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Passing the Business Language Testing Service in the Spanish Language

From Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Languages > Spanish > Taking a BULATS Test in Order to Test your Spanish Skills
Was learning Spanish an indispensable part of your university curriculum?

Does your professional background mean it is necessary for you to learn the language of Spain?

Does your employer require proof of your Spanish oral and written level–perhaps in the form of a Spanish certification or diploma?

Have you been offered a position in Latin America or another Spanish-speaking country and the company wants to know what your level is in the language?

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. It is the official language of many countries and is spoken in 30 different countries. That’s a lot of people! 405 million native speakers to be more precise!

This should be a good reason for you to find a Spanish tutor online or find a Spanish class and try and pass your BULATS test!

To learn more about this test, read on!

You will know everything about the BULATS, such as why and how to pass it.

Do not be afraid to test your spelling, your pronunciation, or your Spanish grammar!

What is the BULATS Test?

The BULATS or Business Language Testing Service is a certification that seeks to assess your linguistic level and language skills in French, English, German, and Spanish, of course—the foreign language that interests us here.

The BULATS test is used for employees in the professional context as well as with students taking Spanish or non-Spanish online courses or other professional training requiring mastery of a foreign language. Whether you are part of the scientific, literary, social sciences, or humanities, the Spanish language is essential if you want to have a career in Spanish-speaking countries.

business-smile The BULATS Test validates your professional linguistic competence.

The different language levels are evaluated.

When you pass the BULATS test, your score will define your level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR):

  • Between 10 and 19 points: level A1, beginner
  • Between 20 and 39 points: level A2, elementary
  • Between 40 and 59 points: level B1, intermediate
  • Between 60 and 74 points: B2 level, intermediate advanced
  • Between 75 and 89 points: level C1, advanced
  • Between 90 and 100 points: level C2, fluent

If you are to work or do an internship in a Spanish-speaking country like Spain, companies of all kinds often require the B2 level.

We also recommend that you try and get to know the country in order to familiarize yourself with its cultural environment, its civilization, and some of its literary classics.

Reading Spanish newspapers will also make you progress and prepare for your BULATS test.

Are you also familiar with the DELE Spanish test? Or the make-up the DELE Spanish test?

Why Pass the BULATS Test for the Spanish Language?

computer-work You may be asked to pass the BULATS test on your computer, which would not change anything, don’t worry!

There are many reasons to pass the BULATS test in Spanish:

  • The BULATS test covers the four indispensable competences needed to master a language and be considered a bilingual:
    • Written comprehension
    • Oral comprehension
    • Writing skills
    • Oral skills
  • In order to be able to communicate clearly and effectively, you will be confronted with several conversational situations. The test assesses your level in each of these situations so that you know where you need to improve.
  • The BULATS test gives its test takers international recognition with many universities and large corporations worldwide.
  • High-quality tests: these tests make it possible to better assess your linguistic skills, whether it be your vocabulary, your fluency, or your accent during a conversation or simply your ability to understand while listening a dialogue.
  • Encourage the learning of a foreign language: passing the BULATS test can increase your motivation to learn a language in a professional context. The University of Cambridge can provide you with pedagogical support if needed.
    By knowing your BULATS level, you will become aware of how you are progressing in Spanish and know which areas you need to improveme in order to increase your level.

Do you know about the CELU Test?

What Does the Test Contain?

The standard BULATS Test lasts 3 hours.

The oral comprehension part lasts 50 minutes and is composed of 50 questions as follows:

  • 10 questions: understanding monologues and short conversations.
  • 12 questions: taking notes and phone messages, etc.
  • 10 questions: understanding the most important parts of a document and understanding short monologues and conversations
  • 18 questions: understanding a long speech in order to write down the details and come up with conclusions

study-time Studying can increase your chances of a good test score!

Written comprehension and linguistic abilities are assessed over 60 minutes and 60 questions divided into two parts:

  • 1st Part
    • 13 questions: grammar and vocabulary (texts with missing parts to fill in via multiple-choice)
    • 6 questions: newspaper and magazine articles, ads, brochures, etc. Long text with multiple-choice answers
    • 5 questions : grammar (medium-sized length text with open answers)
  • 2nd Part
    • 7 questions: read and locate specific information (4 short texts)
    • 5 questions: grammar and vocabulary. Medium length text (texts with missing parts to fill out with multiple choice answers)
    • 5 questions: grammar. Medium-length text (texts with missing parts, open answers)
    • 6 questions: grammar and vocabulary (texts with missing parts, multiple choice answers)
    • 6 questions:read to understand the most important part of a document and to find specific information (newspaper article, magazine, reports: long texts with multiple choice holes)
    • 7 questions: error correction on a medium length text

The written expression test lasts 45 minutes and will have the following breakdown:

  • 15 minutes: writing a short message including 50 to 60 words
  • 30 minutes: writing a report or letter containing 120 to 200 words

The oral expression test lasts less than 15 minutes and includes the following components:

  • An 4 to 5 minute interview (you must know how to talk about your work, your studies, your career plan, and your hobbies)
  • A 4 to 5 minute presentation (on a topic related to your work)
  • An exchange of information and a discussion of 4 to 5 minutes (role play: remember that it is your knowledge of the language that is evaluated and not your general knowledge on the given subject).

How to Prepare?

Whether you are taking Spanish lessons with a private tutor or preparing your BULATS, do not neglect the studying phase.

It is not only a question of knowing a plethora of words in Spanish, how to place the right adjective, the right verb, or the right proverb in the right place, or even knowing how to do an approximate translation of a text.

If you don’t have the knowledge which is asked of you in order to pass your level, you will not succeed! Do not rely on your achievements and constantly question your knowledge. Regular work is the key to success!

navigating-spain For example, be sure you know how to ask your way around a Spanish speaking country!

Becoming familiar with the topics and situations covered on the test is a good start! Do not forget that this is a certification for the business world:

  • Your personal information: know how to ask and give information (name, profession, age…), ask questions and describe professional tasks about your company and its organization
  • Business environment: know how to organize appointments, plan events, ask permission, give instructions, express your opinions, make suggestions, express needs, wishes, discuss problems
  • Relationships with colleagues and clients: discuss hobbies, invite people to meetings, accept or decline an invitation, thank and express appreciation, apologize
  • Traveling: inquire, ask for directions
  • Health: rules of hygiene and safety at work
  • Buy and sell: understand and discuss prices or delivery schedules, ask or give information about a product, a service, make comparisons
  • Other topics covered: food, education, training, consumer goods

You will find examples of testing materials on the BULATS website, as well as mp3 files for training.

Where Can One Pass the BULATS and At What Price?

To pass the BULATS test, you must register directly with a BULATS agent or a placement center.

You will find the information for test centers on the site cambridgeenglish.org.

The BULATS is divided into several parts:

  • Oral comprehension and written comprehension
  • Written expression
  • Oral expression

You should think about getting a Spanish tutor before the test in order to have the best chance possible of succeeding.

To sum things up:

  • The BULATS allows you to work at a company in a Hispanic country.
  • If you have not done Spanish since high school, we strongly advise you to study before you start the process! The BULATS is not a diploma to be taken lightly as many skills are assessed: written and oral comprehension as well as written and oral expression.
  • You will have to spend around 250 USD in order to reach your dreams of working in Costa Rica or in another South American country.

We hope that you are now convinced of the usefulness of the BULATS Test and that you will take the time to take it in order to go and work abroad in a Spanish speaking country! 😉

You should also have a look at the UCF language proficiency test in Spanish.

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