How to prepare for the Cambridge Business English Certificate better than anyone else

teaching about business English certificates

What is the Cambridge Business English Certificate (BEC)?

Cambridge Business English Certificates (BEC) are internationally recognised qualifications. They prove you have the skills and understanding of the language used in a worldwide business setting. If you are hoping for a career in the business sector, this is the best English Language exam to boost your employability. The exams are based on real business situations, so you will gain the confidence you need to conduct business in English.

There are three levels to the BEC Certificate, Business Preliminary, Business Vantage, and Business Higher. You will be tested on your skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking in English.For more information on what each exam will require have a look at their web page which will answer questions about what each exam will consist of.

Business Preliminary
Language level B1 (Pre-Intermediate/Intermediate)
Number of papers 3
Exam length Approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes
Business Vantage
Language level B2 (Intermediate/Upper-Intermediate)
Number of papers 4
Exam length Approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes
Business Higher
Language level C1 (Upper-intermediate/Advanced)
Number of papers 4
Exam length Approximately 3 hours

Click here to see or download a guide which contains all the information you will need and an overview of what the exams are for, and what to expect.

What is the difference between Linguaskill and BEC?

The content of the BEC exams tends to have a much stronger business focus, it includes listening and readings about everyday work and business task scenarios. Linguaskill has a broader focus and can include everyday social examples of English. Also, it can take much longer to receive your results with BEC (two to three weeks), but you get your Linguaskill results much sooner(48 hours).

Do you want to find out more about taking the Linguaskill test at LSI/IH Portsmouth Portsmouth? Click here.

How to start preparing for the Cambridge Business English Course?

The best place to start is by learning English that is spoken every day. To become as fluent as you can in basic English will make it easy to then start to increase your business vocabulary. There are a lot of English courses for students which will cover the basics and learning English can be easy and fun. While taking an English language course, you can also watch films, read books and watch YouTube videos in English as an enjoyable way to become fluent.

At LSI/IH Portsmouth we offer (among others)General English courses, Cambridge preparation courses, 30+ English courses, and Business English courses.

The next step to getting that certificate?

Immersing yourself in a language has been proven to be the best way to learn. If you are learning English for the business world, speaking English in a work setting will be invaluable. There are many ways you can do this, If you are a full-time student getting a part-time job, or doing some work experience/voluntary work will really help when it comes to taking the Business English Certificate. If you’re working full time in an English-speaking business, you will be practicing every day and improving your vocabulary. Interacting with people every day in English will help you to learn English quickly.

For any English exam, you will need to practice to make perfect! The Cambridge English website is extremely useful and has a lot of practice papers for the level you are doing. Doing practice papers will make you familiar with what you need to do and the type of question you might encounter. Doing as many of these as you can, will increase your confidence and make sure you are fully prepared for your test. There is a list of the English vocabulary you will need to know too.

There are many YouTube videos specifically for people preparing for the Cambridge Business English Certificate. These are very useful as they are targeted directly towards the exam.

Here are some videos that are very helpful as they show exactly what to expect and what you need to prepare for these exams. There are many more on YouTube, if you search Cambridge Business English Certificate there will be lots to choose from.

Another useful resource to help you to succeed are test practice books. These will be targeted directly to those taking the Cambridge Business English Certificate so they will be really beneficial. These can be a bit expensive, but you can get copies second hand where available.

Speak to certificate holders

Speaking to others who have completed the exams can give you an advantage as they will be able to tell you what to expect. Joining groups in your area for people learning English and learning business English is another way to practice. There may be social media groups where you can ask advice and talk to others who have already completed the BEC.

On the exam day:

Make sure you are familiar with where your exam is taking place and how to get there. You will need to know how long it will take you to travel to the exam centre, so you can leave in plenty of time. You will need to arrive before the exam time, so they can check your i.d and give you an explanation of what you will expect.

You will not be allowed your mobile telephone in exams, some places will have an area you can store your phone or any valuables, but this might not be the case and you may have to leave your valuables at home. You may wish to consider contacting the exam centre beforehand to find out this information.

If you are doing a listening exam you must make sure you can hear clearly and if you have any problems, you must let the centre know.

Next step…

Are you interested in studying on a Business English course at LSI/IH Portsmouth?

Are you thinking of taking your Linguaskill test at LSI/IH Portsmouth?

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English language teacher helps business english students to get their certificate