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Cambridge AG 2020: The first C2 graduate of Gymnasium Papenburg

Ram Youssef (10c)
Ram Youssef (10c)

At first, I wasn’t sure what the Cambridge AG was all about. Why should I take on more lessons? Am I crazy? But no, there’s a definite benefit to participating in this workshop.

When I first saw the advertisement of the Cambridge AG on our school homepage, I was intrigued. A certificate to prove my lingual skills in English? Sounds good! I was quite sure that I was able to meet all expectations, however, I was discouraged at first: I thought I was too young. As it turns out, your age isn’t the deciding factor. Your skills are.

I first attended the B2 course to see what the standards there were like and then decide whether I wanted to participate or not. The lesson was a lot of fun while we learnt a lot at the same time. Mr. Weisenburger gave us test sheets, with tasks testing our reading skills. We completed the tasks in silence (a rule that not everyone kept) and after about an hour we compared the results with the class. The following week I decided to switch to the C1 course.

Now let me explain the difference between the two courses: The B2 Cambridge test is a little less hard than its C1 counterpart, and if you absolve it with over 60% of the attainable points, you will be granted the B2 certificate. However, if you absolve the B2 test with over 80%, you will be granted the C1 certificate.

Alternatively, if you absolve the C1 test with over 60% you will be granted the C1 certificate, and if you absolve it with over 80%, you will even get the C2 certificate. This means your skills in English are on par with those of a native speaker. A quite difficult thing to achieve, yet not impossible.

Since we had Corona to deal with, we weren’t sure whether we would even be able to take the test in Oldenburg or whether it would be online. In the end it was decided that we would take the test in Oldenburg in June 2020.

The speaking test was first, then there was the writing part of the test the day after.

I had to take the test with 2 other candidates, so we made a deal with each other: the mother of one of the others was to drive us to Oldenburg on one day, and the mother of another on the other day. We took the train on the way back on the last day. Usually, Mr. Weisenburger comes along, however Corona made that quite difficult so we had to go there and back alone.

I can say for myself that I was quite nervous on the way to Oldenburg. I knew that I was well prepared, and I was well aware of what was expecting me. The tension was still high, though. If we were to fail, that would be a whole year and 170 Euros gone to waste.

When we arrived at the Volkshochschule Oldenburg, we were first asked to sit down and wait for someone to take us to the test room. We were asked into the examination room in pairs, since the first day was the speaking test. There was only one other girl there that was taking the test too. The whole building seemed quite deserted. The examiner was a very nice lady. She was very patient with us and repeated the questions in case we didn’t understand them. I cannot remember the questions in detail but I remember the test taking about 10 minutes. It wasn’t difficult – I can say that much.

The written part of the exam was definitely more demanding, though. Our reading, writing and listening skills were put to the test.

In conclusion, I definitely recommend taking part in the Cambridge AG if you are advanced in English. It was a lot of fun and an educational and memorable experience at the same time.