Differences between Trinity and Cambridge

Trinity and Cambridge are English tests prepared by different study houses in order to assess and certify the level of knowledge and command of the English language. Both exams have international recognition and prestige, since they include the most important aspects of English speech such as grammar, vocabulary, technical language and pronunciation.

However, there are important differences between each of these exams, which we will point out later in this article, based on their brief definitions.


The Trinity exams were designed by Trinity College of London and represent a set of standardized tests that aim to determine and certify the level of knowledge and command of the English language of a person. These exams are focused on communication, combining the oral with the written modality and with a professional approach of a communicative nature.

Trinity exams are divided into two tests: Reading and Writing and Speaking and Listening, both tests must be passed to obtain the Trinity certificate. One particularity of these exams is that the Speaking test (oral test) lasts from 10 to 25 minutes depending on the level and is done individually, as is the Listening part, and a previously prepared topic is discussed with the examiner.

Likewise, these tests are internationally recognized and are valid to obtain an academic degree or to apply for a position in the public administration. In addition, they are tests whose certificate does not expire, so obtaining it can be a great advance at a professional level. In addition, these exams are characterized by having a comprehensive nature, since they integrate the four basic skills of the English language (reading, writing, listening and speaking) called Integrated Skills in English.

On the other hand, they also have a more specific exam, focused on business English called Spoken English for Work (SEW). Trinity places a greater emphasis on the written and conversational functions of the language and tests are taken on an individual basis directly with the examiner.


The Cambridge exams are designed by the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) and are a set of standardized tests that aim to determine and certify the level of knowledge and command of the English language of a person. These exams have an academic focus, although they can also be of a specific level such as Business English or Legal English.

These exams include grammar and vocabulary in the Reading part that has also incorporated the Use of English. These tests consist of 4 parts: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening (reading, writing, speaking and listening) and are intended to assess and determine the level of knowledge and command of the language according to these skills.

On the other hand, one of the peculiarities of the Cambridge certificate is that the Speaking test (oral test) lasts 10 minutes and is done with a partner, that is, a test in pairs or collectively. This test is divided into 4 parts namely: personal presentation, simulated situation, photo description and conversation on a topic related to the photo presented.

It is worth noting that the Cambridge tests enjoy great prestige and international recognition, this official title being accepted by more than 20,000 official and multinational institutions worldwide. Finally, like the Trinity tests, the Cambridge tests and certificate do not expire over time, that is, they are permanent.

In view of the above, the following differences between Trinity and Cambridge are presented:

Trinity cambridge
They are tests designed by Trinity College of London. They are tests designed by the University of Cambridge.
They have a professional approach focused on communication. They have an academic approach centered on the use of the language.
It consists of two parts: reading – writing and speaking – listening. It consists of four parts: Reading – use of English, writing, speaking and listening.
Oral tests are done individually directly with the examiner. The oral tests are carried out with a partner (collective).

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