About the C1 Business Higher Exam

What is the exam?

The C1 Business Higher Exam is a Cambridge Business English Certificate (BEC).

It used to be called BEC Higher.

It is an exam for professionals who are already working in English or want to work in English.

Why take the exam?


Passing the C1 Business Higher Exam will give you a Cambridge English Certificate stating that you have a C1 Advanced level in Business English.

It shows that you can use English to communicate well at manager level, take part in meetings and give presentations, and have a high level of fluency.

How do Cambridge English mark the exam?

There are four parts to test the four skills, reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each part is equal and is 25 percent of the total score. The final result is an average of all four parts.

If you receive a low score for one part of the exam that you find difficult, you can still pass the exam if you are stronger in the other parts. There are no penalties if you do badly in one part of the exam.

Calculating the pass rate and grades for the exam is a complex process. If you do practice listening and reading tests, you can consider 60% as a pass.

Who accepts the certificate?

Employers, some international higher education institutions and business schools (Berlin School of Economics and Law, London South Bank University, ICN Business School), and some government bodies including the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) accept the certificate.

Cambridge mentions companies like Casio, HSBC, Addidas and Procter and Gamble on their website.

Using the BEC exam guide effectively

Use the BEC exam guide with a real exam paper. You can read about each part of the exam and follow the procedures advised at the same time.  There is a C1 Business Higher sample test with an answer key for each part of the exam here, you can download and print these examples if necessary. You will probably need to buy official practice tests from Cambridge English, you can buy them at reasonable prices here.

You can find more about how to use the BEC Exam Guide in the articles section here.