Test of Reading
This paper consists of six parts with 52 questions, which take the form of two multiple matching tasks, two multiple choice tasks, a cloze test and an error identification task. Part 1 contains five short texts or a longer text divided into five sections, and Parts 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 each contain one longer text. The texts are taken from newspapers, business magazines, business correspondence, books, leaflets, brochures, etc. They are all business-related, and are selected to test a wide range of reading skills and strategies.
Test of Writing
For this paper, candidates are required to produce two pieces of writing. For Part 1, they write a short report based on graphic input. For Part 2, they choose whether to write a short report, a piece of business correspondence or a proposal. Candidates are asked to write 120 to 140 words for Part 1 and 200 to 250 words for Part 2. Assessment is based on achievement of task, range and accuracy of vocabulary and grammatical structures, organisation, content, and appropriacy of register and format.
Test of Listening
This paper consists of three parts with 30 questions, which take the form of a note completion task, a multiple matching task and a multiple choice task. Part 1 contains a monologue in a work-related situation, Part 2 contains five very short monologues, and Part 3 contains one longer conversation between two people. The texts are audio-recordings based on a variety of sources including interviews, face-to-face conversations and documentary features. They are all business-related, and are selected to test a wide range of listening skills and strategies.
Test of Speaking
The Speaking test consists of three parts, which take the form of an interview section, a short talk on a business topic, and a discussion. In the standard test format, candidates are examined in pairs by two examiners, an interlocutor and an assessor. The assessor awards a mark based on the following criteria:
Grammar and Vocabulary, Discourse Management, Pronunciation and Interactive Communication. The interlocutor provides a global mark for the whole test.
Marks and results
The four BEC Higher papers total 120 marks, after weighting. Each paper is weighted to 30 marks. A candidate’s overall grade is based on the total score gained in all four papers. It is not necessary to. achieve a satisfactory level in all four papers in order to pass the examination. Certificates are given to candidates who pass the examination with grade A, B or C. A is the highest. The minimum successful performance in order to acheive a grade C corresponds to about 60% of the total marks. You will also be informed if you do particularly well in any individual paper. D and E are failing grades. Every candidate is provided with a Statement of Results which includes a graphical display of their performance in