There are at least a dozen different language certificates available on the market. If you’re wondering what English language certificates are, please read our recommendations below. When choosing these language qualifications, we were primarily guided by their global recognition among employers and universities, eligibility to work in various institutions that comes with specific certificates, as well as criteria such as their availability in Poland, price, and expiry date.
English certificates are the official proof of your language skills. Of course, the most important thing is your practical knowledge of the language and how you use English coping with your work or everyday situations, but formal proof of your language skills, such as an English qualification, will certainly be an important part of your portfolio or CV, also proving useful at university. Also, for some learners, a language goal in the shape of a specific exam means a great motivation to hone their language skills.
A prestigious and recognisable certificate in English is your showpiece on LinkedIn or in your CV, one that doesn’t require any additional explanation or proof of your language competence. English certificates are recognised by multinational corporations as well as universities, ministries, and public offices. They also exempt you from language courses in certain degree programmes and language examinations in doctoral programmes.
Validity of certificates:
Cambridge certificates – B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency, as well as the Business English certificates – B1 Business Preliminary, B2 Business Vantage, and C1 Business Higher (formerly BEC certificates) are issued indefinitely. The TOEIC certificate in English, which attests to the holder’s language skills necessary for the workplace, is valid for 2 years from the date of the exam.
On our exam preparation courses, you can prepare with us for the English exam of your choice. If you don’t know what English language certificates are there, please read our cheat sheet below.
One of the most recognisable Cambridge language certificates, formerly known as the First Certificate in English, or FCE for short, and more recently as B2 First. The B2 First (FCE) certificate is proof that you know English well enough to work or study in an English-speaking environment. The exam’s level of difficulty is upper-intermediate. The B2 First exam is recognised in Poland and internationally by universities (you will need it if you are going to take part in an Erasmus exchange) and employers (corporations, ministries, and public offices), and is also meeting the requirement for a B2 language teaching qualification.
Find out more about the exam at https://eklektika.pl/certyfikaty/fce/.
No less popular than B2 First is the general English certificate C1 Advanced, formerly known as CAE (Certificate in Advanced English). It attests to your English skills as expected of a professional working in business or an undergraduate student. The C1 Advanced certificate is one of the most popular English qualifications in the world. For more details, please visit https://eklektika.pl/certyfikaty/cae/.
BEC stands for Business English Certificates. To obtain a Cambridge English Qualification for Business, which was for several years referred to and is still known to many people as BEC, you need to take a comprehensive Business English exam at one of the following 3 levels:
You can find detailed information about BEC exams at https://eklektika.pl/certyfikaty/bec/
An interesting alternative to Cambridge Business English certificates is the US testing organisation ETS’ Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC). The TOEIC certificate proves the holder’s knowledge of English in a professional environment. Unlike Cambridge English Qualifications for Business, i.e. former BEC certificates, you don’t have to specify the level at which you want the exam to be. Your score determines what level you are at and which TOEIC certificate you will receive (according to the CEFR scale – from level A1 to C2). Read more about TOEIC exams here https://eklektika.pl/certyfikaty/toeic/.