The Berlin-based language learning service Babbel today announced that it has teamed up with Cambridge English, one of the world’s leading providers of English assessments, to launch the aptly named “Babbel English Test powered by Cambridge English.”
The new test, which will cost €39 (though until October, you can only get it as part of the Babbel back to work bundles that start at €59), is meant to assess the reading and listening skills of beginning and intermediate students. Every test will feature about 70 questions from a bank of hundreds of options that are meant to reflect real-life situations (something Babbel has always focused on). Among other things, the test features recordings of radio broadcasts and conversations for listening tasks, as well as images of posters and signs.
Test takers get a certificate of achievement and the companies argue that they can then use this to prove their proficiency to potential employers or as a self-assessment when they are preparing for an exam.
Babbel founder and chief strategy officer Thomas Holl argues that the two companies built “the highest quality English tests on the digital learning market” (though what was the chance that he’d say that this was a mediocre test?).
It’s worth noting that this is also Cambridge English’s first foray into app-based testing.
In the online language learning space, Babbel’s biggest competitor is obviously Duolingo. It’s worth noting that a number of institutions around the world already accept Duolingo’s test as evidence of a potential student’s or employee’s English abilities. That’s something Babbel and Cambridge English still have to work on.