English exams and Kickstart's exam preparation courses

27 Oct 2015 | By Emma Thomas, Kickstart School

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Is it your dream to live and work in an English-speaking country? Would you like to study at an English-speaking university? Are you keen to impress potential employers? Chances are you will need an official English exam qualification.

Kikstart Emma Thomas


Kickstart is a local leader in providing English exam preparation courses to prepare students for success in IELTS, the Cambridge exams, and TOEFL. Kickstart teacher Emma Thomas, an experienced teacher of IELTS, provides some insight into the exam-taking process.


Why take an English exam?

There are three main reasons. Firstly, particular exam results are usually required in order to study in English at schools and universities. Similarly, companies and institutions often require employees to demonstrate their command of English by means of an exam. Finally, many people also take an exam simply to complete an intensive study of the language.


Which exam should I choose?

There are three main exam options. Important questions that you should ask yourself when deciding include:

  • Does my university or employer have specific requirements?
  • Do I want a British or an American English certification?
  • How long does this certification need to be valid for?


Cambridge exams

Cambridge English offers exams specifically targetted at different levels, with the most popular being the First (FCE) and Advanced (CAE) level exams. These exams test British English and, unlike other exams, Cambridge qualifications have no expiry date.

For workers and professionals who wish to develop and receive recognition for their business English skills, Cambridge English also offers Business (BEC) Vantage and Higher exams. Kickstart has recently had workers studying with us at both levels to impress potential new employers in fields such as sales and security.



The IELTS exam is for people who need an official qualification to demonstrate their level of English language proficiency for entrance into universities or professional organisations. It tests British English at a range of levels and is very popular, recognised by more than 9000 organisations worldwide. There is a General and Academic IELTS test. Kickstart offers training in the Academic test, which is more often required. This certification is valid for two years.

Kickstart has recently tutored students who needed high scores to apply for journalism and English courses at UK universities, as well as providing one-to-one classes for a doctor whose ambition is to work in medicine in New Zealand.



TOEFL is the most popular exam for academic North American English and is recognised by over 8000 colleges and universities worldwide. This certification is valid for two years and is becoming an increasingly popular choice.

Recent Kickstart successes include one student who, after achieving a high TOEFL score, is now going to study for an MBA in the US, and a student who achieved the required score to study Business at Erasmus University, Rotterdam.


How can Kickstart help me prepare?

Kickstart offers exam preparation courses to help students prepare for all the exams above. Kickstart is also an official Cambridge English Exam Preparation Centre which means that we not only prepare students for the First and Advanced exams, but we take care of all the administration as well.




To find out more information, visit our website at www.kickstartschool.nl, call us on 070- 3607860, email us at info@kickstartschool.nl, or visit us at Laan Copes van Cattenburch 86, Den Haag.

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