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Why Cambridge English?
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) has been designed to assess at the levels of English needed for higher education, and our teams of experts carry out continuous processes of research and validation to ensure the exam’s reliability and accuracy.
“As a developer and assessor of English language skills, our perspective is that language skills play a critical role in ensuring students’ success in higher education. Whether students have the appropriate level of English skills or not is a direct indicator of the nature and extent of support services they may require during a course of study.
“Getting the language level wrong can lead to high levels of student dissatisfaction among both home and international students. This, in turn, has implications for the success of higher education institutions.
“However, when the English language criteria for international students are set at the right level, it can lead to greater student satisfaction and an enhanced international reputation.
“Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) has been designed to assess at the levels of English needed for higher education and our teams of experts carry out continuous processes of research, validation and quality management to ensure the exam’s reliability and accuracy.
“The research listed in this section outlines these quality systems and answers many of the questions about why the exam is trusted around the world by higher education institutions, employers and governments.”
Director, Research and Validation
Cambridge English Language Assessment
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) was designed and developed to reflect a level of English which can be used in academic and professional contexts.
Examining Speaking, Examining Reading and Examining Writing describe the theory and practice of the approach taken by Cambridge English Language Assessment in assessing second language ability in those skills.
Language Testing and Validation contains a description of the socio-cognitive approach to language assessment we use to produce exams that encourage language skills for use in real-life situations.
In Research Notes 47, Stephen Bax and Cyril Weir outline how this approach has been used to validate the Reading test for Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) as a measure of the skills needed for reading for academic purposes.
Studies in Language Testing 30
Examining Speaking, Taylor, L (ed) (2011)
Studies in Language Testing 29
Examining Reading, Khalifa, H and Weir, C (2009)
Studies in Language Testing 26
Examining Writing, Shaw, S and Weir, C (2007)
Research Notes 47
Investigating learners’ cognitive processes during a computer-based CAE Reading test, Bax, S and Weir, C (2012)
Weir, C (2005) Language testing and validation: An evidence-based approach, Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke.
Both Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) and IELTS are produced by Cambridge English Language Assessment, which means that our comparison of the two exams can be relied on as authoritative. You can read more about the methodology behind the benchmarking process used in this comparison here:
Methodology used for benchmarking Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) to IELTS
Comparing scores on Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) and IELTS
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) was designed to allow learners to gain certification for advanced levels of English suitable for use in academic and professional life. The following documents describe the development of the exam and our continuous quality programmes which have made Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) a trusted assessment of high-level language skills.
Studies in Language Testing 28
Examining FCE and CAE: Key issues and recurring themes in developing the First Certificate in English and Certificate in Advanced English exams, Hawkey, R (2009)
Research Notes 32
Using DIF to explore item difficulty in CAE Listening, Geranpayeh, A (2008)
Research Notes 30
This edition of Research Notes features a selection of articles about the revision of Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE).
These publications explain more about the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), the involvement of Cambridge English Language Assessment in the early development of the framework, and how Cambridge English exams relate to this internationally accepted method for describing language ability.
Research Notes: Issue 37
This edition of Research Notes focuses on Cambridge English exams and the CEFR.
Studies in Language Testing 33
Aligning Tests with the CEFR: Reflections on using the Council of Europe’s draft Manual, Martyniuk, W. (ed) (2010)
The Council of Europe (2001), The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
Van Ek, J A and Trim, J L M (1998) Threshold 1990, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
Jones, N and Saville, N (2007) Scales and Frameworks, in Spolsky, B and Hult, F M (Eds) The Handbook of Educational Linguistics, Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester.
The Cambridge English Research and Validation team is the largest dedicated research facility of any UK-based language assessment organisation.
It includes experts in fields as varied as: applied linguistics; item response theory and item banking; psycholinguistics; second language acquisition and quality management systems. Together, they provide rigorous quality assurance for all our exams during every stage of the assessment process.
We share much of our research with the wider language assessment community through publications and presenting at conferences and other events around the world.
Find out more about the work of the Cambridge English Research and Validation team