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 Great Britain Guide
Business Certificates - Examinations
Business English Certificates (BEC)
Business Language Testing Service (BULATS)

Companies and universities in UKrecognising Business Certificates

 

Business English Certificates  (BEC) 

The Business English Certificates are a suite of three examinations - BEC Preliminary, BEC Vantage, BEC Higher - designed to test English language ability used in the context of business. They are suitable for adults (aged 16 and over) who are either preparing for a career in business or already in work. There are over 350 examination centres in more than 50 countries. However, there aren't any examination centres in Japan yet

BEC PRELIMINARY

BEC Preliminary assesses basic language ability used in the context of business.

Examination content (3 parts):

1) Test of Reading and Writing  (1時間 30分)

In the Reading component there are seven tasks of the following types: multiple choice, matching, Right/Wrong/Doesn’t Say, multiple-choice gap-filling and form-filling. 

In the Writing component there are two tasks, both compulsory. Candidates produce a piece of internal company communication (approx. 30–40 words), and a piece of business communication (based on Reading input, approx. 60–80 words). 

2) Test of Listening (40分位)

In the Listening component there are four tasks of the following types: multiple choice, gap-filling and form-filling. Texts used are monologues and dialogues, including interviews, discussions, telephone conversations and messages. 

3) Test of Speaking) (12分位 for a couple of candidates)

The Speaking Test is conducted by two external examiners and candidates are tested in pairs. There are four tasks in which each candidate responds to questions, gives a ‘mini-presentation’ lasting approximately one minute, takes part in a collaborative task with the other candidate and takes part in a discussion with the other candidate and the interlocutor. 

Results:

A single, overall grade is awarded, based on the aggregate of marks gained in the four components indicated above. All components contribute 25% of the total marks. There are no pass/fail marks for individual components, hence there is no requirement to reach a particular level in any component in order to achieve a pass in the examination. 

Two classes of passing grade are available, Pass with Merit and Pass, and two classes of failing grade, Narrow Fail and Fail.

All candidates are provided with a Statement of Results which includes a graphical display of the candidate’s performance in each paper. These are shown against the scale Exceptional – Good – Borderline – Weak and indicate the candidate’s relative performance in each paper. Passing candidates are awarded a certificate.

BEC VANTAGE 

BEC Vantage assesses intermediate language ability used in the context of business.

Examination content (4 parts)

1) Test of Reading (1時間)

In the Reading component there are five tasks of the following types: multiple choice, matching, sentence level gap-filling, multiple-choice gap-filling and error identification. 

2) Test of Writing (45分)

In the Writing component there are two tasks, both compulsory. Candidates produce a piece of internal company communication (approx. 40–50 words), and a short report, proposal or piece of business correspondence (based on Reading input, approx. 120–140 words).

3) Test of Listening (40分位)

In the Listening component there are three tasks of the following types: gapfilling or note completion, matching and multiple choice. Texts used are monologues and dialogues, including interviews, discussions, telephone conversations and messages.

4) Test of Speaking (14分位 for a couple of candidates )

The Speaking Test is conducted by two external examiners and candidates are tested in pairs. There are four tasks in which each candidate responds to questions, gives a ‘mini-presentation’ lasting approximately one minute, takes part in a collaborative task with the other candidate and takes part in a discussion with the other candidate and the interlocutor.

Results:

A single, overall grade is awarded, based on the aggregate of marks gained in the four components indicated above. All components contribute 25% of the total marks. There are no pass/fail marks for individual components, hence there is no requirement to reach a particular level in any component in order to achieve a pass in the examination.

Three classes of passing grade are available, A, B and C, and two classes of failing grade, D and E.

All candidates are provided with a Statement of Results which includes a graphical display of the candidate’s performance in each paper. These are shown against the scale Exceptional – Good – Borderline – Weak and indicate the candidate’s relative performance in each paper. Passing candidates are awarded a certificate.

BEC HIGHER 

BEC Higher assesses advanced language ability used in the context of business. 

Examination content (4 parts):

1) Test of Reading (1時間)

In the Reading component there are six tasks of the following types: multiple choice, matching, word level gap-filling, sentence level gap-filling, multiple choice gap-filling and error identification.

2) Test of Writing (1時間 10分)

In the Writing component there are two tasks. In Part One candidates produce a short report (based on graphic input, approx. 120–140 words). In Part Two candidates choose whether to write a report, proposal or piece of business correspondence.

3) Test of Listening (40分位)

In the Listening component there are three tasks of the following types: gapfilling or note completion, matching and multiple choice. Texts used are monologues and dialogues, including interviews, discussions, telephone conversations and messages.

4) Test of Speaking (16分位 for a couple of candidates )

The Speaking Test is conducted by two external examiners and candidates are tested in pairs. There are four tasks in which each candidate responds to questions, gives a ‘mini-presentation’ lasting approximately one minute, takes part in a collaborative task with the other candidate and takes part in a discussion with the other candidate and the interlocutor.

Results:

A single, overall grade is awarded, based on the aggregate of marks gained in the four components indicated above. All components contribute 25% of the total marks. There are no pass/fail marks for individual components, hence there is no requirement to reach a particular level in any component in order to achieve a pass in the examination.

Three classes of passing grade are available, A, B and C, and two classes of failing grade, D and E.

All candidates are provided with a Statement of Results which includes a graphical display of the candidate’s performance in each paper. These are shown against the scale Exceptional – Good – Borderline – Weak and indicate the candidate’s relative performance in each paper. Passing candidates are awarded a certificate.

BUSINESS LANGUAGE TESTING SERVICE ( BULATS )

The Business Language Testing Service (BULATS) is a language assessment service specifically for the use of companies and organisations. BULATS is for organisations which need a reliable way of assessing the language ability of groups of employees or trainees. 

The BULATS Service makes use of a number of specially designed tests. Each test can be used independently of the others, or they can be used in various combinations. This principle of flexibility allows BULATS to customise the service for different situations. 
All the tests aim to be relevant to people using the language at work. They cover areas such as descriptions of jobs, companies and products, travel, management and marketing, customer service, planning, reports, phone messages, business correspondence, presentations. The tasks in the test are generally practical ones, e.g. taking a phone message, checking a letter, giving a presentation, understanding an article, writing a report.

STANDARD BULATS TEST (110 minut )

1) Listening comprehension 

- understanding short extracts

- taking down phone messages

- listening for general understanding

- Understanding extended conversations or talks

2) Reading and Language Knowledge

- Understanding notices and short extracts

- Finding information in short texts

- Understanding a longer text

- Filling gaps in a text (vocabulary)

- Filling gaps in a text (grammar)

- Correcting errors in a text

The Computer Test (below 60 minutes) available on CDs.
THE BULATS SPEAKING TEST 

The test is conducted for individual candidates by a single examiner. It is recorded on tape and re-assessed by another examiner.

1) Interview ( 4mins )

This is a face-to-face interview with the examiner where candidates are expected to answer questions about themselves, their work or their studies, and their interests.

2) Presentation ( 4 mins )

The candidate gives a short presentation on one of three topics and answers questions on it.

2) Information Exchange and Discussion ( 4 mins )

The candidate talks with the assessor, exchanging information and engaging in a discussion. His ability to interact in a foreign language when the situation demands an active role in the conversation is assessed.

THE BULATS WRITING TEST

1) Short Message/Letter (50-60 words) 15分

The candidate writes a short message or letter following given guidelines.

2) Report (180-200 words) 30分

The candidate writes a short report following brief instructions. For this part, candidates choose a task from two alternatives.

Bulats tests are not awarded with certificates. Instead the candidates are given a Test Report which gives an assessment of their overall ability as well a profile of their strengths and weaknesses in speaking the language.

United Kingdom

Abertay University, Dundee

BEC H

Bath University

BEC H

Bell College of Technology

BEC H

Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies

BEC H

Bolton Institute of Higher Education

BEC H

Bradford University

BEC H

Brighton University

BEC V, BEC H

Brunel University

BEC H

Canterbury Christ Church University College

BEC H

City University

BEC H

College of St Mark and St John

BEC H

Derby University

BEC H

East Grinstead Adult Education Centre

BEC H

East London University

BEC H

Edinburgh College of Art

BEC H

European School of Osteopathy

BEC H

Exeter University

BEC H

Farnborough College of Technology

BEC H

Glamorgan University

BEC H

Gloucestershire, University of

BEC H

Harper Adams University College

BEC H

Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

BEC H

Huddersfield University

BEC H

Hull University

BEC H

Keele University

BEC H

Kent University, Canterbury

BEC H

Leeds University

BEC H

Leeds, Trinity and All Saints College

BEC H

Leicester University

BEC H

Liverpool Hope

BEC H

Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

BEC H

Liverpool University

BEC H

London College, University College Kensington

BEC H

London Guildhall University

BEC H

London Institute

BEC H

Luton University

BEC H

Manchester Metropolitan University

BEC H

Milton Keynes College

BEC H

North East Wales Institute of Higher Education

BEC H

North London University

BEC H

Northumbria University, Newcastle

BEC H

Oxford Brookes University

BEC V

Paisley University - Business School

BEC H

Plymouth College of Art and Design

BEC H

Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh

BEC H

Queen Mary and Westfield College (University of London)

BEC H

Queen's University of Belfast

BEC H

 
 

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