Business (BEC): B1 Preliminary, B2 Vantage, C1 Higher

The Cambridge English: Business (BEC) qualifications show employers that you have developed the English language skills to communicate effectively in an international workplace.

The exams are available at three assessment levels:

B1 Business Preliminary (BEC Preliminary)

B1 Business Preliminary (BEC Preliminary) is the first in a series of three Cambridge English: Business (BEC) qualifications. It shows employers that you have a good knowledge of English for practical, everyday use in business.

Level of qualification

B1 Independent on the Common European Framework 

Who should take this exam?

You should take this exam if you want to improve your English for your business career. Studying for the B1 Business Preliminary (BEC Preliminary) will give you a good foundation in the English skills you will need to work in international business.

To take the exam you should be able to:

  • follow short telephone conversations and general business discussions
  • discuss practical business tasks such as answering general enquiries and ordering
  • write brief factual business letters or emails.

How does the exam process work?

There are three parts to the exam. You do the Reading and Writing, and Listening papers on the same day. The Speaking may be on a different day. You do the Speaking with two examiners and one or two other exam candidates. The exam is available in Italy in paper-based format.

                                 

READING AND WRITING

LISTENING

SPEAKING

Time  1 hour 30 minutes 40 minutes 12 minutes  
Marks
% total
50% 25% 25%

B2 Business Vantage (BEC Vantage)

B2 Business Vantage (BEC Vantage) is the second in a series of three Cambridge English: Business (BEC) qualifications. It shows employers that you are ready to work successfully in international business. This exam could help you when applying for new jobs, getting a promotion or developing your career.

Level of qualification

B2 Independent on the Common European Framework 

Who should take this exam?

You should take this exam if you want to prove to employers that your English is good enough for you to work in an English-speaking business environment. Studying for the B2 Business Vantage (BEC Vantage) will develop your confidence and the English skills you need to succeed in international business.

To take the exam you should be able to:

  • understand the meaning of business reports and letters
  • express your opinion and have a discussion about factual issues
  • give a short prepared presentation and write a brief proposal.

How does the exam process work?

There are four parts to the exam. You do the Reading, Writing and Listening papers on the same day. The Speaking may be on a different day. You do the Speaking with two examiners and one or two other exam candidates. The exam is available in Italy in paper-based format.

                    READING WRITING LISTENING SPEAKING
Time 1 hour 45 minutes 40 minutes 14 minutes
Marks   
% of total
25% 25% 25% 25%

C1 Business Higher (BEC Higher)

C1 Business Higher (BEC Higher) is the final exam in a series of three Cambridge English: Business (BEC) qualifications. It shows employers that you have achieved an advanced level of Business English.

Level of qualification

C1 Proficient on the Common European Framework 

Who should take this exam?

You should take this exam if you want to develop professional business English skills. The C1 Business Higher (BEC Higher) proves to employers that you can be effective in a demanding English-speaking business environment.

To take the exam you should be able to:

  • take an active part in business meetings, expressing your opinions and arguing your point of view
  • understand most business reports and correspondence
  • write detailed business proposals and letters.

How does the exam process work?

There are four parts to the exam. You do the Reading, Writing and Listening papers on the same day. The Speaking may be on a different day. You do the Speaking with two examiners and one or two other exam candidates. The exam is available in Italy in paper-based format.

                                READING WRITING LISTENING SPEAKING
Time 1 hour 1 hour 10 minutes 40 minutes 16 minutes
Marks 
% of total
25% 25% 25% 25%

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