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Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Exam



Has anyone sat the Cambridge english exam, that could provide feed back on this exam and how it compares to the IETLS general test?

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Hi Heidi


Hope this is of some help. 


My job here in Cairns has, for (too many!) years been to prepare students for the IELTS and CAE exams. Depending on what score you require in the IELTS G.T. module, the above comparison table should give you some idea of what a successful CAE pass would give you in IELTS. (8.0)


Basically, the CAE is more challenging AND includes a grammar / vocabulary (Use of English) component.


Good luck.

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Only saw this question now.


I (Wayne) sat the exam as I wanted to get the maximum points for English ability and had fallen short in the IELTS. My writing score came in under an 8 while my others were 8's and 9's.


I wrote the Cambridge CAE (C1) and with a bit more diligence, planning and made absolutely sure my final answer was perfect. I ultimately got the score I needed. This boosted my visa application points to 75 and expedited my application timeframe tremendously.


The scoring methodology for the CAE (C1) itself is different from IELTS but the overall exam structure is very similar (reading, writing, listening, speaking). However one key difference is we instead used computers and submitted our answers electronically in a notably more comfortable computer lab versus a cold school exam like setup. It also helped that I can type much faster than I write and didn't have to worry about my scruffy handwriting.


The listening exam is also friendlier than the IELTS  in one respect - they play the verbal material to you twice - but it also required one to apply oneself in answering as they required us to match two axes of option correctly on a table in my exam that i hadn't seen in any IELTS. The reading exam also required one to rebuild in order an unseen history article, where the paragraphs are presented to you n a jumbled manner, which I don't recall the IELTS requiring of either in both my IELTS exam and practice papers.  


The spoken exam for me was also a three person conversation instead of two, involving the examiner as well as another exam taker you are suddenly paired with just before that leg of the exam. There is also a second examiner in the room who listens to and marks the conversation while also recording it. The first examiner purposely threw seemingly odd or deeper questions at times about the relevant subject matter you are suddenly presented with. They can also suddenly change tack between subjects, ask you to engage about what your exam partner has said or might say, or become more esoteric to see if you can keep your verbal balance. I did but my exam partner did become flustered and I think it cost her. 


I went through IHJohannesburg to do so.

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