BEC Business English Certificate Preliminary
More than ever, you need a good knowledge of English to succeed in international business and commerce. If you can show you have relevant language skills, you'll have a great advantage in the job market and more choice if you want to work or study abroad.
The Business English Certificates (BEC) from Cambridge ESOL are for individual learners who want to have a business-related English language qualification. By taking an internationally recognised business qualification like BEC, you can show that you have learned English to an appropriate standard and can use it in a professional context.
BEC Preliminary tests the ability to use English to carry out basic office skills such as being able to read short messages, interpret charts, write a short e-mail, follow short telephone conversations and discussions and talk about a business-related matter.
London Crest Open Centre offers the paper- and computer-based version of this exam. If you are considering taking a computer-based test, please note that this test does not replace the pen and paper test, it is simply another way to take the exam. Other than the method of completing it, the exam is exactly the same, and they both lead to the same internationally recognised Cambridge ESOL certificate. Please note that there are a limited number of spaces available for computer-based exams so please enrol early to avoid disappointment.
What does BEC Preliminary involve?
Reading and Writing (1 hour 30 minutes):
Reading: The Reading section has the following types of exercise: multiple-choice, matching, Right/Wrong/Doesn’t Say, multiple-choice gap-filling and form-filling.
Writing: For BEC Preliminary, you have to produce two pieces of writing: a piece of communication with a colleague or colleagues within the company on a business-related matter; it may be a note, message, memo or e-mail and a piece of correspondence with somebody outside the company (e.g. a customer or supplier) on a business-related matter; it may be a letter, fax or e-mail.
Listening (approx. 40 minutes):
In the Listening section there are four tasks (multiple-choice, gap-filling and form filling). Texts used are monologues and dialogues, including interviews, discussions, telephone conversations and messages.
Speaking (12 minutes):
The Speaking test is conducted by two oral examiners and you will be tested in pairs of candidates. At centres with an uneven number of candidates, the last single candidate is examined with the last pair in a group of three.
For more detailed information about this exam, please click here:
BEC Preliminary – Information for candidates (pdf)
BEC – Handbook for teachers (pdf)
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