Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Click on the letters in bold to read more about each announcement.

1) The development of KET and PET for Schools

Cambridge ESOL exams are increasingly being used in primary and secondary education around the world. More specifically, recent trends towards students entering for Cambridge ESOL’s KET and PET exams at a younger age have led to the development of versions of those exams featuring content aimed at younger students, the KET for Schools and PET for Schools.

A KET for Schools/PET for Schools certificate shows pupils can deal with everyday English at a basic and intermediate level respectively. Both exams follow exactly the same format with the “standard” KET and PET exams and the level of the question papers is identical. The only difference is that the content and treatment of topics in KET for Schools and PET for Schools examinations have been particularly targeted at the interests and experience of younger students.

As with all our exams, KET for Schools and PET for Schools each now have their own dedicated page on the Greek website: ket-schools.html pet-schools.html

2) New version of First Certificate in English (B2) for school-age students

Following the successful introduction of KET for Schools and PET for Schools, Cambridge ESOL is pleased to announce that a new version of the First Certificate in English will be available in 2011, designed for those who are learning English as part of their full time education.

The format for the new exam is the same as the existing First Certificate and covers the same range and level of English language skills. The content of the exams will be designed specifically for this age group, covering topics and situations that they are likely to be familiar with. By including language typically used in the classroom, the new exam is ideal for use in schools where language learning is integrated with other elements of the curriculum.

3) Revising the Certificate of Proficiency in English (C2 level)

Cambridge ESOL is starting a comprehensive review of its Proficiency exam to ensure it continues to meet test taker and teacher needs in the 21 century. A revised version of this prestigious, high-level qualification is due to be introduced in 2013 on the hundredth anniversary of the exam. The review process kicked off with a meeting in Cambridge in November with senior consultants who chair the item writing teams and act as principal examiners for each of the papers. The meeting considered a range of options for developing the exam to make it attractive and relevant to universities and employers, as well as to candidates who need to demonstrate a very high level of skills in English. One likely development will be a reduction in the overall length of the exam, without compromising either the rigour and thoroughness of the assessment or the level of the test; this has been a particularly popular feature of the revised First Certificate in English (FCE) and Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) exams introduced last year.

4) Changes for the ALCE to be introduced in June 2011

  • Listening:
    • part 1: the graphs and tables will be replaced by other tasks
    • part 3: will be heard twice
    • part 4: the questions will be printed in the candidate’s booklet
  • Writing:
    • the Report will be replaced, there will be a choice between two essays instead of an essay and a report
    • new Writing Scoring Rubric
  • Reading:
    • the size of texts will not exceed the 500 words

5) Change to Part 3 of the ECPE Listening Section

Until now, ECPE candidates would listen to but not see the questions in Part 3 of the Listening Section (radio reports). As of the May 2010 administration, candidates will be able not only to hear the specific questions for Part 3 but also to read them in their test booklets.

The change is part of the University of Michigan English Language Institute’s (ELI- UM) ongoing program of test review and renewal.

The change will take effect as of the next examination period in May 2010. In March 2010, the ELI- UM will publish a full sample test on its website for all teachers and candidates.

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