I don’t know if you are aware but there have been changes to the A2 Key, A2 Key for Schools, B1 Preliminary and B1 Preliminary for Schools. I won’t be focusing on these specific changes right now, I’ll be posting about them later. Today I’m talking about the reasons behind these changes.
First, it’s not uncommon to have changes in examinations, it actually happens every 3-5 years as these exams evolve and Cambridge updates their tests. If you were a teacher or a student preparing for exams in the years 2008 and 2015, you probably remember that the books you were using got updated. Lots of publishers remodeled their books in order to align their content with the exams.
As the examinations change their content, they can also change their format, and that’s what has happened to the A2 and B1 exams. They went through changes in the format and in the order of the tasks.
Cambridge says that these changes happen due to some reasons. So, why do exams change?
- To keep them relevant to the needs of learners and schools;
- To incorporate evolving approaches to assessment and learning;
- To address feedback from stakeholders (head of English, teachers, learners, exam centers, etc.);
- To align Key/Key for Schools more closely with Preliminary/ Preliminary for Schools and higher levels exams.
These changes are not simply done, there is a whole revision process which happens this way:
So as stakeholders go through these exams, they give Cambridge feedback, which is taken under consideration and consult their experts to see what they can do to improve their tests.
Before putting together an action plan, Cambridge took into account the public’s satisfaction with the exams. By doing a market’s research, they came up with some changes:
- Better balance between Reading and Writing in Key/Key for Schools, removal of repetition/redundancy, and increased authenticity in Reading;
- Enable strong candidate ability at the CEFR level above;
- Reading and writing in Preliminary/Preliminary for Schools now separate papers allow for more Writing;
- Greater focus on fluency and interactive skills in Key/Key for Schools Speaking;
- More use of the same task types across levels to improve alignment across Cambridge English Qualifications;
- More opportunities to produce spoken and written language.
These are not final changes, these were changes demanded by today, but in the future, there will be other changes, because the only certainty we have in life is that everything changes.
If you want to take a better look at the 2020 exam updates, take a look at Cambridge Website. The link will be here, but I’m sure that Cambridge will soon put these updates into another link!
If you have questions about this update or about other things please comment in the comment session below and don’t forget to follow the blog at:
Have a great week,