Tuesday, 11 December 2007

FCE in Tokyo

Today sees the second leg of Cambridge ESOL's FCE exam, which we are running in Tokyo for the first time. We are delighted to be able to do so, with the help of Luke & Kuniko at I.L.C. in Akasaka.

I.L.C. asked us earlier this year where their students could take FCE/CAE/CPE, because the British Council would no longer accept candidates. At the same time, Cambridge ESOL were asking Luna to become a Centre for those exams (also called Upper Main Suite or UMS) on top of what we are already certified for (YLE,KET, PET, FCE, TKT).

So we did the logical thing & combined forces. Wednesday we will run C.A.E. & Thursday C.P.E.
There are 33 candidates taking FCE today, and even in the large room available to us it was a tight squeeze to accommodate everyone. In the past, candidates had to take the speaking part on a different day. This is OK if you live locally, but impossible if you are coming a long way (Nagano? Nagoya? Hokkaido?)...so we are trying this way. Unfortunately, it is impossible to please everyone all the time.

Candidates took four papers - Reading, Writing, Use of English & Listening before the speaking tests to finish. It's a very long day - exhausting. At first candidates looked very nervous, later hot & tired. Our four Oral Examiners (thank you Jennifer, Mark, Phil & Martin) were busy and we justabout managed to finish on schedule.

For me this was a stressful day - preparing for it has taken a lot of my time over the last 3 or 4 months - and to finish it with everyone satisfied and no major problems was a relief. As well as running the exams, I needed to make sure the staff at ILC knew what they were supposed to do & when, what to say in the exam room & how to manage a lot of confidential material. So I was very relieved when we'd finished & the last candidates had left - only two more days of the same again!

(Thank you & sorry to my students whose classes I had to cancel today; I hope you can see the bigger picture - I want you to take the exams in Matsumoto!)