COURSES AND TESTS
We teach all levels of English, PERSONALIZING the course to the interests and needs of the individual.
The Basic level consists of three books, while Intermediate is composed of two. At the Advanced level the book used depends on the student's goals.
We prepare students for the university entrance exams, the admission tests for Master's and Doctoral courses, and the English exams required by public institutions.
We have excellent material for the TOEIC, TOEFL, IELTS, MICHIGAN, FCE, CAE, CPE, SAT, GRE, and GMAT examinations.
If you are thinking about studying abroad, mainly in the U.S, we provide counseling on what universities to apply to, where to search for financial aid, and how to prepare application forms and statements of purpose.
We also use teaching material (books, texts, and articles) in accordance with the student's area of expertise or interest, such as Business Administration, International Trade, Economics, Medicine, Law, and Information Technology.
For individual or small group English classes, contact us.
Rua Tomas Gonzaga 802 / 705 - Lourdes
30180-140 Belo Horizonte, MG
INTERMEDIATE LEVEL EXAMS
ECCE - Examination for the Certificate of Competency in English
Also called Little Michigan it is intended for learners who have acquired at least an intermediate competence in four skill areas: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The ECCE, which began in 1994, is developed and produced by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA) and is administered once a year (in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, it happens every May)
The Listening section is comprised of 50 multiple-choice questions to be answered in about 25 minutes. There are 130 multiple-choice items in the Grammar, Vocabulary, and Reading section (90 minutes). In the Writing section the task is to produce a short letter or essay, one page or about 150-175 words long, in 30 minutes. The Speaking test assesses the examinee's ability to give basic personal information, ask questions about pictures, and use that information to express a choice or opinion, all in 10 to 15 minutes.
Those who answer at least 65% of the questions correctly in the listening, grammar, vocabulary, and reading sections; are able to communicate basic ideas; and score 2 or higher on a scale of 1 to 4 in the writing section are awarded a certificate.
FCE - First Certificate in English
At level 3 in the University ofCambridge five-level system, the test occurs twice a year (June and December) and represents a general standard of competence in English. Certificates are awarded on grades A, B, and C on the aggregate of marks gained in five skill areas.
Reading (1 hour and 15 minutes) consists of 35 questions (multiple matching, multiple choice, and gapped texts) on four texts. Candidates are required to complete two Writing tasks of approximately 120-180 words each in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Use of English (grammar) consists of 65 questions divided into cloze, word transformation, error correction, and word formation. Listening is comprised of 30 questions: multiple choice, note taking or blank filling, multiple matching, and selection of two or three possible answers. And Speaking (approximately 15 minutes) is conducted in pairs with two examiners where the candidates are required to give and exchange information and opinions through a range of tasks.
TOEIC - Test of English for International Communication
Developed by Educational Testing Service, located in Princeton, New Jersey (USA), it measures the kind of English used in everyday activities. The TOEIC test is used by organizations to recruit, promote, and place employees, determine whether an individual can participate in and benefit from training conducted in English, and indicate if an employee will be able to work and interact sucessfully in an English-speaking country. More than 4,000 corporations worldwide use it and more than 1.4 million people take the test every year.
It is a two-hour, paper-and-pencil, multiple-choice test that consists of 100 Listening Comprehension (about 45 minutes) and 100 Reading questions (75 minutes). The total score ranges from 10 to 990 but an individual does not "pass" or "fail" the exam. An examinee's score means that he met, or not, the standards set by the specific company or language school.
ADVANCED LEVEL EXAMS
CAE - Certificate in Advanced English
The CAE examination, which occurs in June and December, indicates a high level of competence in English (level 4 in Cambridge's system) for candidates entering, or already in, the working world. Certificates are awarded in passing grades A, B, and C.
The Reading Comprehension section is comprised of approximately 50 multiple-choice questions based on four texts (1 hour and 15 minutes). There are two Writing tasks of about 250 words each to be done in two hours. The English in Use section (1 hour and 30 minutes) consists of multiple-choice and open-completion items, questions requiring the revision or correction of two short texts, and questions requiring the completion of a text and/or the expansion of notes, etc. The Listening (approximately 45 minutes) includes questions of various types. And the Speaking (about 20 minutes), when candidates are examined in pairs, is based on visual stimuli.
CPE - Certificate of Proficiency in English
The CPE examination (level 5 in the Cambridge system), which happens in June and December, fulfills the English language requirement for matriculation purposes by British universities and many universities in other English-speaking countries. In a number of countries it is a qualification for teaching English in primary or secondary schools.
The certificates are awarded in grades A, B, and C on the aggregate of marks gained in five sections. Reading Comprehension (1 hour) comprises 40 multiple-choice questions. Two Compositions are written based on topic choices or books (2 hours). The Use of English (2 hours) consists of open-completion or transformation items or questions on a passage. The Listening Comprehension section takes approximately 35 minutes. And the Interview is based on a picture stimulus, related passages, and other material. The interview may, optionally, be based on a book (see below) and may be conducted, also optionally, in groups of two or three candidates.
One or more set books may be read as background preparation for the Composition and/or the Interview. A new list of books is published each year (in 2003 they were The Accidental Tourist by Ann Tyler, The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley, and The Colour of Blood by Brian Moore). For the English "nerds", Translation and Literature are optional additional sections on the test but not taken into account in the award of certificates.
ECPE - Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English
Its content and difficulty reflect the English language skills required of a university level adult. The ECPE began in 1953, developed and produced by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA), and is administered once a year (in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, it happens every November).
The Writing task involves selecting one of two topics and producing an essay of 1 to 2 pages or 250-300 words in 30 minutes. The Listening section comprises 40 multiple-choice items (about 25 minutes) and the Cloze section assesses organizational features of written text by requiring the examinee to fill in the missing word slots (40 multiple-choice items in 25 minutes). There are 100 multiple-choice questions in the Grammar, Vocabulary, and Reading section (60 minutes). The Interactive Oral Communication section is a conversation in which the examinee and the examiner exchange ideas.
Those who obtain passing scores, approximately 65%, on all five sections of the ECPE are awarded a certificate.
ADMISSION TESTS FOR UNIVERSITIES
IELTS - International English Language Testing System
It assesses whether a candidate is ready to study or train in the medium of English at an undergraduate or postgraduate level. IELTS is accepted by universities and colleges in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.
Examination content: Listening -- four sections with a total of 30 questions to be done in 40 minutes; Academic Reading -- three reading passages of increasing difficulty with a total of 40 questions to be done in 60 minutes; Academic Writing -- in task 1 candidates are asked to present the information of a diagram in their own words and in task 2 the candidates have to present a solution or justify an opinion to a point of view or argument or problem, all in 60 minutes; and Speaking -- a one-to-one interview.
A score in each of the four modules, and an overall score, are recorded as levels of ability on a nine-band scale. A score of 6-7 is typically in the range for academic candidates.
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language
The purpose of the TOEFL is to evaluate the English proficiency of people whose native language is not English. TOEFL scores are required for purposes of admission by more than 4,000 colleges and universities worldwide.
The computer-based test, offered year-round at schools and testing centers, has four sections. Listening measures the ability to understand English as it is spoken in North America (you have about one minute to answer each of the approximately 40 multiple-choice questions). Structure measures the ability to recognize language that is appropriate for standard written English. The language tested is formal, rather than conversational (there are 20 to 25 questions in this section and you have 15 to 20 minutes to complete it). Reading Comprehension measures the ability to understand short passages similar in topic and style to academic texts used in North American colleges and universities. You will read four to five passages and answer 44 to 60 questions in this section (you will have 70 to 90 minutes, about 13 minutes por text). Finally, Writing measures the ability to write in English on an assigned topic. It must be done in no more than 30 minutes.
For the computer-based test, you will receive four scale scores: Listening (0-30), Structure/Writing (0-30), Reading (0-30), and a total score (0-300). The essay score, on a scale of 1 to 6, will also be shown separately.
SAT - Scholastic Aptitude Test
Most colleges and universities in the United States require their applicants to take a standardized examination called the SAT. The U.S. has no national education standards so the SAT provides college admissions officers with a quick way to compare applicants from thousands of different high schools.
The new SAT, effective March 2005, is a four-hour exam divided into eight sections. However, your scores will be based on only seven of them: four 25-minute sections (two math and two critical reading); one 60-minute writing skills section (35 minutes of multiple-choice questions and a 25-minute essay); and two 20-minute sections (one math and one reading). The eighth section, which is "experimental" and cannot be distinguished from the other sections, will be 25 minutes long and consists of math, critical reading, or writing multiple-choice questions.
Critical Reading consists of sentence completion and reading comprehension questions; Mathematics tests arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability, logical reasoning, interpretation of data, and graphs; and Writing includes identifying sentence errors, improving paragraphs, and writing an essay.
As a result you will get three scores, each of which will lie between 200 and 800.
GRE - Graduate Record Examinations
The GRE is a computer-adaptive and multiple -choice exam required from those who wish to do a graduate course, apart from Business Administration, especially in the United States.The test measures English skills that have been developed over a long period of time. It is given year-round at universities and learning centers all over the world.
The testing program includes a General Test as well as Subject Tests in disciplines such as Biology, Mathematics, and Psychology. The general test, which is 2 1/2 hours long, includes analytical writing, verbal, and mathematics sections. In the first you must write your perspective on an issue in 45 minutes and analyze an argument in writing in 30 minutes. The second is composed of sentence completion, analogy, reading comprehension, and antonym questions (30 minutes). The math section includes quantitative comparisons, problem solving, and graphs (45 minutes), requiring arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis knowledge.
Your score is based on a combination of the number of questions you answered correctly and the difficulty level of the questions answered. Your score report will include verbal, quantitative or math, and analytical scores. For the first two the scoring scale runs from 200 to 800. Your writing will be graded on a scale of 1 to 6.
GMAT - Graduate Management Admission Test
The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test that is available year-round at test centers throughout the world. It measures basic verbal, mathematical, and writing skills that are developed over a long period of time. It is specifically designed to help graduate schools assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in business and management. The GMAT does not presuppose any specific knowledge of business or other specific areas.
The examination, which is approximately 4 hours long, includes verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections. Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving questions based on Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry are mingled thoughout the quantitative section -- 37 questions to be answered in 75 minutes --, and Sentence Correction, Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning questions are mingled thoughout the verbal section-- 41 questions in 75 minutes. These sections are multiple-choice and computer-adaptive. For the analytical writing you will be presented with two essay topics, analysis of an issue and analysis of an argument, and will have no more than 30 minutes each to type your responses.
You will receive two scores ranging from 200 to 800, referring to the verbal and quantitative sections, and a third one, concerning the writing, on a scale of 0 to 6. But because the testing program adapts to your skills the first questions are important to determine your score potential since harder questions imply a higher grade if answered correctly.