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General English

There are five levels for you to take ranging from beginner to proficiency:

Cambridge English: Key (KET)

The first step for students wishing to progress towards the higher levels. KET is an early learning objective, which enables people to acquire a general basic ability in English. It can be achieved after approximately 180-200 hours of study and is linked to the Council of Europe A2 language level.

There is also a KET for Schools version of this exam available for candidates. KET for Schools follows exactly the same format as KET, and the level of the question papers is identical. The only difference is that the content and treatment of topics in Cambridge English: Key for Schools have been particularly targeted at the interests and experience of school pupils.

When registering, pay special attention to the fact that the exam dates for KET and KET for Schools are not the same.

Cambridge English: Preliminary (PET)

Tests communicative competence in each of the four language skills at a level approximately two thirds of the way to the FCE. At this level, a learner should be able to cope linguistically in a range of everyday situations, which require use of English in their own or foreign country in contact with native and non-native speakers of the language. It is linked to the Council of Europe B1 language level and it takes about 380 hours of study to reach it.

From 2011 there is also a “for Schools” version of the PET exam. PET for Schools follows exactly the same format as PET, and the level of the question papers is identical. The only difference is that the content and treatment of topics in PET for Schools have been particularly targeted at the interests and experience of school pupils.

When registering, pay special attention to the fact that the exam dates for PET and PET for Schools are not the same.

Cambridge English: First (FCE)

The most widely taken of all the Cambridge English exams. It is an upper-intermediate level examination requiring knowledge of all the language skills. FCE has widespread recognition in commerce and industry, e. g. for public contact or secretarial work in banking, airlines, catering, etc., and in individual university faculties, polytechnics and other institutions. This exam is often taken after approx. 500 to 600 hours of study and is linked to the Council of Europe B2 language level.

From 2011 there is also a “for Schools” version of the FCE exam . FCE for Schools follows exactly the same format as FCE, and the level of the question papers is identical. The only difference is that the content and treatment of topics in FCE for Schools have been particularly targeted at the interests and experience of school pupils.

When registering, pay special attention to the fact that the exam dates for FCE and FCE for Schools are not the same.

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)

Indicates a high level of competence in English for learners who are reaching a standard of English that is adequate for most purposes, including business and study. It is recognised by the majority of British universities as proof of adequate language skills for courses taught and assessed in English. It is linked to the Council of Europe C1 language level and it takes about 750-800 hours of study to prepare for it.

Certificate English Proficiency: (CPE)

The longest established and highest language qualification in this series. It indicates a level of competence and is recognised by institutions of higher education in many countries, including almost all universities in the United Kingdom. Employers throughout the world also recognise CPE. It is linked to the Council of Europe C2 language level and it takes about 950-1050 hours of study to prepare for it.

Business English

If you are serious about succeeding in today’s global business environment, a business exam will help you get results.

Cambridge English: Business Preliminary (BEC Preliminary)

Take the first step in the world of business by taking this examination. Business English Certificate Preliminary is a pre-intermediate-level, at Level B1 and it tests four language skills.

Cambridge English: Business Vantage (BEC Vantage)

Improve your knowledge of business English further more by taking this examination. Business English Certificate Vantage is an intermediate-level Cambridge ESOL exam, at Level B2 and it tests four language skills.

Cambridge English: Business Higher (BEC Higher)

If you want to feel confident in using English in every business situation, than this examination is for you. Business English Certificate Higher is an advanced-level exam, at Level C1 and it tests four language skills.

Cambridge English: Legal (ILEC)

If you are a law student or a practicing lawyer who is seeking employment in an international legal setting, then this new examination is just for you.

Cambridge English: Business Financial

If you are studying finance or accounting or you are actively seeking employment in a finance context, this Certificate in Financial English can really make a difference.

English for kids

The Cambridge Young Learner English (YLE) tests have been specifically developed to assess young learners (from seven to twelve) They help develop English and reinforce language learning through a series of carefully chosen tasks using latest teaching methods to encourage learning.

Cambridge English: Starters

If your child is between 7 and 9 years of age and already had some English lessons then the Starters test is the right way to embark in the learning of English!

Cambridge English: Movers

The Movers test is for children between 9 and 10 years of age who are already having English classes in primary or private language school.

Cambridge English: Flyers

If your child is between 10 and 12 years of age, loves English and wants to learn even more, then the Flyers tests will boost up her or his motivation for the future learning. Registration for Young Learners examinations are only possible through the schools which run preparation courses.

Teaching qualifications

Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT)

Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) is a test that focuses on the teaching knowledge needed by teachers of primary, secondary or adult learners of English, anywhere in the world. It can increase your confidence and enhance your job prospects.

Recognition

Locally available, internationally recognised

  • The Cambridge English exams include a wide range of certificates and diplomas, designed to meet the needs of learners at every level. They are amongst the world best-known qualifications for learners of English.
  • The Cambridge English examinations are recognised by thousands of companies, academic institutions, universities & colleges, professional bodies and ministry & government bodies throughout the world. They help you get to higher education, improve job prospects and enable you to consider a variety of job opportunities. They can open doors to higher education, improve job prospects and, because the qualifications are so well-known globally, increase mobility.

Search The Recognition Database

You can search the Cambridge English recognition database for up-to-date lists of organisations which officially accept or use these exams.

Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

The CEFR describes language ability on a scale of levels from A1 for beginners up to C2 for those who have mastered a language. This makes it easy for anyone involved in language teaching and testing (learners, teachers, teacher trainers, etc.) to see the level of different qualifications. It also means that employers and educational institutions can easily compare qualifications and see how they relate to exams they already know in their own country.

To find out more about the levels please click here.

Why take Cambridge Engish exams with British Council?

Over 2 million people took exams with the British Council last year and:

  • We have over 75 years’ experience in English language teaching and assessment and can help you reach your goals. We connect people worldwide with learning opportunities and creative ideas from the UK. Wherever you are, whatever your plans, we are here to help.
  • We are an international charity committed to developing a wider knowledge of the English language. Our English teaching and exams help people around the world improve their education and career prospects.
  • Teacher development programs for new and experienced English language teachers
  • British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community.
  • British Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all its staff, volunteers and partners to share this commitment. We operate a Child Protection Policy and appointments are contingent on thorough checks and the provision of CRB Enhanced Disclosure (or local equivalent).

Benefits of taking Cambridge English with the British Council

Take Cambridge English with the British Council and you can expect:

  • Unrivalled availability on Cambridge English test days
  • Test centres in over 100 countries providing the same high standards wherever you take your test
  • Friendly, helpful and highly professional staff
  • First class courses and resources
  • Expert advice on how to prepare for the test
  • Scholarship opportunities
  • Choice of Computer based and pen and paper based Cambridge English exams options
  • Flexible payment options and fees in local currencies

What can we do for you?

  • A wide range of English language preparation materials online
  • Special arrangements for candidates with special needs organised by our experienced test centre staff

Take your first steps to success. Sit your English exam with the British Council.

Contact us

For more information about exams please email us, call our info line (90) 212 355 56 57 (10.00-13.00 — 14.00-17.00) or You can always visit Cambridge English website for more information about these exams.