Which exam should I take? IELTS or CAE

Which exam should I take? IELTS or CAE

Learning the English language is an accomplishment in itself but knowing which test you should take can make or break your proof of achievement according to who requires the test. For example, if you’re applying for University in the UK, the IELTS (or International English Language Testing System) is often the required exam. If you’re looking for work, they can either ask for a CAE or the IELTS. If you are unsure of which one is required, get in contact with the Human Resources department of that company or the admissions team for clarification.

What are the two different tests?

The first test is called the IELTS (International English Language testing system):IELTS exam logo

– Internationally recognised (e.g. UK, US, Canada, Australia and more)
– Commonly required for work and education.
– This exam tests the main skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening)
– It takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete.
– Not easier or harder than CAE, they’re just different.
– It’s more academic.
– The Speaking is done on a 1 to 1 basis and recorded.
– It is impossible to fail. The results can range from 4.0 to 8.9. (A 6.0 is often required for University-level study)

Read more about IELTS here.

The second test is called the CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced):

CAE exam logo

– Internationally recognised (e.g. UK, US, Canada, Australia and more)
– Commonly required for work.
– This exam tests the same skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) but with the added ‘grammar’ part too.
– It takes about 4 hours to complete.
– You need a 60% to pass (or IELTS 7.0 equivalent grade)
– The writing section is longer, but you do have more time.
– The topics for this test are broader than IELTS because it is less academic.
– The speaking test is very different because you must collaborate with a partner to imitate a more natural discussion. This is what is tested.

Read more about CAE here.

Why are these exams important? Do I need to complete one?

Yes! These exams are particularly important for those who require them. They tell countries/ companies/ universities what your level of English fluency is which can impact your success. As these exams are often internationally recognised, which exam you need is solely down to which company you are planning to work for, the university/ college you plan to study at and other varying factors.

Whether you know the language fluently, carrying a ‘pass’ for one of these exams is often an essential piece to moving over to an English-speaking country. Therefore, it is important that you check if and which exam you should take!

Would you like to know more about the IELTs and CAEs? Book lessons with one of our lovely tutors here.