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6 Reasons Why You Should Take a Cambridge Exam

Posted by IH Aberdeen on 26th February 2016
6 Reasons Why You Should Take a Cambridge Exam

If you are studying English, you have probably heard of Cambridge ESOL exams for every English level – KET, PET, FCE, CAE, CPE.  But have you thought about doing a Cambridge Exam yourself? There are lots of reasons why doing a Cambridge Exam could help you in your life, studies or career.

Here we list 6 reasons!

1. Internationally Recognised

Cambridge Exams are established and prestigious exams certified by University of Cambridge and recognised all around the world.

Cambridge Exams can be taken at 2,800 authorised exam centres worldwide in 130 countries and there are more than 52,000 registered preparation centres - including IH Aberdeen!

2. Improve your real-life English skills

By preparing for a Cambridge Exam, you will develop communication skills which you can use for everyday life, work and study.

Cambridge Exams FCE, CAE & CPE focus on general English and are fun to prepare for. Unlike IELTS, the exams do not just cover academic English but are designed to test the English you will read, write, hear and speak in real life situations.

3. Set goals and increase your motivation

When you get to a higher level of English – at least good Upper Intermediate (B2) - you have the English skills to communicate with most people, deal with most situations and do most things you need to do on a daily basis. The challenge you have is to push yourself further.

Preparing for Cambridge FCE, CAE or CPE will help you set goals and give you the motivation you need to take your English to the next level!

4. Stand out from the crowd

Today’s job market is very international but it's also very competitive. Many other international candidates have great English… but how many can prove it? A Cambridge exam allows you to get that advantage.

A Cambridge qualification on your CV not only shows that you have that level on English officially - it also shows an employer that you are willing to dedicate time to improving your English and your professional skills.

5. Cambridge exams are recognised by universities

IELTS is by the most popular exam for students who want to enter university. But did you know the Cambridge CAE and CPE are recognised by universities too?

In fact, 99% of the world’s top 100 universities recognise the Cambridge CAE and CPE for university study.

6. Valid forever

Unlike other exam, such as IELTS, the Cambridge Exams have no expiry date. So when you take a Cambridge exam, the result is valid forever. Please note that if you are taking the Cambridge Exam for university entry, some institutions may only accept a result up to 2 or 3 years after the exam was taken. Please check with the institution to which you are applying.

So, why take a Cambridge Exam? There are so many reasons! To find out more about taking a Cambridge Exam at IH Aberdeen, contact us. Or visit our webpage here, for dates and prices

Let's hear from IH Aberdeen's Cambridge exam candidates, to find out how the exam has helped them:

Maud, Switzerland - FCE

Why did you decide to do the Cambridge FCE?

I decided to take the FCE for several reasons. For me it was a small project that I had during my stay in Aberdeen. Doing an English course is a good thing, but I also wanted to have "proof" of my improvement. My parents helped me realise my trip to Scotland and I wanted to show them that even if I had fun, I also worked on my language skills.

How do you think the Cambridge FCE will help you in the future?

My certificate is now on my CV and I think it's a plus. And as I'm studying to become a midwife, it will always be good to have this kind of certificate if I want to work in another country for a period.

What’s best thing about the Cambridge FCE preparation course at IH Aberdeen?

I personally had a great course. It was a very small class so we had the possibility to focus on our difficulties. The FCE programme was great. I was really well-prepared to what was expected from me. On the exam day, I didn’t feel lost - it was exactly what I had been training for.


Tamara, Spain - CAE

Why did you decide to do the Cambridge CAE exam?

I have been living and working in the UK for 3 years and I am returning to Spain. I wanted a qualification to prove my English level from my time in the UK, to show all the English I learned living here! Plus the CAE is valid forever.

What do you think is the benefit of taking the CAE exam?

In general, I like that the CAE can be used for so many reasons – for work or for academic purposes. It’s really good to have CAE on your CV. For me personally, it really helped me see what I need to improve in my English. When I was preparing for the exam I was really aware of the mistakes I was making and I picked up new phrases and words every day from what I heard around me!

What’s your advice for somebody who wants to take the CAE?

It is very important to focus on the exam techniques and I think it’s really worth doing a CAE preparation course before the exam.  A teacher will give you feedback on your writing and speaking skills and at home I would advise students to do lots of old, practice exam papers.

In the exam, I found it difficult to finish the “Reading and Use of English“ paper on time. I realised that I was running out of time, I stress myself a lot and this made me lose even more time! Don’t underestimate the stress factor.

But I am really happy with my result – I think if you are prepared you will be fine!


Judith, Hungary - CPE

Why did you decide to do the Cambridge CPE?

I chose Cambridge CPE because it has one practical advantage compared to IELTS: it doesn't have to be repeated after two years.

But this was not the only reason!  I first decided to improve my English to CPE level when I was in London as an au-pair 14 years ago. I did a language course which prepared me for Cambridge Exams. Time has slipped by - I was busy with my career and family in Hungary!  But taking the CPE became one of my obsessions! As Cambridge exams are accepted in the same way as IELTS, I never changed my mind.

How do you think the Cambridge CPE will help you in the future?

I wanted to do the CPE because I feel as a clinical psychologist I have to be confident with the language if I want to continue my career here in the UK. I must be able to use English to a proficiency level. And even now I won’t stop boosting my vocabulary and keep improving my sensitivity for the subtly of English. 


Thomas, Poland - CPE

Why did you decide to do the Cambridge CPE?

I did the CPE for my own self-esteem. I run a successful small business in the Highlands. I have to deal with customers and staff on a daily basis and they all reckon my English is very good. But I would really like to improve it. It was a test for me to  identify the areas of the language I need to improve.

How do you think the Exam will help you in the future?

It is a recognition, particularly in a vocational field. To me, however, it is a lot more personal and I hope to be able to use my certificate at some point in the future as I am planning to apply for British Citizenship. Whether this certificate will help or not I am not quite sure. I am certain though, that the level of English I speak will help me to achieve this.*

What do you think are the benefits of taking the CPE?

The CPE gives recognition, improves self-esteem and helps an individual to progress in their work life.

It stays with an individual for a lifetime and can be used all over the world. I think one of the best benefits is that this exam and the certificate is recognisable worldwide.

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Find out more about taking a Cambridge Exam at IH Aberdeen:  Contact us or visit our page here, for Cambridge Exam courses, exam dates and prices. 

*Please note: Cambridge exams are not currently recognised by the UKVI for immigration or citizenship purposes. For more information on exams that are recognised for these purposes, please visit the UK Immigration site