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What is the difference between the APTIS and the Cambridge exams?

Aptis is sounding very loud lately, and many students ask me which exam is better to take: Aptis or Cambridge?

Let’s start with the Aptis This test has been created and organized by the British Council for ages 16 and over.

Aptis British Council

It is recognized by many organizations and universities and more and more are added to the list.

Its drawback is that it is only valid in Spain, and like the Cambridge exams, it does not expire either.

Unlike the Cambridge exams, in the APTIS General you take the exam without the possibility of failing, that is, you take the exam and depending on your result you are assigned a level between A1 and B2 (C *). It is like a level test, and when you finish it they accredit the level you have. If you want to certify a higher level, you will have to do the APTIS Advanced, in order to obtain a result of C1 or C2.

What is the exam?

The examination is done by computer in its entirety. In both the General and Advanced versions you will have to prove your worth in the different basic language skills: Speaking, Writing, Reading, Listening and Grammar and Vocabulary. In each part you will receive a grade between 0 and 50 and at the end of the exam you will have 2: one over 200 (the parts of Speaking, Writing, Reading, Listening), and another over 50 (only the part of Grammar and Vocabulary). The certificate will add the corresponding level in the Common European Framework for each of these linguistic competences and an overall qualification in accordance with the Common European Framework.

How long is the exam?

The duration of the exam is around 3 hours, distributed as follows:

  • Grammar and Vocabulary: 25 minutes
  • Speaking: 12 minutes
  • Writing: 50 minutes
  • Listening: 50 minutes
  • Reading: 30 minutes

How much they cost?

  • General Aptis: €77
  • Aptis Advanced: €90

When do I get the grades?

In just 48-72 hours you will have your results

The Cambridge Assessment exams are known and recognized by colleges, universities, and public and private companies throughout the English-speaking world. When you obtain a Cambridge certificate, you are assured of international recognition that shows the level of English you have achieved.

Cambridge English Qualifications

Unlike APTIS, in Cambridge you have to choose a level (Young learners, KET, PET, FCE, CAE, CPE) and take it, so that you can pass or fail said exam. Young Learners are tests designed to assess the language skills of children aged seven to twelve, the Cambridge English: Young Learners (YLE) exams are available in three levels (Starters, Movers and Flyers) and encourage children to continue working at through monitoring your progress. These exams are not passed or failed. But the rest of the exams are passed or failed: to pass KET and PET you need to take 70% of the correct exam, while for FCE, CAE and CPE 60%.

What is the exam?

The exam is divided into 4 parts: Reading and Use of English, Speaking, Listening and Writing. You can do it in person or by computer (Computer Based), but keep in mind that if you do it by computer, the Speaking will continue to be face-to-face.

How long is the exam?

In total about 4 hours, divided as follows:

  • Reading and Use of English: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Writing: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Listening: 45 minutes
  • Speaking: 15 minutes

How much they cost?

The price of these exams varies from the lowest of € 74 (Young Learners) to the highest of € 235 (Proficiency) approximately (may vary depending on the institution that conducts it).

When do I get the results?

In the paper version 4 to 6 weeks, while the computer version about 15 days. The certificate may take a little longer.


Both certificates are recognized and do not expire, but you have to take everything into account.

Price: Aptis is cheaper than Cambridge.

Difficulty: Some of our students tell us that Aptis is significantly easier to do. More intuitive. But this is the opinion of some people, so take it with a grain of salt.

Recognition: Although both are officially recognized, the Cambridge exams are known and recognized internationally, while the Aptis only in Spain.

My personal opinion, and very personal, is that if what you need is a paper that proves your level of English, but it is nothing more than a procedure, with Aptis you have more than enough. But if you want to study or work abroad, that’s another matter, and I recommend that you look at which Cambridge exam is best for you.

I am also of the opinion that the Cambridge exams are very academic, while the Aptis is more realistic, since grammar and vocabulary do not determine your level of English, but your level of reading comprehension, your level of writing, your way. express yourself, and your listening comprehension. In short, what determines your level of English is how you use it.

Taking all this into account, the decision is in your hands.

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