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BEC Vantage

Business Vantage is the second of three exams in the general Business English suite offered by Cambridge English Language Assessment. It can be taken in both paper-based and computer-based formats. It is at Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and is accepted by educational organisations, government bodies and leading international companies worldwide as an indication that you have achieved an upper-intermediate level of skill in the English language


What is the BEC Vantage test like?
The test has five sections:

  1. Reading -  60 minutes, 45 questions
    1. part 1 - 
    matching 7 sentences to four short texts
    2. part 2 - 
    text with sentences missing
    3. part 3 - 
    text with multiple choice questions
    4. part 4 - 
    text with multiple choice gaps
    5. part 5 - Identification of additional unnecessary words in text
  2. Writing  - 2 tasks , 45 minutes
  3. Listening  - 40 minutes, 30 questions
    1. part 1 - note completion, 3 short passages
    2. part 2 - matching
    3. part 3 - multiple choice

4.   Speaking  - interview,normally with another candidate, 15 minute



Before the exam –preparation

1)   feel more confident

2)   analysing your own strengths and weaknesses across all language skills is more important.

3)   Train yourself to read the rubric carefully so you don’t miss out any part of the task you have to do. You could work through past papers, making a plan for each task, then writing within the time allowance and in accordance with the word count.

4)   get an idea of the variety of grammatical structures and range of vocabulary that is required.

5)   Internet pod castsare very useful and there are many presentations available online. There are various techniques you can use for listening to these, such as pausing and summarising in your own words, and practising note-taking skills.


TIPS to follow , Before Exam

1)Have a good night’s sleep and go into the exam with a clear head – you will need to be fresh as a lot of concentration is required.

2) In the reading and writing papers, you can do the tasks in any order you wish to suit your particular strengths. make sure you fill in the answer sheet carefully.

  3) With reading Parts 4 and 5 (the Use of english parts) make sure you read the texts as far as possible before starting on any of the gaps. This will give you an idea of what the text is about, and then it becomes much easier to do the questions.

4) With writing make sure you don’t run out of time. It is tempting to want to write in too much detail early on,but if you do this you may find that you have to rush at the end and miss things out. Allow yourself time to plan, write, check and edit your work. If you do change or correct anything you write, make sure your corrections are clear.

  5) With Listening, don’t panic if you miss something – you will hear each text a second time. make sure you use the given time to read the rubric and questions in advance, as it will help you to follow the recordings more easily.

6) With speaking, be sure to listen to what the other candidate says, and respond appropriately, to show that youcan communicate effectively.


Where can I find out exactly what I have to do in each part of the test?

You can download a sample paper here , and the Cambridge English Language Assessment website has more information. If you are taking a computer-based exam, you can try a computer-based practice test here . (Please note that this only works with the most recent version of Firefox.)


speaking skills :

1)Don’t memorise set speeches for the Speaking test, as this would not sound natural.

2)You can try recording your voice and listening to yourself – this can help you think about your pronunciation.

In the Speaking exam,there are two examiners. The interlocutor, who speaks to you, awards a mark for global achievement. The assessor, who just listens, uses these assessment criteria: Grammatical Resource and Lexical Resource, Discourse Management, Pronunciation and Interactive Communication. Discourse Management is to do with your fluency and how well you organise your ideas.


Writing Skills :

Writing tasks are marked using these criteria: Content,Communicative Achievement, Organisation and Language .



Results are released online four to seven weeks after the test for paper-based exams, and two weeks after computer-based exams.

  If you achieve grade B or C in the exam, you will receive the Business English Certificate Vantage at Level B2. If your performance is exceptional, you will receive the Business English Certificate Vantage at Level C1.

Ifyour performance is narrowly below Level B2, we will recognise your achievement with a Cambridge English certificate stating that you demonstrated ability at Level B1.



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