Encouraging results: more than 90% success rate in the 2019 session of the Cambridge English Certificate (CEC), the English test in partnership with the French Ministry of Education

For more than 10 years, Cambridge Assessment English and the Ministry of National Education have been working together to design and administer the Cambridge English Certificate (CEC), an English test to enable high school students to test and certify their English level free of charge.

Initially designed for Secondary school pupils in the European section (level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), the test has been redesigned and is aimed since the start of the 2018 academic year at Terminale pupils in the European and international sections as well as at 2nd year BTS students with an international orientation. The exam is now at level B2, and allows students to obtain a B1, B2 or C1 certificate depending on their results.

The 2019 session

For the first session of this new EQF, 33,366 candidates presented themselves in more than 1,100 schools in France and in French high schools abroad.

The candidates took 4 tests to assess 5 competencies. The writings consist of a 1:15 hour written comprehension and language proficiency test (two separate notes), a 1:20 hour written expression test and a 40 minute oral comprehension test. The oral expression test lasts a quarter of an hour and the candidates pass in pairs in front of two examiners.

Examiners and markers are English teachers trained in the assessment methods specific to this type of certification. Thanks to Cambridge Assessment English and the bridge trainers, more than 3,000 teachers are now familiar with assessment grids and techniques.

The results

The success rate is 91%, and 58% of candidates have validated level B2 or higher.

The results by level:

  • 33% of candidates have validated level B1 (intermediate)
  • 47% of candidates have achieved level B2 (advanced intermediate)
  • 11% level C1 (advanced)

The most successful competency this year is oral expression, where 80% of candidates have reached level B2 or higher. The written comprehension and language proficiency test is the one where candidates had the most difficulty, with only 23% of candidates at level B2 or higher.

Session 2020: the calendar for teachers and students

Teacher-examiners will be gradually trained in assessment between November and January.

Students will be able to familiarize themselves with the exam with their teachers and through the resources available to them at www.cambridgeenglish.org/fr/cec Cambridge Assessment English also organizes two information webinars for teachers and candidates to introduce them to the test format and the resources available to prepare for it.

  • Webinar for teachers: Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 6pm to 7pm
  • Candidate Webinar on Thursday, December 12, 12, 2019 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

To register: www.cambridgeenglish.org/fr/events

The written tests will take place throughout France and in participating French high schools abroad on Thursday, March 12, 2020, the date chosen by the Ministry. The oral will take place between Monday, February 17 and Friday, March 27, 2020 at the institution’s discretion. The examiners will then correct the copies and forward the results to Cambridge Assessment English, which will issue the certificates.