|http://www.sina.com.cn 2003/03/06 18:15 剑桥大学考试委员会|
Here are answers to the ten most frequently asked questions about Cambridge ESOL exams. Please contact us at 86-10-62514012, if you have any other questions or if you would like more detailed answers.
Why get a Cambridge certificate?
Every year more than one million people take Cambridge examinations in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). They do this to gain an internationally recognised qualification which will validate their level of language ability and help them with their studies or their work. Cambridge exams are accepted by a great number of educational institutions and companies of all types.
With a Cambridge certificate you will strengthen your CV and be more confident in your ability to use English effectively-your language level will have been certified one of the famous and prestigious exam board in the world.
What different certificates are available?
The examinations exist at five levels of difficulty, from elementary to advanced, and these levels are exactly and fully defined by the Council of Europe in its Common European Framework of Reference for Languages which you can refer to here.You will find details of all our exams on this website.
You can sit exams in general English or Business English.
Tests are also available for general and business English.These are called IELTS (International English Language Testing System), designed for those intending to live, work or study in an English-speaking country, and BULATS (Business Language Testing Service), a business English test used by many companies and educational institutions. Please refer to the IELTS and BULATS pages for more details.
-做个快速测验,例如牛津大学出版社出版的QUICK PLACEMENT TEST(快速编班测试)。
How do I know which exam to take?
You must first decide your aim in getting a language qualification. Is it perhaps to go to university in an English-speaking country? Is it to get a better job? Is it just for your personal interest and satisfaction? Whatever your reason, we have a suitable exam or test for you. Look at the different exams on this website and choose the one that suits you best.
To find out which exam would be the most appropriate for your, you should:
- ask your teacher or trainer if you have one
- look at typical exam questions (available on this site) and see if they are too easy/too difficult/more or less right
- do a quick test, such as the Quick Placement Test produced by Oxford University Press
We don't know you or your language level and we cannot really advise you which exam is best!
With tests, on the other hand, you don't have to choose because every candidate does the same paper. The test tells you what level you are at!
Can anyone take them?
Yes, anyone can take them. We have tests and exams for young children at primary school, for middle-school students, for university students and working people. There is no age limit, upper or lower, except for Young Learners English Tests.
You can do an advanced exam withoutshavingstaken an elementary one.
Where can I take an exam?
There are 69 Centres in Chinaswheresyou can take our exams. You can find all the details here.You can phone, fax, send a letter and they will tell you the details.
Some centres organise sessions of the exam in schools, universities and companies if there are many candidates. You can ask the centre about this.
在中国KET, PET, FCE和YLE每年考试二次。
When can I take an exam?
Examinations have fixed dates. These are the same the world over. There are six possible dates a year when you can take KET, PET, FCE and BEC, five for FCE and two for CAE and CPE. In China, there are two sessions for BEC, KET, PET, FCE and CAE, and YLE.
You can find the exact dates and also the deadline date for enrolling here.
BULATS has no fixed dates. Schools or companies arrange a convenient date with the centre.
How much does it cost?
Every exam and test has a different price. So you need to contact the centre nearest you to find out the exact enrolment fee.
Currently the prices for BEC series are:
BEC Preliminary: 289.4 yuan
BEC Vantage: 372.6 yuan
BEC Higher: 488.9 yuan
Prices for LMS are:
KET 224.6 yuan
PET 271.2 yuan
FCE 432.4 yuan
Cambridge ESOL Examinations is not a commercial enterprise, but a purely educational body. We therefore do our best to limit the costs involved in obtaining a certificate. But of course there are costs attached to the administration of the exams, especially the oral tests, and some charges are inevitable.
What are the results like?
Every candidate gets a result slip which gives an exact grade gained and tells you if you have passed or failed. Later, successful candidates receive a fine certificate.
Your result will be detailed and you will be able to see which parts of the test you did best and which areas you might need to work on. For example, it might tell you that you have done very well in the oral but were rather weaker on the reading exercises.
All our exams give a result which is linked closely to the Common European Framework. This means that whichever exam you pass, you will be able to see which CEF level you have achieved, from A1 to C2. So, for example, if you have passed FCE you know you have reached CEF level B2. Detailed explanations of these CEF levels are available in printed form and on this website.
These CEF levels are increasingly used and accepted as the standard by governments, national education systems and companies.
Does it take a lot of preparation?
Certainly the tests and exams at lower levels do not require a lot of special preparation if you follow a course of study. The content of exams like Young Learners English, KET and PET reflects closely what happens in the language teaching environment and the content and style of many published materials.
The higher the level, however, the more need there is to do preparation. It would be rash to try an exam like BEC Higher withoutshavingsdone any preparation at all, even if your English is very good.
You may not be familiar with the format of a British examination, so it would be wise at the very least to attempt some practice tests before the day of the exam, even for a lower level exam.
Our research shows that a high proportion of candidates for our exams have done some kind of course of preparation.
There is no specific syllabus, however. You don't have to read any special books, for example.
For tests, rather than exams, we do not advise preparation. The idea of a test is to give a snapshot of your current level, not to reflect progress in a course of study. Here again, of course, you can always try some practice tests to familiarise yourself with the format.
Practice tests and exam support materials (books, cassettes and CD-ROMs) are available from good specialist bookshops. If you have any difficult in obtaining these from your bookshop, please contact the local publishers directly.
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