Business

WHAT IS BEC?

The Business English Certificates are designed for the purpose of international business and trade. There are three different levels of BEC: BEC Preliminary, BEC Vantage and BEC Higher and they are aligned with Levels B1 to C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages  an internationally recognised benchmark of language ability.

WHO IS THE BEC EXAM FOR AND WHY SHOULD I TAKE IT?

BEC is an ideal English language exam if you are preparing for a career in business and it can help you show that you have learned English to an appropriate standard and can use it in a business context.

BEC Preliminary is an Intermediate level business exam  (Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and suitable for people who are preparing for a career in business.

BEC Vantage is a Higher Intermediate level business exam  (Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and suitable for people who are either preparing for a career in business or those who are already working in a lower-middle management or middle-senior clerical position.

BEC Higher is an Advanced level business exam  (Level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and suitable for people preparing a career in business or those already working in middle-senior management positions.

The BEC exams are suitable for adults (aged 16 and over).

WHAT IS THE FORMAT OF THE EXAM?

BEC has 4 papers:

Preliminary

Vantage

Higher

Reading

1 hour 30 min

1 hour

1 hour

Writing

45 min

1 hour 10 min

Listening

40 min approx

40 min approx

40 min approx

Speaking

12 min approx

14 min approx

16 min approx

 

YOUR RESULT

Each component of the exam carries 25% of the total marks.

Candidates can access their results through the University of Cambridge results website. For paper-based exams, these will be available after 4 to 6 weeks. For computer-based exams, they will be available after 2 to 3 weeks.

From 2016, results will be reported on the new Cambridge English Scale (replacing the candidate profile and standardised scores). You will receive a separate score for each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). These scores are averaged to give you an overall result for the exam.

For BEC Preliminary, there are three Pass grades – Pass with Distinction (score between 160 and 170), Pass with Merit (score between 153 and 159), and Pass (score between 140 and 152) – and two Fail grades – Council of Europe Level A2 (score between 120 and 139) and Not Reported (119 and below). There is no minimum pass mark for individual papers. The grade is based on the total score of all 4 papers.
Certificates are awarded to candidates who score 120 and above and are despatched approximately 10 days after the results release window has ended.

For BEC Vantage, there are three Pass grades – A (score between 180 and 190), B (score between 173 and 179), C (score between 160 and 172) – and two Fail grades – Council of Europe Level B1 (score between 140 and 159) and Not Reported (139 and below). There is no minimum pass mark for individual papers. The grade is based on the total score of all 4 papers.
Certificates are awarded to candidates who score 140 and above and are despatched approximately 10 days after the results release window has ended.

For BEC Higher, there are three Pass grades – A (score between 200 and 210), B (score between 193 and 199), C (score between 180 and 192) – and two Fail grades – Council of Europe Level B2 (score between 160 and 179) and Not Reported (159 and below).
There is no minimum pass mark for individual papers. The grade is based on the total score of all 4 papers.
Certificates are awarded to candidates who score 160 and above and are despatched approximately 10 days after the results release window has ended.