Which Exam Should you Take: IELTS or Cambridge?

Sep 30, 2016

When documentation is required to prove proficiency in the English language, many non-native English speakers are unsure which examination to take. The two most popular British tests are the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Cambridge English (CAE). Although there are some similarities between them, it is worthwhile taking a look at some of the key differences, to help you decide which one is right for you.

The basics

IELTS is taken by almost 2 million people every year. It assesses writing, reading, speaking, and listening. The CAE also tests these core abilities, and in addition, it has a paper on grammar.

Validity

The IELTS is valid for two years and the Cambridge result is unlimited for life. However, many employers are happy to accept an outdated IELTS score, especially if the person has remained in the UK and continued to master the language. With IELTS you receive a score from 4 to 8.9, while Cambridge is a pass or fail and you need 60% to get a pass. This is equivalent to a 7 on IELTS. University entrance demands a minimum score of 6 on IELTS. It depends on the degree and the institution, as some degrees need a score of 7.5. Generally, IELTS is required and recognised for university admissions.

The exams

The Cambridge exam lasts for five hours and the IELTS for three. This is quite a difference to take into account for those who have trouble in concentrating for long periods. Both have a section for speaking. In CAE, this discussion is between yourself and another student, and in IELTS it takes place with the examiner. The writing part of IELTS is one hour, and in Cambridge an hour and half. The other difference is that the subject matter to write about is fixed in IELTS, where in Cambridge you get a choice.

Frequency of testing

If you are in a hurry, the IELTS runs exams every two weeks, with a faster turnaround on results. The Cambridge exams are held every six weeks and it can take a further eight weeks for the results to come back.

Coursework

The IELTS course is focused on the academic outcome, and is narrower in its scope. The CAE could be said to be "more fun" in that it has a broader ambition to lift and improve the general level of English and takes in more subjects. Topics can include literature, love, finding a job, and owning a pet.

To conclude, for overall fluency in and command of the English language, the Cambridge test is more likely to lead to an overall improvement. The IELTS is much more exam-focused but it is a better test to take if you are planning on applying to university. It is worthwhile weighing up all of these above criteria to see which one best fits your circumstances.



Tags:
Category:

Add Pingback

Please add a comment

You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »

Category List


Tag List

grammar tips (1)
Attractions in London (1)
Reading in English (1)
english course london (12)
free english grammar (2)
Field day (1)
past modal verbs (1)
grammar (1)
Fun (1)
IELTS (2)
Sport Journalism Course (1)
English grammar (4)
World Naked Bike Ride (1)
Basic English mistakes (1)
Journalism Course London (1)
Hello from Ally (1)
Places to see in London (4)
english review (1)
Adjective (2)
New vocabulary (4)
defining relative clauses (1)
Recording vocabulary (3)
english grammar help (1)
english grammar tips (1)
Journalism evening course London (1)
study english (1)
Victoria park (1)
CAE (3)
london events (1)
student study tips (1)
Peaceful London (2)
Cool as a cucumber (1)
English tips (4)
writing a mini saga (1)
London (5)
Social programme (1)
Things to do in London (6)
Beautiful London (8)
Journalism classes London (1)
Journalism Masterclass (1)
ICE (5)
Francais (2)
Tourist tips (5)
Learn english online (12)
english school online (1)
exams (1)
Islington Centre for English (6)
Students (2)
study tips (9)
Learning tips (10)
Cycling (1)
writing a mini-saga (1)
reading tips (1)
making predictions (1)
Idiom (3)
study english onlline (1)
Tweed (1)
saga (1)
Barney Ronay (1)
future tenses english (1)
english as a foreign language (3)
pronuciation (3)
Covent Garden (1)
Winter in London (6)
Somewhere to go London (3)
London Summer (7)
Relaxing London (4)
Where to visit London (3)
Events in London (1)
Somewhere to visit London (1)
Christmas in London (3)
London markets (4)
mini-saga (1)
english study tips (1)
spelling (1)
London Marathon (1)
Cambridge Exam Preparation (1)
Business English (1)
Somewhere to visit (9)
New language (7)
Polite questions (1)
Vocabulary (11)
FCE (4)
music festival London (1)
Things to see in London (4)
english school (2)
Shopping in London (4)
narrative voice (2)
the people's tower (1)
Journalist Course London (1)
Improve your vocabulary (5)
things to do london (1)
Learn English (15)
ILEC (1)
past modals (1)
english school london (12)
English food (3)
Halloween (2)
Vocabulary notebook (8)
Listening in English (2)
Insider info London (14)
music festivals uk (1)
English (1)
silent disco (1)
english grammar online (1)
Historic moment (1)
New blog (1)
future tenses efl (1)
English vocabulary (3)
Free english lessons (10)
english courses london (1)
efl (4)
the shard (1)

Tag Cloud

Studentsenglish as a foreign languageReading in EnglishSocial programmeThings to do in Londonwriting a mini sagagrammar tipsNew languageHalloweenfuture tenses eflenglish grammar helpfree english grammarEnglishmusic festivals ukTweedeflBusiness EnglishVocabulary notebookexamsFCEpronuciationThings to see in Londonpast modalsnarrative voiceLondon MarathonSport Journalism CourseBeautiful LondonJournalist Course Londonlondon eventsenglish school onlinepast modal verbsEnglish grammarCyclingmini-sagaIslington Centre for EnglishILECEnglish tipsSomewhere to visit Londonstudy englishstudent study tipsSomewhere to go LondonPolite questionsenglish study tipsmusic festival LondonPlaces to see in LondonIdiomLondonLearn english onlineRelaxing LondonBarney RonayInsider info Londonreading tipsstudy tipsJournalism evening course Londondefining relative clausesCambridge Exam PreparationFree english lessonsBasic English mistakeswriting a mini-sagaJournalism classes LondonAdjectiveChristmas in Londonthe shardJournalism MasterclassLondon Summermaking predictionsNew vocabularyField dayFrancaisJournalism Course Londonthe people's towerenglish school londonICEgrammarEnglish foodRecording vocabularyImprove your vocabularythings to do londonVocabularyIELTSWinter in LondonFunWhere to visit LondonCAEenglish grammar onlineHistoric momentTourist tipsLearn EnglishHello from Allyenglish course londonCovent GardenWorld Naked Bike RideLondon marketsspellingstudy english onllineListening in EnglishsagaNew blogenglish courses londonfuture tenses englishShopping in Londonenglish schoolCool as a cucumberenglish reviewLearning tipsEvents in LondonPeaceful LondonAttractions in Londonenglish grammar tipsVictoria parkSomewhere to visitsilent discoEnglish vocabulary


Archive

We use cookies to enable essential services and functionality on our site and to collect data on how visitors interact with our site, products and services. By clicking accept, you agree to our use of these tools for advertising, analytics and support.