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We would like to focus here on two languages that you can learn at the inlingua Zurich language school: English and French. It is important to note that these test formats represent a holistic approach to language proficiency testing and rarely evaluate the targeted grammatical knowledge of the graduates.

Cambridge Assessment English

The Cambridge Certificate is, as mentioned in the last blog post, one of the most popular Cambridge University tests, which tests both general English and business English and is internationally recognized. This examination consists of four different parts and evaluates general English language skills (especially in examination parts like the so-called “Use of English” and the oral examination about a chosen social topic) in order to assess the reading and listening comprehension of the candidate. This applies to several levels, of which First Cambridge English (B2), Cambridge Advanced English (C1) and Cambridge Proficiency English (C2) are the best known. The different parts of the Reading paper provide a framework for reading comprehension together with the “Use of English”, for which a maximum of 1.5 hours is spent in total, whereby the time allocation for both parts can be freely chosen. The second paper is “Writing”, in which two texts of different nature (such as an essay, a letter or a criticism) are written on a specific topic. A maximum of 1.5 hours is set aside for this, and in the next part of the listening comprehension, the ability to understand various conversational situations, radio broadcasts or presentations is tested for 40 minutes. Finally, the oral examination represents a more specific situation, where English expression and linguistic coherence of an argument in a pair situation is tested by two experts. This is designed to create the most reliable assessment situation of speaking possible. [1]

The final mark is determined on the basis of the results obtained in the four test areas and the final mark (the average of all individual marks) is either an A, B, or C, with A representing the best mark and the three marks differing by up to 20 points. These scales correspond to a certain CEFR level, (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) which is also issued when the diploma is obtained.

Do you need to prepare for the Cambridge Diploma? Inlingua offers you learning-efficient preparation courses so that you can register for the test with complete confidence.


The DELF or DALF exam for French is also made up of four different parts, with the time available varying between 30 minutes and three hours depending on the level. The first part tests listening comprehension with the help of two extracts for which several questions are asked. The second part applies the same principle to reading comprehension by asking open questions on various documents. In the third part, the written part, the tasks can also be very different and the higher the level of the examination, the more likely it is that a text of well reasoned argument text will have to be written. Finally, during the oral examination, a certain amount of preparation time is allocated before two experts ask the examinee specific questions on a pre-given topic with reading material (usually in the field of social sciences), which can then lead to a mini-debate. [2]

Während die Prüfungszeiten stark variieren können, ist das Bewertungssystem einheitlich für alle Niveaus organisiert: Jede Prüfungskategorie sieht maximal 25 Punkte vor und das Endresultat berechnet sich aus den akkumulierten Punkten, wobei insgesamt mindestens 50 Punkte für das Bestehen der Prüfung erzielt werden müssen.

While examination times can vary greatly, the assessment system is organised uniformly for all levels: Each examination category provides for a maximum of 25 points and the final result is calculated from the accumulated points, whereby a total of at least 50 points must be obtained to pass the examination.


Do you need help to prepare for the DELF or DALF? Inlingua offers you private courses with personal guidance so that you can register for the test with complete confidence.