Are you studying English and quickly need a certificate that officially accredits your level? Can't wait for any exam call? Do you like the idea of being able to take the exam from home better? Do you only need to certify your written level of English? Possibly the best option of all those available to you, if you find yourself in some of the previous cases, Linguaskill is the new tool from the University of Cambridge.
It is a level test that allows you to obtain results in just 48 hours. In today's article, we want to help you with the second module, writing. So that you know what it is and how to prepare it. We provide you with enough resources so that you can work on your own.
What exactly is Linguaskill?
It is a test that adapts to your level of English and when carried out by computer, the test is fast and accurate. The results are in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for languages, considered the international standard framework that serves to describe the linguistic skills organized at different levels. This test covers all these possible levels that can be certified in a foreign language, from level A1 to level C1 or higher, passing through all intermediate levels. The parts of the Linguaskill test are: Writing, Speaking Reading, and Listening. You can examine yourself from all the parts at the same time or if you prefer, from one in particular.
If what you need is to accredit your level of English, from the initial level A1 to the advanced level C1 or higher, either for an oppositions test, to be able to graduate or to access a scholarship such as Erasmus, ICEX, etc., Cambridge University offers you the possibility of taking a test and obtaining the results in 48 hours.
In addition, it is a test that even adjusts to the current situation: taking into account all the changes caused by the coronavirus, the University of Cambridge has adopted the test to be able to take it from home, offering the maximum guarantee and security in its implementation, evaluation, and results. To be able to adhere to this new possibility, you must have the following tools:
- A computer, either laptop or desktop. It must be at least 15 ″. It is essential that you have a webcam to be able to perform these tests.
- Connection to the Internet, preferably with fiber optics, as this is what will ensure that the information is sent correctly to Cambridge.
- It is essential to have headphones and a microphone so that both Listening and Speaking are carried out normally.
- A space where you can be alone and uninterrupted the day you take the test.
Cambridge uses exceptional measures in these circumstances, both for registration and for the examination by means of facial recognition that performs all the checks. A software-based on artificial intelligence will be in charge of informing the examination center of the candidate's behavior at all times.
Who can benefit from Linguaskill?
Linguaskill is a test that can be taken by all people who want to and who need to have their level of English certified in 48 hours. Also, all those who do not need to certify only a specific part of the general exam. However, it is characterized by being in high demand within the following groups:
- Students: most Spanish universities accept Linguaskill when it comes to fulfilling the Erasmus, postgraduate, and graduation requirements. It can serve all students who are going to graduate and have to demonstrate a level. For those students who wish to go with a scholarship to study in a foreign country or for those who want to access certain universities where a certain level of English is required as an entry requirement.
- Universities: when they need to measure a candidate's level of English for admissions processes to assess progress in learning or to graduate, Linguaskill can help to do so quickly and accurately.
- Companies: Linguaskill can be used as a tool in the selection and promotion processes, to ensure that the candidate has the appropriate language skills for a job, or to evaluate the effectiveness of internal English training programs.
Linguaskill Writing: test characteristics
It is a test that lasts 45 minutes, in which the candidates will have to complete the two parts that make it up and must enter the answers using the computer keyboard. These answers will be scored automatically by the system and the results will be available in just 12 hours.
The two parts of the test are as follows:
A) Email: the candidate is asked to write a text of at least 50 words. Your score will be half of the final grade in the written expression test.
Types of questions: candidates read a short text, usually an email. They have to use the information in the text and the three points listed to write an email of at least 50 words. Candidates should spend about 15 minutes on this task.
B) Long text: the candidate must write a text of at least 180 words. The score for this part will be half of the final grade in the written expression test.
Question types: Candidates read a short text describing a scene and respond using the information that has been provided and the three points that are listed. A letter or report of at least 180 words is requested. Candidates should spend about 30 minutes on this task.
Tips for preparing the test on your own
It may be difficult for you to access and prepare for this specific test or it may be that you are not convinced of the idea. However, you do not have to give up the Linguaskill Writing preparation, you can do it perfectly on your own. If you follow a series of fundamental tips that will help you achieve the final goal, obtain your degree that reflects the level you need, you can achieve it. The following guidelines can be very helpful and useful:
- As in any official exam, to take Linguaskill it is necessary to have prior knowledge of English relative to the level at which you are going to take the exam. You cannot enroll yourself without knowing any English or if you haven't practiced for a long time, in this case reading and writing texts. In order for you to pass the exam with the greatest possible success, it is necessary that you have a job done and a series of fundamental or advanced knowledge, depending on the level to which you aspire.
- To prepare this exam on your own, and this specific Writing test, you must create a real weekly study plan, that is, a plan that adapts to your real-time, the one you have to study and that you can always comply with. It is essential that every week you spend at least a couple of hours preparing for this specific reading and writing test.
- The starting point of this test is text comprehension, so it is essential that you read a lot during the preparation, both long and short texts. You need to be in continuous contact with reading and also with understanding the texts. Also, as you know the characteristics of the tests, practice the subsequent writing directly with each of the texts you read.
- Maintaining contact with natives will help you a lot, it always helps to be in contact with the language in a real way. In this case, it is advisable that the contact is in writing so that you understand what they write and so that you write and they can correct you. As you have to write emails, it is essential that you maintain the relationship by this means.
- Try to maintain contact in English-speaking groups on social networks, in this way you will be able to start conversations with native speakers, by writing, practicing, and training practically without realizing it to take this test.
Linguaskill Writing Core Preparation Materials
With this compilation of material, you will be able to prepare for the Linguaskill Writing test. We advise you to review them all, each of them will help you pay attention to a certain aptitude that will be good for you to work on and strengthen to obtain the best result on the exam.
The University of Cambridge itself offers you the following material with which you can directly prepare for the writing test.
It makes the fundamental evaluation criteria available for this test, divided by levels. It is essential that you read them well and take them into account:
Also, this series of resources, which will help you with your level of English, with material for you to prepare for the Linguaskill Writing:
In addition, you have games, apps, and social networks that will come in handy.
These level-selected reading books can help you work through the Writing test and the prior text comprehension it requires. Choose the ones you like the most and enjoy while you are studying:
It is essential that you work with a good dictionary to solve all the doubts that may come to you while you prepare for the test. In the following link, you have a recommendation of which are the ones that can help you and guide you in the study and preparation of writing.
With these books you can prepare for this Writing test, in addition to the rest of the Linguaskill exam:
Regarding obtaining the results after taking the test, in the following table, you can verify what level you would obtain with each of the possible scores so that you can get an idea of what it would correspond to:
C1 or higher
You have to know that the general results of the Linguaskill test are provided in 48 hours. A computer-generated Test Report will be sent, so there is no waiting for printed certificates or other documents. However, currently and as a novelty, the examiners that perform Linguaskill now have the option of allowing their candidates to consult their results on the internet and not have to receive the Test Report. Each center chooses whether or not to make this feature available to candidates.
Regarding the characteristics of these reports, take into account what they are like and what they will show you:
- The score in each of the skills that have been tested, allowing you to quickly understand your level of English.
- The level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) that you possess in each of the skills that have been examined.
- An average score according to the Cambridge English Scale and the associated CEFR level.
- An explanation of what each score means in terms of English skills, allowing you to see where you are doing well and where you can improve.
Centers can also generate reports for individual candidates or for groups, depending on specific needs. You can also break down the scores by group and by level, allowing easy comparison of capabilities across your organization if applicable.
If you have made the decision to take the test, from the following link you can see directly which centers we recommend for you to take the Linguaskill Reading and Listening module.
You can contact your exam center directly and they will advise you and inform you of everything you need.