selling employees, or for sending employees overseas. Some universities additionally use TOEIC, requiring their enterprise faculty college students to realize a specific rating previous to commencement, for instance.

Cambridge additionally has a collection of enterprise exams known as the BEC (Enterprise English Certificates). BEC is available in three ranges, Preliminary, Vantage and Increased. The sorts of examination job are much like these within the Cambridge Important Suite, however take a look at language potential in a enterprise context. They’re acknowledged by many employers worldwide, and college students take them to display language abilities required for worldwide enterprise. There are two move grades for BEC, Move with advantage and Move.

Different Enterprise English exams

Cambridge affords BULATS (The Enterprise Language Testing Service). BULATS is designed particularly for corporations and organizations to check the language potential of workers who want English of their work, and for college students and workers on language and enterprise programs.

Pitman has a three-level collection of exams known as English for Enterprise Communications, which checks enterprise writing potential, and English for Workplace Abilities, a two-level collection designed to check the power to hold out office-related duties the place accuracy in writing and following directions is necessary.

Educational English

A typical query from college students is “What’s the difference between TOEIC and TOEFL?” Effectively, each are run by ETS, however whereas TOEIC evaluates language abilities for the office, TOEFL evaluates language abilities in a tutorial context. It’s due to this fact used primarily as a prerequisite for admission to universities and faculties. Greater than 5000 faculties and universities in 90 international locations acknowledge the examination. Throughout 2005 and 2006, TOEFL is phasing in a brand new internet-based take a look at (iBT), which is able to substitute the present computer-based and paper-based exams. The iBT has 4 sections, studying, listening, talking and writing, every with a rating of 30, giving a complete rating of 120. That is more likely to trigger some confusion for some time, as most college students and universities are used to working with the paper-based whole of 677, or the computer-based whole of 300!

Cambridge additionally has a tutorial examination, the IELTS (Worldwide English Language Testing System), which they collectively handle with the British Council and IDP:IELTS Australia. IELTS is acknowledged by universities and faculties, in addition to employers, immigration authorities {and professional} our bodies. The examination has listening, studying, writing and talking elements. For the studying and writing, college students can select between a tutorial and a basic choice. IELTS is scored on a scale of 1-9.

Evaluating ranges

One of the vital frequent questions from college students is how exams within the completely different classes examine to one another. Is the FCE equal to one of many BEC exams? If I’ve the CAE, what TOEFL rating can I anticipate? Fortunately, now we have a reference information to assist us right here, known as the “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages” (CEF). The CEF divides language learners into six ranges, and allows us to match all of the ESL exams in keeping with these ranges.

The six ranges are A1 (Breakthrough), A2 (Waystage), B1 (Threshold), B2 (Vantage), C1 (Efficient Operational Proficiency), and C2 (Mastery).

Here is a fast comparability of exams on the completely different ranges. Keep in mind that this can be a basic information solely — college students’ scores in numerous exams will after all rely on many elements, equivalent to preparation time and motivation!

A1: YLE Movers, Pitman ESOL Primary, IELTS rating 1-2.

A2: KET, YLE Flyers, Pitman ESOL Elementary, TOEIC rating 246-380, TOEFL iBT rating 32-42, IELTS rating 3.

B1: PET, TOEIC rating 381-540, BEC Preliminary, TOEFL iBT rating 43-61, IELTS rating 3.5-4.5.

B2: FCE, Pitman ESOL Intermediate, TOEIC rating 541-700, BEC Vantage, TOEFL iBT rating 62-91, IELTS rating 5-6.

C1: CAE, Pitman ESOL Increased Intermediate, TOEIC rating 701-910, BEC Increased, TOEFL iBT rating 92-112, IELTS rating 6.5-7.

C2: CPE, Pitman ESOL Superior, TOEIC rating 911-990, TOEFL iBT rating 113-120, IELTS rating 7.5-9.

There may be after all rather more details about these exams on the Cambridge ESOL, TOEIC, TOEFL and Pitman web sites — you’ll find the hyperlinks at this ESL exams useful resource


Supply by Keith Taylor

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