Students at BBELS often ask us to describe the difference between the IELTS and Cambridge Mainsuite exams (FCE, CAE, CPE). Choosing between the different courses is important, especially if your objective is related to future academic studies, sponsorship or national citizenship.
Here’s a guide to help you select the course which will provide you with the best outcome.
IELTS is important for students who are interested in entering TAFE colleges and Australian and international universities. IELTS is essential for students who wish to immigrate to Australia, Canada and New Zealand. If you want to work in a professional job in Australia, the USA or British Commonwealth countries it is also necessary to do the IELTS exam.
It is generally advised that academic institutions do not accept an IELTS report that is more than 2 years old.
Students can elect to sit either the General IELTS exam or the Academic IELTS exam. The General IELTS exam is useful for immigration purposes and to enter non-academic training contexts. The Academic IELTS exam is suited for students who wish to enter universities and professions that use English in the workplace.
The IELTS exam tests 4 skills: speaking, listening, reading, writing. The Academic IELTS exam tests students’ reading and writing ability at a higher level than the General IELTS exam.
The course is open to full-time students in the Upper-intermediate-Advanced levels. Depending on the time of year the course runs for 10-12 weeks. It is a requirement that students commence in the first week of the course for a minimum of 8 weeks. Students must also sit a pre-entry test before commencing the course.
The IELTS test can be taken at the Gold Coast, approximately one hour from Byron Bay.
The CAE and CPE exams are extremely difficult to pass without studying in a preparation course beforehand.
There are 5 sections to the tests: Reading, Writing, Use of English, Listening, and Speaking.
There is no expiry limit to the Cambridge reports.
The Cambridge courses are open to full-time students in the Upper-intermediate to Advanced levels. Depending on the time of year the courses run for 10-12 weeks. It is a requirement that students commence in the first week of the course. Students must also sit a pre-entry test before commencing the course.
Our IELTS and Cambridge students always report that their vocabulary and grammatical accuracy improves dramatically throughout the preparation courses. The skills learned in the courses make our students much more employable both here in Australia and in their home country. Students also comment about the sincere friendships that are formed during the 3 months spent studying together.
Students are either tested here at BBELS or at the Gold Coast (approximately one hour from Byron Bay).
The next Cambridge start date is the 5th of January, 2015.
Jay Dea is Director of Studies with Byron Bay English Language School. Located on the Australian East Coast, BBELS prepares students for IELTS or Cambridge Exams.
Read this article in Italian: Cambridge vs. IELTS.
Search for more courses with IALC-accredited language centres on www.ialc.org/find-courses.