Section

B1-B2 Certificate in English for Secondary and Upper Secondary School Students

Certify a B1 or B2 level of English at UIC Barcelona.
Date of exam: 7 May 2021

B1-B2 Certificate in English for Secondary and Upper Secondary School Students is a multilevel exam that will enable you to certify a B1 or B2 level of English in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

The exam was created in cooperation with Richmond Publishing.

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B1-B2 Certificate in English for Secondary and Upper Secondary School Students

Certify a B1 or B2 level of English at UIC Barcelona

The Universitat Internacional de Catalunya and Richmond Publishing have created theSponsored Classroom for Innovation in English Language Teaching, a meeting point for universities and the publishing industry that seeks to promote the creation of academic, scientific and cultural activities that foster multilingualism in our society through educational innovation.

These activities include the provision of language support through the introduction of English into teaching materials for compulsory secondary education in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands, and the creation of a B1 and B2 English certification module.

Learning and certifying languages is essential for secondary and upper-secondary students. Educational institutions and, subsequently, the job market require ways for young people to certify their knowledge of foreign languages. As a result, at UIC Barcelona and Richmond Publishing, we have teamed up to create a specific certification exam for adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18.

What is it?

It is a multilevel exam that will enable you to certify a B1 or B2 level of English in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Students who pass the exam will receive an official certificate from UIC Barcelona, which will be recognised by all Catalan universities and all Official Schools of Languages in Catalonia.

This exam was specially designed for students who use the following Richmond Publishing English-learning materials:

Who is it intended for?

It is an exam created specifically for adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18.

What does it mean to have a B1 or B2 level under the CEFR?

At a B1 level, students can deal with situations that require them to understand and use practical English. This includes the ability to read basic texts and articles and write simple personal letters or articles, understand spoken English and participate and interact in conversation.

At a B2 level, students can understand the main idea of complex texts on both specific and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialisation. They can express themselves with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers possible without strain for either party. They can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

What is the CEFR?

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) was published in 2001 and establishes common criteria for describing the linguistic competences of learners of foreign languages across Europe.

The CEFR divides the levels as follows: 

MECR

Source: Council of Europe (2001), Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, p. 43 

Where is the B1-B2 Certificate in English for Secondary and Upper Secondary School Students recognised?

es titulacions universitàries són reconegudes per tot el sector educatiu i professional.

University qualifications are recognised across the educational and professional sector.

The Catalan universities are authorised to certify language skills in the form of certificates issued by the Universities' language schools, which are awarded to students who pass exams that test all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing).

The B1 certificates awarded by the Catalan universities are equivalent to the Cambridge PET exam, an intermediate certificate from the Official School of Languages (EOI) and a score of 42 to 71 on the TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language - Internet Based Test).

The B2 certificates, on the other hand, are equivalent to the Cambridge FCE exam (First Certificate of English), an advanced certificate from the Official School of Languages (EOI) and a score of 72 to 94 on the TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language - Internet Based Test).

For further information on correspondence between language certificates, please see the following equivalence table:

How much does it cost?

The exam has a one-off cost of €60. The price includes exam administration fees and the cost of issuing a B1 or B2 certificate.

When and where will the exam be held?

The written test will be on Friday, May 7, 2021 at the UIC Barcelona facilities.

Oral tests will be held on May 10 and 28, 2021.

The schedule for the written part of the exam, which will be held on-site at UIC Barcelona, in order to give you a first look at what university life is like, will be as follows:

9.00:

Arrival at UIC Barcelona

9.00 - 9.30

Welcome (Aula Magna)

10.00

Start of written exam

10.00 - 11.00

Campus tour for accompanying teachers

10.00 - 11.15

Reading comprehension

11.15 - 12.00

Listening comprehension

12.00 - 12.20

Break (UIC Barcelona garden)

12.30 - 1.40 

Written expression

1.40 - 2.00

End of exam and farewell

What does the exam involve?

The exam consists of 4 parts: reading (75 minutes), listening (45 minutes), writing (70 minutes) and spoken production and interaction (15 minutes).

The written part of the exam will last 3 hours and 10 minutes and is divided into two blocks, with a 20-minute break in between. The first block includes the reading and listening sections and the second block, the writing section.

The spoken production and interaction test, which will last 15 minutes per student, will preferably be done at the schools on the agreed date and time. In exceptional cases, it may be done the same day as the written exam at UIC Barcelona.

There is only one official sitting. If you are unable to attend for justified reasons we will defer your place until the following year.

Reading

The reading section will test your ability to read and understand five texts through exercises such as matching and fill in the blanks. You must be able to understand the text and have strategies for dealing with unknown words and structures.

Listening

La part de comprensió auditiva avaluarà la capacitat per entendre material gravat, el qual serà reproduït dues vegades a un ritme moderat.

Writing

This section includes a range of tasks aimed at demonstrating your mastery of structure, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation through writing. The first text must be between 120 and 150 words long, and the second between 180 and 220 words long.

Spoken production and interaction

The conversation test will assess your ability to interact in English in the course of a conversation. You must be able to speak about general topics. The conversation test will be done individually and last 10-15 minutes per examinee. Examinees must follow the examiners' instructions. The test will involve three tasks:

  1. Interview.
  2. Informal interaction with the examiner with visual support.
  3. Descriptive monologue about two photographs provided by the examiner.

How do I prepare?

Richmond Publishing has developed several English-learning methods (Achievers and Fast Track series) aimed at helping learners achieve a B1 or B2 level under the CEFR.

To ensure the examinees have a greater chance of success, we have created practice tasks so that you may prepare for the exam in advance.

Assessment criteria

Value of each section

The B1-B2 Certificate in English for Secondary and Upper Secondary School Students organised by the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC Barcelona) is divided into four sections:

  1. Reading (60 min.).
  2. Listening (45 min.).
  3. Writing (70 min.).
  4. Spoken production and interaction (15 min.).

Each section of the exam is equally weighted, i.e. each is worth 25% of the final exam mark.

Certification criteria
  • To certify an overall level of B1, the students must achieve at least a B1 level on each of the four sections of the exam.
  • To certify an overall level of B2, the students must achieve a B2 level or higher on three of the four sections of the exam. The result of one of the four sections may be B1, but no lower.

Enrolment

To register, please contact us at multiling@uic.es and we will send you the corresponding instructions.

The deadline for enrolment is 30 April 2020.

Results

During the first two weeks of June, the schools will receive an e-mail with the students’ results (B1/B2/fail). We will then post the B1 and B2 certificates along with a report summarising the school’s overall results. It will be up to the schools to inform the students of the outcome of the exam. 

The exam revision will take place in the Third Languages Unit of the Institute for Multilingualism at UIC Barcelona. The exact dates of the results and exam revision will be posted on our website approximately one month prior to the exam.

Is the exam entirely on-site?

The written exams will be held on-site at UIC Barcelona and the oral exams at the schools or, in exceptional cases, at UIC Barcelona, in accordance with the needs and number of enrolled students.

How many parts does the exam have?

The exam has 4 parts: Reading (75 min.), listening (45 min.), writing (70 min.) and spoken production and interaction (15 min.).

How is the oral exam conducted?

La prova oral es farà individualment i durarà 10-15 min per examinand.

At which universities will the UIC Barcelona certificate be recognised?

The B1-B2 Certificate in English for Secondary and Upper Secondary School Students is a Catalan university-specific certificate and as such will be recognised throughout the Catalan education system.

How will it be of use in my university education?

It will enable you to certify a B1 or B2 level of English before starting university. As the Government of Catalonia requires a B2 level by graduation, with the B2 certificate, you will be able to certify the level of language proficiency required to finish your degree. The B1 certificate, on the other hand, will provide a starting point from which to build upon.

Is it equivalent to a B1 or B2 level at the EOI if I wish to continue studying at an Official School of Languages?

Under Resolution ENS/1477/2015, of 25 June, on the certification of foreign language competence within the Government of Catalonia's Department of Education, Catalan university-specific qualifications certify linguistic and communicative competence in foreign languages within the Department of Education. As the Official Schools of Languages are part of the Catalan education system, they are required to accept it.

When is the exam? Is there only one sitting per year?

The call for the 2020-2021 academic year will take place on Friday, May 7, 2021.

What happens if I am unable to come the day of the exam?

If you are unable to attend for justified reasons (you must submit proof) we will defer your place until the following year, and you will be entitled to take part in the following sitting.

If I do not pass the multilevel exam can I certify a lower level?

No, the B1-B2 Certificate in English for Secondary and Upper Secondary School Students only certifies a B1 or B2 level of English. If you do not pass the exam, no level certificate will be issued.

When is the deadline for enrolment?

One week before the tests, on April 30, 2021, for the 2020-2021 sitting.

When is the deadline for payment? Where can I pay?

You will have to pay the registration fee at the most, one week before the tests, on April 30, 2021, at your center.

Is there a limit (minimum or maximum) on the number of students per school?

No limit (minimum or maximum) on the number of students per school has been established.

Will the students or schools have acess to a practice test prior to the exam?

Sí, hem posat a disposició dels alumnes i dels centres, a la secció “Com es prepara l’examen”, exemples de les tasques de l’examen per poder practicar.

Are the teachers required to escort the students on the day of the exam? If so, what is the desired teacher/student ratio on the day of the exam?

Yes, each school will be responsible for bringing the students the day of the exam. We recommend one teacher for every 20 students. However, the more teachers are the better.

Will the certificate be sent to the school or to the students?

Once the exam has been corrected, UIC Barcelona will notify the schools of the students’ results and, following the revision period, send the certificates to the schools by post. It will be up to the schools to inform the students of their results and give them their certificates.

Will the schools receive a report on the students who take the exam?

Yes, UIC Barcelona will send the schools, in addition to the examinees’ certificates, a report summarising the school’s overall results.

Does the certificate expire?

No, the B1-B2 Certificate in English for Secondary and Upper Secondary School Students does not expire.

Is there a minimum or maximum age limit?

No, though the exam was designed for adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18, approximately (it is not intended for children or adults).

How long does the exam last?

The written part will last three hours and ten minutes and the speaking part 15 minutes.

What does the exam involve?

The exam tests all four language skills. The reading section will contain matching exercises. In the listening part you will need to fill in the blanks. In the writing section you will be required to write a text. In the spoken expression section, examinees must follow the instructions and speak individually. We have provided a series of practice tests under the heading “How do I prepare?”.

What are the advantages of his qualification over other level certificates such as Trinity College or Cambridge?

The B1-B2 Certificate for Secondary and Upper Secondary School Students comes with a university seal of quality and was developed by the Institute for Multilingualism at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya. The Institute for Multilingualism plays a key role in expanding the University's international presence and works closely with the faculties to ensure and support quality teaching and learning through foreign languages.

The exam was created by a team of lecturers with experience in official certification exams and experts in the development of foreign language certifications.

As the exam will take place at UIC Barcelona, it will give students a first look at what university life is like. The price is lower than other official language certificates. And, lastly, these exams were specifically designed for adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 who use Richmond Publishing.

Is this the right certificate if I wish to enrol in an International Baccalaureate programme?

No, this qualification certifies a B1 or B2 level of English and to enrol in an International Baccalaureate programme a C1 level of English is required.

Es podrà fer revisió d'examen? Tindrà algun cost addicional?

Sí, un cop corregit l’examen, es comunicarà als alumnes la nota i també la data en la qual tindrà lloc la revisió. La revisió serà de franc.