Organization Profile: Cambridge Assessment

The words Cambridge Assessment are almost synonymous with Business English Certificates and for good reason: the not-profit organization has been part the effort to offer high-quality English language certification for nearly a century. Originally founded in 1858 as a non-teaching department of the world-famous university that bears its name, Cambridge Assessment grew out of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) but it today better known by its brand name, Cambridge Assessment.

Then established to administer general educational standards examinations for individuals or groups who were not members of the University but interested in its rigorous certification process, Cambridge Assessment offered its first English as a Second Language exam – Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) – in 1913. In century since, Cambridge Assessment’s ESOL division (Cambridge ESOL) has grown by leaps and bounds. Its second assessment, Cambridge English: First (FCE) was released in 1939 and its third, Cambridge English: Preliminary (PET), in 1980.

As European integration intensified, the need for a common framework with which to measure English ability likewise grew and by the late 1980s Cambridge ESOL was involved in the establishment of what would become the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. These revised level descriptions called for a revision of the PET by the close of the decade and gave impetus to the establishment of a variety of “stepping stone” English proficiency exams by the early 1990s. These exams – the BEC, KET, PET, FCE, CAE and CPE –  offer general English, academic English, and business English certificates that are now taken by more than a million English learners in more than 135 countries every year. Cambridge ESOL also offers training for Teachers of English as a Second Language through its renowned CELTA certification program.

Today, Cambridge Assessment exams are available at schools and testing centers around the world and in some instances can even be taken remotely, continuing and expanding on the mission it established nearly a century ago.

6 responses to “Organization Profile: Cambridge Assessment”

  1. hi
    i would like to attend the cambridge for study i want to know the procedures to attend cambridge.

    thanks a lots

  2. Hi Cissye!

    Thanks for your response. To attend Cambridge, you first need to be accepted! Many schools, like Cambridge, require that you can demonstrate that you are able to understand English if it is not your first language. Specifically, Cambridge requires the minimum English requirements:

    IELTS – normally a minimum overall grade of 7.0, usually with 7.0 in each element

    EU students – a high grade in English taken as part of a leaving examination (eg the European/French Baccalaureate, Abitur etc) may be acceptable

    GCSE in English Language / IGCSE English Language (as a first language) – grade C or above

    Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English – grade A

    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English – grade A or B

  3. hi
    i want to learn english language in vienna but i dont find any institue with low cost. Beucase i am student and i dont able to high cost. please guide me.

  4. I have had a number of students who have taken Cambridge exams, in particular the exams for the Business English Certificates (BEC). I must say that it is wonderful how language learners around the world can be tested in their home countries. The certificates motivate learners to learn and successful results lead to better employment opportunities. The Common European Framework is also extremely helpful in assessing learners’ abilities, forming learning groups, creating job profiles etc…

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