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Prepare for Cambridge English: Business (BEC) Online

Ambition is the power which drives our personal and career development and helps us to succeed. For many people, working for an international company is their ultimate career goal.

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In order to achieve this, it is necessary to provide documented proof of your ability to speak and use business English correctly in the workplace.

With these facts in mind, Cambridge University has prepared a series of examinations especially dedicated to business English. Studying and passing a Cambridge business exam will prepare you for work within an English speaking organisation and provide future employers with proof that you have the necessary and appropriate language skills.

Skype lessons for Cambridge English: Business (BEC)

As with all online English lessons, studying for Cambridge English BEC via Skype is particularly suitable for people who lead a busy lifestyle. It is often difficult to find time for all the essential activities in life without facing the additional pressure of attending English classes. However, preparing for an exam online allows you the flexibility to study when you choose, in comfortable and familiar surroundings. Additionally, you can expect to receive specialised one-to-one tuition delivered by experienced and friendly Skype English tutors.

Your learning needs and level will be assessed by your British English teacher and they will advise you on which exam you should work towards. There are three exams in the Cambridge English: Business series. These are: Cambridge English: Business Preliminary (BEC Preliminary), Cambridge English: Business Vantage (BEC Vantage) and Cambridge English: Business Higher (BEC Higher).

Cambridge English: Business exam Structure

All the Cambridge English: Business exams test skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking with the BEC higher exam including ‘use of English’ as an extra element. To achieve a successful exam result you will need to prepare thoroughly over a period of time. Although some people may choose to study independently, it is usually better to seek the support and advice of a professional teacher. Skype English lessons will provide you with a personalised study programme within a structured framework. Your progress will be assessed on a regular basis and your motivation enhanced.

To give you an idea what to expect, this is the basic structure and description of the BEC preliminary exam:

Reading and Writing Papers – duration 1 hour and 30 minutes (50% of the exam mark)

The reading paper is in 7 parts and the writing paper has 2 separate sections.

This part of the exam tests your ability to read and understand the key information provided in graphs or charts, messages and emails. You will also be required to demonstrate that you can use appropriate vocabulary and structure your answers correctly. For the writing test you will be asked to produce two short written pieces typical of internal office communication. These may include a note or a message along with another form of business correspondence, such as a letter or an email.

Listening Paper – duration approximately 40 minutes (25% of the exam mark)

For this paper you will be presented with a selection of spoken materials which may include interviews and discussions about normal life. You will be expected to understand these and respond to what you hear accurately and appropriately.

Speaking paper – duration 12 minutes per pair of candidates (25% of the exam mark)

For the speaking test you will be partnered with another candidate and then required to demonstrate your ability to take an active part in a business-related conversation. This part of the exam is in three sections.

If you would like to compare BEC preliminary with the more advanced Cambridge English: Business exams, you can find full details here.

Which Cambridge English: Business exam is right for you?

A short discussion with a native British English teacher will help you to decide which BEC exam is right for you. This exam series is designed for students who want to: work abroad, or seek employment at home with an international company, or even study business-related subjects at an English speaking university.

Choosing Skype lessons for Cambridge English: Business will help prepare you to become a player in the dynamic and powerful world of international business and to make your career ambitions a reality.

Click here to download this post via our mobile website!
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

Written by Alex Jude —
ESL Specialist & CEO at Online Teachers UK

Alex Jude is the Founder & CEO of Online Teachers UK. He holds a BA hons degree in Linguistics from The University of Manchester and is a life-long English teacher. Following graduation, he spent 2002-2012 living and teaching in Russia, where he lectured in General Linguistics and Translation Studies. Alex is a fluent Russian speaker and worked with the BBC at the World Cup in 2018. In his spare time, he enjoys camping/bushcraft, playing guitar and watching rugby league.

Written by Alex Jude —
ESL Specialist & CEO at Online Teachers UK