Qualification in English – Secondary Level I – Cambridge English Certificate

Qualification in English – Secondary Level I – Cambridge English Certificate

Preparation for Secondary Level II – Apprenticeship or High Schools and Gymnasiums

Cambridge certificate as “unofficial” qualification in English (SEK I)

In Switzerland, Cambridge exams serve as an "unofficial" but significant reference in the English language proficiency and competency domain, as well as preparation for the next educational level.

Why “unofficial”?

In Switzerland, the Cambridge exams are regarded as an unofficial yet significant benchmark for English language skills and competencies

Although participation in Cambridge exams is generally voluntary in most cantons and schools within the Swiss education system, they have become a staple component of a career in nearly all industries and most professions in practice. This is due to their widespread acceptance and recognition across various educational levels and within the business sector.

Preparation for Cambridge exams in schools

In Switzerland, secondary schools throughout the country offer preparatory courses for Cambridge exams. These courses are often offered as electives but may also be integrated into the regular curriculum, especially in the 9th school year.

With this, schools pursue three main objectives:

  1. Enabling students to obtain an internationally recognized English certificate
  2. Preparing students for a higher level of competency required at SEK II level
  3. Expanding students' portfolios for their apprenticeship search and preparing them for their further educational path

What opportunities does a Cambridge certificate offer?

In school

Schools - Swiss Exams - Benefits of a Cambridge English certificate

In school, obtaining a Cambridge certificate essentially signifies that students have expanded their competencies to meet the requirements of the next educational level. As students encounter Cambridge examinations repeatedly on their educational journey in Switzerland, acquiring a certificate and the associated learning and examination experience is of great value.

  • Recognized Progression: Validates educational advancement
  • Regular Exposure: Engage with Cambridge exams throughout schooling
  • Valuable Experience: Acquire crucial learning and exam skills

In the workplace

Workplace - Swiss Exams - Benefits of a Cambridge English certificate

Due to the high recognition of Cambridge certificates in the Swiss economy, such a qualification is a valuable component of any application, even during the apprenticeship search. Students who enroll in this elective course in the 9th grade already stand out due to their increased ambitions in the search for apprenticeships.

  • High Recognition: Valued across the Swiss economy
  • Boosts Applications: Enhances job and apprenticeship prospects
  • Early Ambition: Sets 9th graders apart in apprenticeship searches

How to obtain a Cambridge certificate?

Preparation in school

Many secondary schools offer preparatory courses as electives. Inquire at your secondary school about the available options. If your school does not yet offer this programme, you can refer the relevant individuals to us. We are happy to support schools in establishing a preparatory course.

Most secondary schools prepare their students at the SEK I level according to their classification and competence for the following exams:

The “For Schools” exams are specifically designed for adolescents (SEK I), tailored to their needs in content, but structurally and in terms of level, they are equivalent to the exams for adults. As a result, the version of the exam is not specified on the certificate, and a full-fledged, lifelong valid certificate is awarded in any case.

Cambridge English Certification - preparation in school - Swiss Exams supports schools

Preparation via Swiss Exams Academy 

In some schools, it is not possible to offer internal preparatory courses for exams due to various reasons, e.g. small class sizes.

In such cases, the Swiss Exams Academy is available, offering these courses online each autumn and spring semester.

A major advantage of these courses is that the instructors are often experienced Cambridge examiners with extensive subject knowledge.

Cambridge English Certification - Preparation at home - Course offered by Swiss Exams Academy

More useful information

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