IELTS vs Cambridge Exams (FCE, CAE, CPE)
Which Exam is Right for You?
You can’t go wrong with either of these exams. Both Cambridge exams and IELTS are world renowned and respected. Most importantly, they are both accepted internationally. Surprisingly, they are both made by Cambridge. So, how do you decide which one is right for you?
One Exam To Rule Them All. Or would you rather three?
One big advantage of IELTS is that only one exam exists. There is no guess work needed here. The IELTS exam suits all people with all levels of English.
The Cambridge exams are different. There are three of them:
– First Certificate of English (FCE)
– Cambridge English Advanced (CAE)
– Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)
Each Cambridge test relates do a different English level, so you need to have an idea of your level of English before you choose your Cambridge exam.
Sink or Swim
It is impossible to fail the IELTS exam. There is no passing, no failing,… only scores. It is quite zen this way. It might even relieve a bit of the pressure if you know that you are guaranteed to have a certificate a the end of the experience. However, your work, academic institution, or immigration office will have their own minimum score requirement.
The Cambridge exams are pass or fail, sink or swim. Scoring more than 60% will give you a certificate. Anything less leaves you with only memories. Sigh.
A Change of Scenery
Planning on moving to another country? If you need the exam for immigration purposes, IELTS is the exam you need. Be sure to check with the immigration office’s specific test and score requirements first.
Some things are built to last. For example, the Cambridge exams last forever and ever and ever. That’s right, you can go into a job interview 20 years later and say that you have a valid Cambridge certificate! However, every job may have different requirements.
The IELTS exam results are only valid for 2 years.
Three’s a Crowd
The IELTS speaking exam is pretty straight forward. There’s just you and your examiner. The Cambridge exams are different. There are 3 of you in the speaking exam: You, the examiner, and another test taker. You will spend most of the time talking to the other student. As you can imagine, you might need different strategies in this situation.
Both exams are excellent and internationally recognised and accepted. Both are good choices that will offer you the opportunity to focus your English learning efforts and measure your progress. Take your time in making your decision and be sure to research the specific requirements of the institution you are applying to.