General and higher education

General and higher education

Cambridge English Qualifications are in-depth exams that make learning English enjoyable, effective and rewarding.
Whether you aspire to get into university, start your own business or develop your career, our general and higher education qualifications give you the confidence to achieve your goals.

Accepted worldwide

Our qualifications are accepted and trusted by thousands of leading higher education institutions, employers and governments worldwide. They are a mark of excellence, and open doors to exciting higher education and employment opportunities.

Real-life communication

Our exams are based on real-life situations, helping you develop the skills you need to communicate effectively. The Speaking test is taken face to face with our expert examiners, so you will develop the ability to express your opinions and speak confidently.

Practice materials

We offer a broad range of learning and support materials to sharpen your language skills and help you communicate with confidence, for life.

Your path to learning English, step by step

Cambridge English Qualifications are designed so that each exam builds on the skills you develop at the previous level. Below you can see how our exams work together to create an effective learning journey.
This qualification is proof of your ability to use English to communicate in simple situations. A2 Key is a great exam to take if you’re new to learning English.
The exam tests all four English language skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking.
It should give you the confidence to go on and study for higher-level exams such as  B1 Preliminary and B2 First.

An A2 Key certificate shows that you can:

  • understand and use basic phrases and expressions
  • understand simple written English
  • introduce yourself and answer basic questions about yourself
  • interact with English speakers at a basic level.
A B1 Preliminary qualification shows that you have mastered the basics of English and now have practical language skills for everyday use.
This exam is the logical step in your language learning journey between A2 Key and B2 First.

A B1 Preliminary qualification shows that you can:

  • read simple textbooks and articles in English
  • write letters and emails on everyday subjects
  • take meeting notes
  • show awareness of opinions and mood in spoken and written English.
A B2 First qualification proves you have the language skills to live and work independently in an English-speaking country or study on courses taught in English.
This exam is the logical step in your language learning journey between B1 Preliminary and C1 Advanced.

A B2 First qualification shows that you can:

  • communicate effectively face-to-face, expressing opinions and presenting arguments
  • follow the news
  • write clear, detailed English, expressing opinions and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of different points of view
  • write letters, reports, stories and lots of other types of text.
More than 9,000 educational institutions, businesses and government departments around the world accept C1 Advanced as proof of high-level achievement in learning English. 
Preparing for C1 Advanced helps learners develop the skills to make the most of studying, working and living in English-speaking countries.
This exam is the logical step in your language learning journey between B2 First and C2 Proficiency.

A C1 Advanced qualification shows that you can:

  • follow an academic course at university level
  • communicate effectively at a managerial and professional level
  • participate with confidence in workplace meetings or academic tutorials and seminars
  • express yourself with a high level of fluency.
A C2 Proficiency qualification shows the world that you have mastered English to an exceptional level. It proves you can communicate with the fluency and sophistication of a highly competent English speaker.
Preparing for and passing the exam means you have the level of English that’s needed to study or work in a very senior professional or academic environment, for example on a postgraduate or PhD programme.

A C2 Proficiency qualification shows that you can:

  • study demanding subjects at the highest level, including postgraduate and PhD programmes
  • negotiate and persuade effectively at senior management level in international business settings
  • understand the main ideas of complex pieces of writing
  • talk about complex or sensitive issues, and deal confidently with difficult questions.