Cambridge ESOL Business English Certificates: BEC
The BEC (Business English Certificate) is an internationally recognised, three-level business English qualification. It evaluates English language proficiency in a business context. It is recognised and used by many companies for different purposes including recruitment and in-house training, and many universities in the UK use it as an entry requirement for international students for business-related courses.
Who administers BEC?
- BEC is administered by Cambridge ESOL.
Where can I take BEC?
- BEC can be taken at authorised Cambridge ESOL exam centres worldwide. More than 60,000 people take BEC in over 50 countries every year.
How is BEC structured?
- BEC is offered at three levels, BEC Preliminary, BEC Vantage and BEC Higher. These levels are linked to the Common European Framework for Languages. Each level tests all four skills, each of which makes up 25% of the total score. The materials used relate to the following topic areas:
- Personal identification
- The office, general business environment and routine
- Entertainment of clients, free time, relationships with colleagues and clients
- Travel and conference meetings
- Using the telephone
- Health and safety
- Buying and selling
- Company structures, systems, processes
- Products and services
- Results and achievement
- Business issues
|BEC Preliminary||BEC Vantage||BEC Higher|
|Reading||90 minutes.7 tasks. Multiple choice, matching, gap filling and form filling questions. 2 tasks, internal company communication, 30-40 words; business communication based on a reading passage, 60-80 words.||5 tasks, 60 minutes. Multiple choice, matching, gap-filling and error identification questions.||6 tasks, 60 minutes. Multiple choice, matching, gap-filling and error identification questions.|
|Writing||90 minutes.7 tasks. Multiple choice, matching, gap filling and form filling questions. 2 tasks, internal company communication, 30-40 words; business communication based on a reading passage, 60-80 words.||2 tasks, 45 minutes, internal company communication, 40-50 words, short report, proposal or business correspondence, 120-140 words.||2 tasks, 70 minutes, short report based on graphic input, 120-140 words, report, proposal or business correspondence.|
|Listening||4 tasks, 40 minutes. Gap filling, note taking, matching and multiple choice questions. Material used includes interviews, discussions, telephone conversations and messages.||3 tasks, 40 minutes. Gap filling, note taking, matching and multiple choice questions. Material used includes interviews, discussions, telephone conversations and messages.|
|Speaking||12 minutes, in pairs. Response to questions, mini presentation, collaborative task and discussion.||14 minutes, in pairs. Response to questions, mini presentation, collaborative task and discussion.||16 minutes, in pairs. Response to questions, mini presentation, collaborative task and discussion.|
How is BEC scored?
- A single grade is given based on the aggregate scores from the four sections. For BEC preliminary there are two pass grades, Pass with Merit and Pass, and two fail grades, Narrow Fail and Fail. For BEC Vantage and BEC Higher there are three pass grades, A, B and C, and two fail grades, D and E. An indication of performance in each section is also given, on the scale Exceptional – Good – Borderline – Weak.
- Please go to the TOEIC page to view a graph comparing IH Bangkok Levels, TOEIC Levels, and BEC Levels
How long are BEC scores valid?
- BEC scores are valid for life.
How can I prepare for the BEC?
- Take an IH Bangkok preparation course and/or you could take one of our innovative online courses – International House Bangkok Net Languages.
To find out more contact us at [email protected] for a meeting with one of our consultants and for your free needs assessment.