Are you an International student coming to Ireland to study English? In Dublin and interested in renewing your student visa? Are you a student who simply would like to have your English certified? TIE, Cambridge, and IELTS exams are the most common exams taken. Your English language school will book it for you.
Here is what you should know about the most popular exams in Dublin.
The Test of Interactive English (TIE) has been designed for all the language students and it helps to highlight the needs and interests of each learner no matter their age or background. It has been developed in Ireland with the guidance of the Advisory Council for English Language Schools (ACELS), a national organisation responsible for checking the quality of a closed number of schools.
TIE is different from other exams; the test is based on topics and materials chosen by each student.
Beginner students learning English might prefer the TIE exam because it’s the easiest to prepare for, and it’s based on your own choices.
Every student is required to read a book, prepare an investigation and a news-story.
It is divided in 2 sections: Speaking (30 minutes, in groups of two or three) and Writing (60 minutes)
A Cambridge English Level exam is a qualification recognised around the world by employers, universities, and government ministries as proof of ability to use English. You can apply for the exam of the level you want to achieve but remember that the certificate will not be validated if the level is not reached.
- A2 Key (KET): Reading and Writing (1 hour), Listening (30 minutes, including 6 minutes’ transfer time), Speaking (8–10 minutes per pair of candidates)
- B1 Preliminary (PET): Reading and Use of English (45 minutes), Writing (45 minutes), Listening(30 minutes, including 6 minutes’ transfer time), Speaking(12–17 minutes per pair of candidates)
- B2 First (FCE): Reading and Use of English (1 hour 15 minutes), Writing (1 hour 20 minutes), Listening (about 40 minutes), Speaking (14 minutes per pair of candidates)
- C1 Advanced (CAE): Reading and Use of English (1 hour 30 minutes), Writing (1 hour 30 minutes), Listening (about 40 minutes), Speaking (15 minutes per pair of candidates)
- C2 Proficiency (CPE): Reading and Use of English (1 hour 30 minutes), Writing (1 hour 30 minutes), Listening (about 40 minutes), Speaking (16 minutes per pair of candidates)
One of the most prestigious English exams, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a Cambridge exam that covers all levels.
It has been created to evaluate the language ability of candidates who wish to start studying or working experience in countries where the main language of communication is English.
The IELTS test consists of four parts: LISTENING (40 min), READING & COMPREHENSION (60 min), WRITING (60 min), and SPEAKING (11-14 min)
There are two types of IELTS exams that you can choose from:
- Academic IELTS test is required to enter most English-speaking universities and Institutions of Higher and Further Education
- General Training IELTS test is suitable for those who wish to go to English-speaking countries to complete a secondary education, a work experience, or a training programme
There are also two test formats:
- paper-based test – the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections will be completed in paper support and the Speaking test will be face-to-face.
- computer-delivered test – the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections will be typed on a computer, while the Speaking test will be face-to-face.
So, what is the difference between IELTS and the other Cambridge exams?
IELTS is called a multi-level exam, this means that you get a score between 1 and 9. Anyone, whether your level is elementary or advanced, can do the exam.
Now that you know a bit more about the TIE, Cambridge, and IELTS exams, it might be easier to choose.
Remember to plan for your future!