Qualification in English – Gymnasium Secondary level II – Cambridge English Certificate

Qualification in English – Gymnasium Secondary level II – Cambridge English Certificate

Admission to HTC (Higher Technical College), UAS (University of Applied Sciences) or university

Cambridge certificate as “unofficial” qualification in English (gymnasium/secondary schools)

In Switzerland, the Cambridge exams are regarded as an "unofficial" yet significant benchmark for English language skills and competencies, as well as preparation for the next educational stage. Cambridge English certificate by Swiss Exams - I can prove it

Why "unofficial"?

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

Even though participation in Cambridge exams is generally voluntary in most cantons and schools within the Swiss education system, they have practically become an indispensable component of a career in nearly all sectors and most professions. This is due to their widespread acceptance and appreciation across various educational levels and in the workplace.

Gymnasiums integrate Cambridge examinations

In Switzerland, gymnasiums increasingly integrate Cambridge examinations to provide their students with internationally recognized certifications of their English proficiency.

These exams, such as

serve as clear standards for advanced English skills and support students in their language development.

Often, these certificates are used as a fixed component of the curriculum to not only provide students with the opportunity to measure their abilities against a global standard but also to improve their chances for international studies and career opportunities. The integration of Cambridge examinations into school operations promotes a practical and internationally oriented language education, giving students a competitive edge in the global education and job market.

Cambridge Certificate as evidence of English proficiency for universities and UAS (University of Applied Sciences)

Although the general requirements for admission to universities and UAS are the Matura or Berufsmatura in Switzerland, more and more universities and UAS are demanding and even expecting a Cambridge certificate as evidence of English proficiency. This is why most gymnasiums and secondary schools in Switzerland offer their students preparatory courses for Cambridge exams. Additionally, Cambridge certificates are often a requirement for admission to semesters and studies abroad.

What opportunities does a Cambridge certificate offer?

In school

Schools - Swiss Exams - Benefits of a Cambridge English certificate

The main purpose is to meet the admission criteria for universities and specifically for programmes conducted in English. This is to ensure that students can follow lectures and are able to write academic papers.

  • University Admission: Meets entry requirements
  • English Programs: Tailored for English-taught courses
  • Academic Skills: Enables lecture comprehension and paper writing

In the workplace

Workplace - Swiss Exams - Benefits of a Cambridge English certificate

Many students are either already working during their studies or plan to apply for jobs after graduation. Therefore, having already acquired English language qualifications is an advantage in job hunting. Cambridge certificates are lifetime qualifications, and even if obtained during SEK II level, they retain their value for the professional career after graduation. Nevertheless, many students decide to pursue an even higher certificate during their studies, such as the Cambridge C2 Proficiency.

  • Employment: Students work during or post-studies
  • Job Hunting Advantage: English qualifications enhance job prospects
  • Lifetime Value: Cambridge certificates maintain lifelong relevance
  • Advanced Certificates: Students often aim for higher levels like C2 Proficiency

How to obtain a Cambridge certificate?

Preparation in school/educational institution

The majority of gymnasiums and secondary schools offer their students preparatory courses for Cambridge exams. Depending on their individual competencies, students are typically prepared for the following certificates:

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

Preparation via Swiss Exams Academy 

Some schools may not be able to offer internal preparatory courses for exams due to various reasons, e.g. small class sizes.

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

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

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


At SEK II level, there are also students who independently prepare for their exams.

For these ambitious students, various preparation materials and practice exams are available.

Cambridge English Certification - Self Study - preparation materials | Swiss Exams

More useful information

Assistance for candidates

We are here for you. Here’s how to reach us in no time: Select your request, enter your exam details and submit your query.

Assistance for schools and teachers

Our staff is happy to help and advise you competently. We look forward to your call or email.