Language courses in the USA

English certificates and exams

English exam preparation course

At many universities and colleges in Germany and abroad, an official English certificate is now required as an English proficiency test. Companies, especially those that operate internationally, are often demanding that their employees have a high level of English and corresponding English language certificates as proof.

Which of the various English certificates is best for you depends primarily on what you need the certificate for. For example, if you want to study at a UK university, you will certainly be required to have a Cambridge Certificate for enrollment. At US universities, on the other hand, the TOEFL is the official language certificate. When applying to international companies, English proficiency tests that are specifically geared towards the business world, such as the American TOEIC or the British Linguaskill test, are particularly useful.

Many of our partner schools offer special preparatory courses for obtaining official English certificates. In these courses, you will be prepared for the individual English exams, you will practice the exam procedure and be much more relaxed when you take the language exam. Our language travel experts will be happy to advise you personally and free of charge on all options. Simply contact us.

In the following, we will introduce you to the various English proficiency tests that are officially recognized as proof of your oral and written language skills in English. If you're not sure what language level you're currently at, our online English proficiency test can help.

American english certificates

The two most well-known American English proficiency tests, TOEFL and TOEIC, are particularly advantageous if you want to study at an American university or work in an American company, but these English certificates are also held in high esteem outside of the USA.

TOEIC (Test of English in International Communication)

TOEIC has become the international standard for English proficiency tests in business and communication. The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions covering both listening and reading comprehension. It takes about 2.5 hours.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

TOEFL is a targeted English proficiency test and allows admission to most colleges, American and Canadian universities. The exam is also considered a reference for many companies when it comes to hiring and promotion. The three-part test has a multiple-choice structure and examines all aspects of the language. As a rule, the candidates take the examination after a preparatory course of at least 4 to 6 weeks. A fourth optional part completes the course; it focuses on the written language and leads to the TWE (Test of written English).

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

The IELTS is required for university studies in various English-speaking countries, such as Australia and Great Britain. This test is designed to assess general listening and reading skills, as well as other practical areas such as summarizing or reporting. The scoring system is based on a point scale (9 points is the maximum, and 5-7 points is the average).

The Cambridge Certificates

The English exams administered by Cambridge are considered the benchmark around the world. With them, educational institutes and companies can safely check the level of English language skills. If you want to take a Cambridge English exam, most language schools offer special preparation courses for the various Cambridge exams. Programmes usually last 12 weeks, but for students with good language skills, it is also possible to attend short intensive courses of 4, 6 or 8 weeks.

Many universities now recognize the Certificate of Advanced English, the Certificate of Proficiency English and the IELTS exam as evidence of solid English language skills and allow students with such a certificate direct access to advanced courses in English.


B2 First (Cambridge First Certificate in English)

The B2 First English exam, which corresponds to a Swiss pre-university level, is undoubtedly the most well-known Cambridge exam, which is why it is considered authoritative in most countries and opens both academic and professional doors there.


C1 Advanced (Certificate of Advanced English)

The next higher level after the B2 First, the C1 Advanced English exam, is increasingly required for university studies in Great Britain. The C1 Advanced is recognized in many countries as proof of language proficiency and is definitely a professional trump card.


C2 Proficiency (Certificate of Proficiency in English)

The well-known C2 Proficiency requires very good knowledge of the language and culture. It forms a direct reference for most UK universities and many companies and institutions.

Frequently asked questions about English exam preparation courses

What's the best English certificate?

Each certificate we offer is internationally recognised and can be used worldwide. However, for certain purposes (e.g. university), some countries require a specific certificate to be considered eligible. If you’re getting your English certificate because you would like to work in a specific country or study in a particular country, make sure you do your research to find out which certificate is needed.

How do I get a certificate of English?

The purpose of an English certificate is to demonstrate that you have a strong grasp of the language and are capable of proving it under controlled, challenging conditions. As such, you’ll only be able to get your English certificate by gaining a sufficient level of English and becoming familiar with the test structure to ensure you are ready for all aspects of the exam. In your English exam preparation course, you’ll be given this knowledge throughout your curriculum.

Which English proficiency test is easier?

While there is a certain amount of variation between each test, there is no single certificate that is the “easiest”. Some may have a slightly shorter reading/writing section or a simpler listening section, but all of them present a challenge to prove your language level – that’s why it’s important to ensure you enter your exam prepared.

What is included in an English proficiency test?

English exams are designed to test every aspect of your language level. While each certificate evaluates this in a different way, they all focus on the same four key principles: reading, writing, speaking and listening. In your exam preparation course, your curriculum will have a balance between all of these areas to ensure your knowledge is sufficiently balanced across all areas.