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Exam/Test Preparation

Whether you are learning English at a basic level, improving your skills at an intermediate level or sharpening your proficiency at an advanced level, I can help you prepare for whichever test you are studying for, be it for academic, professional or immigration purposes.

Students Taking Exams

Click Play to watch a  Reading Comprehension Online Lesson with an Italian student preparing for an exam at C1 (advanced) level.

The Three Most Important

Cambridge English Assessment, IELTS & TOEFL

The information below will help you to decide which test is best for you. The ones covered below are by far the most widely recognised worldwide by academic institutions and employers. Cambridge Assessment and IELTS are directly linked to the CEFR levels and TOEFL can also be correlated to the CEFR. That is not to dismiss any other test you may be considering, but it is advisable to ensure that their system of marking is recognised globally and is fit for purpose. Can it be linked to CEFR levels?

Our lessons together will be geared towards the particular test requirements using material (practice tests from the institution where possible) to help you achieve the level you need to pass the test.

Cambridge  qualifications 

provide a path to improving language skills. Each qualification focuses on a level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR),  to which it contributed the development.

Their official website states:

"Cambridge English Qualifications are in-depth exams that make learning English enjoyable, effective and rewarding.

Our qualifications are based on research into effective teaching and learning. They motivate people of all ages and abilities to learn English and develop practical skills for the real world. Each exam focuses on a level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), helping learners to improve their speaking, writing, reading and listening skills step by step.

Whatever your goals or ambitions, Cambridge English Qualifications are a mark of excellence, accepted and trusted by thousands of organisations worldwide."

The Cambridge English exams are different to the IELTS and TOEFL test. They are traditional ‘pass or fail’ exams whereas the others give you an English score on a graded scale.

But, once passed, you've passed for a lifetime, unlike IELTS and TOEFL which provide you with a grade for24 months before you have to take the test again.

The page on 'What s you Level of English?'  gives you information about the levels, but here they are again presented in a different format:

  • PET – Cambridge English: Preliminary
    The lowest level recognised by employers and other organisations..l. This proves you have enough English to communicate and talk about simple things.

  • FCE – Cambridge English: First
    Strong intermediate students can take this test. This proves your English is good enough to live in an English-speaking country and that you can communicate relatively fluently.

  • CAE – Cambridge English: Advanced
    Strong advanced students can take this test. You’ll need excellent written and spoken English to pass.

  • CPE – Cambridge English: Proficiency
    For students wanting to prove their level is similar to that of a native speaker of English. This is a really tough test and it’s a great achievement to pass it.

IELTS  is an international standardized test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English. ELTS is one of the major English-language tests in the world.

There are two IELTS tests available – IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. The test you choose should be based on what it is you want to do.

IELTS Academic measures whether your level of English language proficiency is suitable for an academic environment. It reflects aspects of academic language and evaluates whether you’re ready to begin training or studying.

Take this test if you want to: 

study at an undergraduate level or postgraduate level anywhere in the world.

IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and tests reflect both workplace and social situations.

Take this test if you would like to:

study or train below degree level

work or undertake work-related training in an English-speaking country or 

emigrate to an English-speaking country.

Unlike Cambridge Assessment, which is a pass or fail exam at different levels,  IELTS and OEFL are tests that assess the student's ability at a particular time. There is no pass or fail, but a grade given on a scale. The points on the scale can be matched to the CEFR.

The grade is valid for 24 months

Matching the IETLS scores to CEFR  levels is a little complex. I showed a guide on the "What's your level of English?" page. If you'd like to look in more depth, the following link may be useful:


TOEFL is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enrol in English-speaking universities. The test is accepted by more than 11,000 universities and other institutions in over 150 countries. TOEFL is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being the IELT.

TOEFL is a trademark of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a private non-profit organization, which designs and administers the tests. ETS issues official score reports which are sent independently to institutions and are valid for two years following the test.

Internet-based test (iBT): 2 hours 47 minutes to 3 hours 23 minutes (excluding 10-minute break in-between).
Paper-delivered test: 2 hours 25 minutes.

TOEFL is American based and uses American English. That should not be a problem as it's not difficult to switch to American spelling, Just something you need to be aware of if you are used to British English.

The validity of the test, like IELTS is 24 months.

Business English Exams

Cambridge English has three levels of  Business English Exams:   Business Preliminary, Business Vantage and Business Higher.

They correspond to the Common European Framework of Reference Levels (CEFR), b1, B2 and A1. 

Please see the next page 'Business English' for details of the exam and how I can help you.

Cambridge English Assessment also has exams for young children primary school and lower secondary age  called:
Starters, Movers and Flyers
They are described in the video below .

I have experience coaching children for all three of these exams in Turkey and Italy as well as working as a Teacher Trainer/Mentor in primary schools in Malaysia.

I would be happy to provide online lessons for your child or children.

Please get in touch to discuus.
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