Cambridge Certificate

I would like to tell you a little about the Cambridge English exam preparation courses on offer here at the school, and something about the exams which pupils can then do at an examination centre in Frankfurt if they decide to take an exam.

Cambridge exams were introduced by Cambridge University over 100 years ago to establish fixed standards for British school leavers when they applied for universities in Britain. This was so that the university knew what standard of English a person had. It was only later that exams for non-native English speakers were introduced. Nowadays, not only universities in English-speaking countries are interested in these, but also employers around the world highly respect Cambridge Certificates. If someone has a Cambridge Certificate, that means the potential employer knows approximately how good this job applicant is at English. You can look up a list on the internet which tells you what level of skills is necessary for each level of certificate.

The exams are divided into internationally recognised levels. The easiest level of exam is called A1 and the next level of difficulty is A2. This continues with B1 then B2 and goes on to the more advanced levels, C1 and C2. To give you an idea of what that means, for ‘Mittlere Reife’ you need to be at level B1, and B1 is also the level someone needs before they can apply for German citizenship. For Abitur you need to be between levels B2 and C1.

At the Edith-Stein-Schule we offer preparation courses for B2 and C1 exams to pupils who are very good at English. The B2 exam is called the First Certificate of English, or FCE for short, and the C1 exam is called the Certificate in Advanced English, or CAE for short. In the preparation courses, I help the pupils to improve their skills in the four areas which are tested in the examination and to practice the different types of tasks. These areas are:

reading and use of English,


speaking, and


If the pupils want to do a Cambridge exam after their preparation course they can register to take it in Frankfurt– and hopefully pass! Up to now, most pupils from the Edith-Stein-Schule who have taken the exams have had very good results.

Mrs Deirdre Lasaar

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