These days it’s increasingly important to prove your English level by passing an exam, but there is a confusing range of options from IELTS to BULATS to TOEIC and many more. While the exam you should take depends on your exact situation and needs, the are many good reasons why the Cambridge First certificate (FCE) is an excellent choice.
The FCE is a B2 level qualification that tests your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, as well as your understanding of English grammar and vocabulary. You can find more information about the format of the exam here.
However, to understand the range of benefits of taking this test, keep reading below!
The Cambridge First certificate is accepted by more than 20,000 organisations around the world, including universities, governments and corporations such as Sony, Bayer and American express. This means it is an excellent choice if you are looking to take an English exam without knowing exactly where you are going to study or work – you can be confident that wherever your future takes you, you will be able to prove your English level.
Work or study abroad
In a globalised world, more and more people are choosing to live, work and study in another country. English is of course the international language and the process of moving abroad is so much easier if you are able to demonstrate your grasp of the language. The Cambridge Frist certificate opens many doors, whether you wish to study in the United States or work in an international company in Hong Kong.
Boost your job profile
Many employers now set a minimum level of English for potential interview candidates and the Cambridge First certificate is increasingly popular as the benchmark. Even if you are applying for a position which doesn’t require communicating with international clients, having the FCE on your CV or resume can make you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of being offered an interview and getting your dream job.
The FCE is for life!
Unlike IELTS, TOEFL and other exams, there is no expiry date with the Cambridge First certificate. This means you only have to take the test once and can continue to use your certificate for a long time, which is important because taking these tests can be expensive and it is also time-consuming to have to prepare. The FCE is more cost-effective and convenient than many other similar exams.
Gain a deeper understanding of English
The Cambridge First certificate is different from comparable exams in that it contains a section called Use of English, which directly tests your knowledge of the structures of the English language. Whereas IELTS, for example, only tests your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, the FCE demands that you have a deep understanding of vocabulary and grammar. The benefit of this is that an FCE preparation course helps you improve your English in a more complete way than other exam preparation courses, which tend to focus on just passing the exam in question. Try out the Use of English section here.
Stepping stone to becoming bilingual
The Cambridge exams are different from tests like IELTS and TOEFL in that they have different levels, from KET (A2) to CPE (C2). If you are looking to take the Cambridge Advanced but are not yet at the right level of English, taking the FCE is an excellent stepping stone, which can help improve your English and boost your confidence. And why not continue all the way to the Cambridge Proficiency exam, showing your complete mastery of the English language?
It’s easy to find a centre and book your exam
There are over 2,800 exam centres in more than 130 countries where you can sit the Cambridge First certificate. The exams are held at least once a month and so it is always easy to book and take your test. The exam is standardised throughout the world, so it doesn’t matter where you are or what the date is – you can literally take it anytime, anywhere!
Show off to your friends
Finally, doesn’t everyone like to boast about their skills? Passing the FCE shows that you have a good level of English and you can prove your skills to your friends and family with an official certificate from Cambridge University. They won’t fail to be impressed!
So what are you waiting for? Find a school to help you prepare for your Cambridge First certificate, book an exam date and see where it takes you!