We offer the opportunity to take extra-curricular courses to prepare for Cambridge English Certificates.
Cambridge certificates are recognized by over 20,000 universities, companies and governments worldwide. In Switzerland this recognition is especially prominent: the examinations are an integral part of business training and qualification. On the tertiary level, these certificates serve to satisfy required proof of language proficiency, for example, in pursuing teacher training or in order to study at institutions of higher learning such as the ETH or University of St. Gallen.
As the courses offered center on learning and practicing test-taking strategies for the examinations, solid proficiency skills in English are prerequisite. Therefore, the preparatory courses are open primarily to students in the 2nd and 3rd Obergymnasium.
Additionally, only those students who show the necessary motivation and willingness to take on the additional workload may participate in the courses. Accordingly, the success rate for exam candidates has been very high.
Extensive information about the examinations and certificates, as well as an online placement test, can be found on the website of Cambridge Assessment English, one of the non-profit organizations associated with Cambridge University. (https://www.cambridgeenglish.org) Before the preparatory courses begin, an informal orientation meeting is held for prospective participants. At this meeting a placement test also takes place.
As the examinations are costly, it is crucial that participants are placed and prepared at a level so as to ensure their best passing grade results. It is, for example, advisable for someone whose proficiency is not clearly at the C1 level to take the B2 exam and achieve an excellent grade rather than a borderline outcome. The course instructor consults with students who are uncertain about their level.
What does a course entail?
Preparatory courses commonly take place in the second half of the school year, running 10 – 12 weeks. Groups meet once a week for a one-hour lesson working with authentic materials from past examinations. The course instructor is also available online outside of meeting times and provides feedback regularly. Just before the actual examination date, the participants meet informally for additional practice, e.g. lunch meetings to practice conversation skills.