How BEC exams are assessed

How BEC exams are assessed

As we wrote earlier, the BEC exam comes in three levels: BEC Preliminary, BEC Vantage and BEC Higher.

The assessment of language competence in these exams includes the following.

BEC Preliminary:

The exam consists of three parts. The first part is the Reading + Writing test. This part lasts 90 minutes and asseses whether you can read, describe graphs, write emails. In this part, you are also expected to write two written assignments – one for internal communication between company departments (email, announcement of changes, etc.) and one for correspondence with external partners. That is, you must demonstrate basic business correspondence skills in English

The second part – Listening – lasts about 40 minutes. In this section, you need to demonstrate that you understand conversations in English on everyday business topics.

In the third part – Speaking – you will need to take part in a conversation, ask and answer the questions of the examiner or other candidate. That is, to demonstrate the speaking skills that are developed in Speaking English courses at our school.

In order to pass the BEC Preliminary exam with the highest grade “Pass with Merit” (passed excellently), you must score approximately 83%. To obtain a certificate with a grade of “Pass”, the total score for all parts of the exam must be above 65%. Candidates who do not score the required score for the BEC P exam, but have demonstrated the ability to use English at the A2 level, receive a A2 level certificate. Candidates are not considered to have passed the examination if their score is lower than A1.

BEC Vantage:

This exam consists of 4 parts – Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking.

The Reading unit lasts 1 hour and consists of 5 tasks that test your ability to identify the basic ideas of business articles, the logic of presenting information, check how well you understand word formation and sentence construction. You can improve your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in our English courses, online or through an online simulator.

The Writing block lasts 45 minutes and consists of 2 tasks. One of them is writing a letter or describing a schedule. The second is to compile a report or draw up a proposal in business English.

Listening unit – 40 minutes, it consists of 3 parts. You are expected to understand interviews, presentations and discussions. Your task is to learn to correctly identify the key ideas being said and their relationship to the topic of discussion.

The Speaking block lasts no longer than 15 minutes and consists of 3 parts – answers to the examiner’s questions, a short presentation on the topic, answers to another candidate’s questions, and participation in a discussion where you have to demonstrate the ability to logically express your point of view, agreement / disagreement, invite other participants to the conversation.

Candidates who successfully pass the BEC Vantage exam receive a certificate with grades of “A” (80% and above), “B” (75-79%), “C” (60-74%). Those who did not pass the exam get a result with a score of “D” (55-59%) and “E” (54% and below).

BEC Higher:

This exam consists of 4 parts-Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking.

In the Reading part you need to complete 6 tasks within one hour. Here you need to demonstrate that you can work with different types of business texts. You need to identify the key topics of the professional articles, points of view, and the logic of the information.

In Writing Paper, you must complete two tasks within 70 minutes. Tasks may include memos, letters, emails, reports, and business proposals.

The Listening paper lasts 40 minutes and tests your ability to observe the presentation of information and understand the positions of participants in discussions, presentations and interviews.

Paper Speaking lasts about 15 minutes and tests your ability to communicate effectively in a variety of business situations. Usually two or more candidates take part in this part.

Candidates who have successfully passed the BEC Higher exam receive a certificate with grades of “A” (80% and above), “B” (75-79%), “C” (60-74%). Those who did not pass the exam get a result with a score of “D” (55-59%) and “E” (54% and below).

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