International Legal English Certificate (ILEC)

Cambridge English : Legal (ILEC) also known as International Legal English Certificate (ILEC) is a high-level qualification that will help you demonstrate that you have the language skills for a successful career in international law.


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Why you should take ILEC exam ?



ILEC
Internationally Accepted
Employers, universities and colleges, government departments and other organisations around the world accept Cambridge Legal English Certificate (ILEC) as proof of high-level achievement in learning English. In many countries, job applicants who can prove strong English skills have better access to jobs and higher earning potential.
ILEC exam
Relevant
Cambridge Legal English (ILEC) covers all four language skills: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Each test is based on realistic texts, tasks and topics similar to those you would expect to encounter in your daily working life as an accounting or finance practitioner.


ILEC exam
Most Reliable
Cambridge Legal English (ILEC) provides the most reliable reflection of your language skills. It is designed to be fair to users of all nationalities and linguistic backgrounds.
ILEC exam
Real-life language skills
Cambridge Legal English (ILEC) will give you the practical English skills to:
  • to use English in practical situations
  • to participate in meetings and discussions of a legal nature
  • to express opinions clearly
  • to understand and to produce texts of various types, including legal correspondence and memoranda
  • prove your commitment to professional development.

Test Format

International Legal English Certificate (ILEC) Exam is designed to assess candidates in all the key language skills : Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.


Paper Content Marks
(% of total)
Purpose
Reading
(1 hour 15 minutes)
6 parts / 54 questions 25% Shows you can:
  • complete tasks based on law-related texts
  • read and understand law-related texts
  • demonstrate a variety of reading skills, including skimming, scanning, deduction of meaning from context
  • select relevant information to complete tasks.
Writing
(1 hour 15 minutes)
2 parts / 2 questions 25% Shows you can complete writing tasks covering a range of law-related topics.
Listening
(about 40 minutes)
4 parts / 30 questions 25% Shows you can:
  • understand each law-related text as a whole
  • gain detailed understanding and appreciate gist and the attitude of the speaker
  • identify and interpret the context.

Texts take the form of consultations, meetings, announcements, seminars, etc.
Speaking
(16 minutes per pair of candidates)
4 parts 25% Shows you can perform a variety of spoken tasks on law-related topics, using a range of speaking skills:
  • interactional
  • social
  • transactional
  • negotiation
  • collaboration.




The ILEC (International Legal English Certificate) Reading paper has different types of texts and questions. In one part, you may have to read one long text, or four or more shorter, related texts.




Part 1 (Multiple-choice cloze)


What's in Part 1? Multiple-choice cloze (gapped text).
Focus: lexical (e.g. semantic precision, collocations, fixed phrases and linking words/phrases).
What do I have to practise? Lexis (e.g. semantic precision, collocations, fixed phrases and linking words/phrases).
How many questions are there? 12
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.



Part 2 (Gapped text)


What's in Part 2? Open cloze (gapped text).
Focus: grammatical and lexico-grammatical.
What do I have to practise? Structural items (e.g. conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns, auxiliaries, quantifiers).
How many questions are there? 12
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.



Part 3 (Gapped text)


What's in Part 3? Word formation.
Focus: lexical (affixation and compounding).
What do I have to practise? Affixation and compounding.
How many questions are there? 12
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.



Part 4 (Multiple matching)


What's in Part 4? Multiple matching.
Focus: reading for detail and gist.
What do I have to practise? Reading for detail and gist.
How many questions are there? 6
How many marks are there? Two marks for each correct answer.



Part 5 (Gapped text)


What's in Part 5? Gapped text.
Focus: cohesion, coherence, text structure, global meaning.
What do I have to practise? Cohesion, coherence, text structure, global meaning.
How many questions are there? 6
How many marks are there? Two marks for each correct answer.



Part 6 (Multiple choice)


What's in Part 6? Multiple choice.
Focus: reading for detail, gist, opinion, implication and referencing.
What do I have to practise? Reading for detail, gist, opinion, implication and referencing.
How many questions are there? 6
How many marks are there? Two marks for each correct answer.

In the two parts of the ILEC (International Legal English Certificate) Writing paper, you have to show that you can write different types of text in English. Part 1 of the test carries 40% of the total marks available, and Part 2 carries 60%.




Part 1 (Compulsory)


What's in Part 1? You will write a letter based on instructions, an input letter and five content points.
What do I have to practise? Explaining, refuting, presenting and developing arguments, suggesting, etc.
How many questions are there? One compulsory question.
How much do I have to write? 120–180 words



Part 2 (Compulsory)


What's in Part 2? You will produce a memorandum based on the instructions, including four content points.
What do I have to practise? Presenting and developing arguments, expressing and supporting opinions, evaluating ideas, describing, summarising, recommending, persuading, explaining, apologising, reassuring, complaining, etc.
How many questions are there? One compulsory question.
How much do I have to write? 200–250 words

The ILEC (International Legal English Certificate) Listening paper has four parts. For each part you have to listen to a recorded text or texts and answer some questions. You hear each recording twice.




Part 1 (Multiple choice)


What's in Part 1? Three short monologues or dialogues of approximately one minute each. These are not linked thematically. You will hear each extract twice.
What do I have to practise? Understanding gist, detail, function, purpose, topic, attitude, feeling, opinion, inference.
How many questions are there? 6
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.



Part 2 (Multiple choice)


What's in Part 2? A conversation between two or more speakers, lasting approximately four minutes. You will hear the recording twice.
What do I have to practise? Understanding gist, specific information, opinion, attitude, agreement and disagreement.
How many questions are there? 5
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.



Part 3 (sentence completion)


What's in Part 3? A monologue of approximately four minutes. You will hear the recording twice.
What do I have to practise? Following the main points and retrieving specific information from the text.
How many questions are there? 9
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.



Part 4 (Multiple matching)


What's in Part 4? A series of five themed monologues of approximately 30 seconds each. You will hear the whole sequence twice.
What do I have to practise? Identifying speakers and topics, interpreting context, recognising attitude and function, gist and main points.
How many questions are there? 10
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.

The ILEC (International Legal English Certificate) Speaking test has four parts and you take it together with another candidate. There are two examiners. One of the examiners conducts the test (asks you questions, gives you paper with things to talk about, and so on). The other examiner listens to what you say and takes notes.




Part 1 (Interview)


What's in Part 1? Conversation with the examiner. The examiner asks questions and you may have to:
  • give information about yourself
  • talk about studies and/or work experience in legal studies and/or legal work
  • answer further questions on law-related topics.
What do I have to practise? Responding to questions and expanding on responses.
How long do we have to speak? 2 minutes



Part 2 (Long turn)


What's in Part 2? You choose your topic (from a choice of two). The topic comes with prompts that you can use, if required. You will:
  • have one minute to choose and prepare your topic
  • talk about the topic for about one minute
  • listen to a question from the other candidate about your talk
  • respond to that question.
What do I have to practise? Giving information, and expressing and justifying opinions.
How long do we have to speak? 1 minute per candidate



Part 3 (Collaborative task)


What's in Part 3? Conversation with the other candidate. The examiner gives you a task to do. You have to talk with the other candidate and make a decision.
What do I have to practise? Turn-taking (initiating and responding appropriately), negotiating, collaborating, exchanging information, expressing and justifying opinions, agreeing and/or disagreeing, suggesting, speculating, comparing and contrasting, and decision-making.
How long do we have to speak? 3 minutes



Part 4 (Discussion)


What's in Part 4? Further discussion with the other candidate about the same general topic area as the task in Part 3.
What do I have to practise? Responding appropriately, developing topics, exchanging information, expressing and justifying opinions, and agreeing and/or disagreeing.
How long do we have to speak? 3 minutes