Why choose the Cambridge Exams?
Hi. My name is James and I’ve been teaching at Rose of York for nearly two years. In that time, I’ve had the opportunity to teach the Cambridge Exams to many students. In this blog I’m going to explain why you should choose to do these exams.
The FCE (now known as the Cambridge First) and the CAE (now known as the Cambridge Advanced) have some interesting and practical uses in the real world. Firstly, the speaking test. I’m sure that, in your previous studies, your speaking tests have been done with you and a teacher in a room, right? But what these tests ask you to do is to have a conversation with a partner, and reach various conclusions with them. This is a far more natural use of the language – and of course, the teacher tells you how this should be done. This means that you will learn tactics and vocabulary for politely interrupting, agreeing and disagreeing, and summing up. You can then use these new skills in your everyday life, and be much more natural when you are having a conversation in English.
The writing test also tests your ability to write a range of different styles. Unlike some writing tests, in which you are expected to produce only an essay, the Cambridge exams ask you to write reviews, reports, formal and informal emails, as well as the obligatory essay. This again tests your ability to write in several different styles, which will certainly help you in the real world, especially with your teacher telling you how to write, and things to avoid.
Targeted at your level
One of my favourite aspects of the Cambridge suite as a teacher is that the test is targeted at your level and only your level. Unlike some other exams, which can be taken by anyone (and therefore have questions which will be too easy or too difficult for you), the Cambridge exams focus on one level. This means that you should find the test challenging, but not too difficult. It also means that, in class, you are not focussing on things which you find too easy (imagine studying the present simple in an Advanced class!) or too difficult. This means that everything you are doing in class is relevant to your needs, and will help you to improve quicker.
“But James!”, I hear you shout. “The Cambridge exams are soooo expensive and no-one accepts them anymore!” Firstly, I will accept that the Cambridge exams are more expensive than some others, and slightly less frequent. However, the big advantage of a Cambridge exam is that they do not expire. That’s right. If you pass a Cambridge exam, it means you have that level for life, unlike other exams which often expire after two or three years. It is also incorrect to say that no-one accepts Cambridge exams – most UK universities require a CAE to enrol, which is roughly the same level as their requirements for students with an IELTS. So which would you prefer – a qualification for life, or one that expires quickly so you have to pay to do another one?
I truly believe that the Cambridge exams are the best that students can do. They offer practical life skills, targeted classes for faster improvement, and qualifications which last a lifetime. So what are you waiting for? Sign up today!