Today's world, increasingly globalized, encourages a large part of human beings to maintain exchange relations with other countries and cultures, which is why the need to communicate through a common language has never become clear as now. Given its popularity and versatility, some have called English the "bridge or universal" language. How could we contradict this statement? If most of the political and diplomatic negotiations, economic transactions, the writing of scientific articles, technical manuals, and Internet sites, as well as academic and business spaces, are communicated through this language.
Likewise, the opportunities for success in areas such as work, academia, or studies are amplified when we integrate English as a second language as part of our resources and personal skills.
The pace and speed at which we live today demand that communication be assertive, efficient, and clear, due to which for some decades there have been institutions that certify the command of English at an international level, through the presentation of traditional exams such as the IELTS and the TOEFL. However, until very recently, the Oxford University Press innovated in this field, with the creation of the oxford exams, to evaluate linguistic competencies in the English language, with the endorsement and certification of the renowned University of Oxford.
The Oxford certificate is obtained after estimating the applicant's ability to communicate and interact through the English language, simulating situations that arise in daily life. Obtaining the English title through the Oxford exams presents several advantages in relation to others, among them the interactive and flexible way in which it evaluates the competencies since it initially poses a series of questions and activities that according to the answers that are offered by the applicant, they adapt, in such a way that, if the platform detects a high linguistic capacity, it will present questions and challenges with a greater degree of difficulty and vice versa, these qualities allow obtaining a more precise evaluation of the aptitudes.
On the other hand, the way the exams are applied is also very convenient, since they were designed to be presented through an online platform, which incorporates multimedia resources to show the different topics, filling in the fields that record the answers, listening through headphones and replicating using a microphone, without the need to write on special sheets or booklets. In the same way, their approximate duration is two hours and they are carried out in a single session, so that the applicant does not lose concentration, does not get too tired, and is avoided the additional stress that would represent appointment to two sessions, each one in one day, as is the case with other exams.
Four competencies are evaluated, hence they are called plural exams: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
The oral expression test, or Speaking, lasts 15 minutes and its objective is to assess our response capacity, coherence, and fluency when expressing ourselves in English. We will answer a series of short questions, we will give a message to a friend, we will improvise, we will make descriptions or comparisons regarding images or situations that are presented to us. Our responses will be recorded on the platform.
The listening comprehension test or Listening lasts 30 minutes and seeks that we demonstrate our abilities to identify the main messages of the audio, as well as our understanding of their meaning, of the interactions between the characters, and their opinions. In some cases we will associate the audio with a series of images, in others, we will fill in the boxes with the missing words based on what we hear, we will place the characters according to their dialogues and we will listen to select the correct option.
In the reading comprehension test or Reading, we will have 30 minutes, its goal is to evaluate our skills to perform a quick reading, while we look for information about the objective of the writer and the essential meaning of the text. We will read different content and associate them with the characters that will be presented to us through images. We will complete the missing words in the paragraphs that will appear on the platform, according to the readings made. We will read different texts and answer questions about its plot.
The written expression test or Writing, takes 45 minutes and considers our aptitude so that through our texts we express what we feel, we provide information clearly, we construct convincing arguments, as well as we narrate and describe facts. We will respond to an e-mail and decide between writing an essay or an article about a topic that will be proposed to us through the platform.
How to prepare for the oxford exams?
Some key tips to obtain an outstanding grade would be: i) Familiarize ourselves with the contents of the website of this certification, since there we find valuable resources, such as videos that explain how the exams are and demos to simulate the application to each of its four competencies, ii) there is a series of books published by the Oxford University Press to prepare the exam, in them there are examples of the exams and their answers, recommendations for studying and taking the exams, resources online to improve written expression and listening comprehension, iii) listen and repeat songs, television programs and movies in English, iv) if we are going to read a book or document, it is better to do it in its version in the language we are studying, v) participate in all "chats" and conversations that are possible vi)practice our second language acting out dialogues and scenes, vii) write e-mails and letters, keep a diary with our advances, also in English.
This way we will be prepared to obtain the best mark in the oxford exams, which are recognized by a wide list of universities and institutions, as the most innovative platform to certify and grant the title of the English language internationally.