Which exam should I choose?

Students are always asking me which exam course they should take. IELTS or one of the Cambridge Mainsuite exams; ( FCE, CAE).

In fact both are Cambridge developed exams although IELTS was developed jointly with the British Council and IDP.

The IELTS exam awards a grade according to your level, whereas Cambridge Mainsuite have exams at each level and awards a certificate if you pass.

The IELTS grade is only valid for two years whereas the Mainsuite exams have no expiry date.

IELTS is used as for immigration purposes and for entrance to higher education such as TAFE colleges and Universities in Australia and overseas. Mainsuite exams are widely used for employment overseas and also for some college and university entrance.

The IELTS exam consists of 4 papers; listening, speaking, reading and writing. For immigration the reading and writing has a general English focus. For higher education students take an academic focused reading and writing exam


Mainsuite exams have 5 papers; listening, speaking, reading, writing and use of English. (PET only has four papers as Listening, speaking and reading/writing.

At GV Byron Bay, we run IELTS continually in 12 week blocks. Students may join at any week, although it is advisable not to join in the last four week block. There is a pre test for entry and students are expected to be at a minimum 4.5 IELTS equivalent level. Exams are held every month in all the major cities.The Gold Coast is the nearest centre for GV Byron Students.

We also offer Cambridge FCE, CAE, BEC exams.  These are run three times a year in line with the exams which are held simultaneously around the world in March, June and December.  We also offer the FCE in August.   Entry is by pre test.



Which exam is best for you? If you want to enter a TAFE college course in Australia, then IELTS is the best option. If you wish to enter an undergraduate course at university, you can consider IELTS or CAE

If you have any questions about these exams or the courses that we offer, come and see Justin

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