PEARTREE LIFE: Experiencing Languages

Thinking about a Cambridge exam? Find detailed information about your options here

What are FCE and CAE?

FCE
Cambridge English: First, also known as First Certificate in English (FCE), is an upper-intermediate level qualification. This exam focuses on everyday communication skills and tests listening, speaking, writing and reading skills.

CAE
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is a high quality, international English language qualification that you can use for your university and student visa application. The exam focuses on Level C1 (IELTS band score 6.5 to 8.0) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and is suited to students who want excellent English skills to achieve professional and academic success.



Who needs FCE and CAE?

The FCE is for people who want to gain real-life English skills in order to work in an English-speaking environment or study English at foundation level. The exam shows you have the skills to live independently in an English-speaking country and is suitable for student visa application to the UK and Ireland.


The CAE is for high-achievers who want to excel in their English-speaking professional and/or academic lives. The exam is accepted by educational institutions worldwide, including top universities and colleges in Australia, North America, the UK and Europe. It is also recognised globally by over 4,000 organisations. You can also use it for your student visa application to the UK, Ireland and Australia.


What’s in the exam?

FCE

First Certificate in English is for students that have an
upper-intermediate level of English
Reading and Use of English (worth 40% of the marks): 1 hour 15 minutes
This part of the exam consists of 52 questions and is separated into 7 parts.
Shows understanding of different types of texts from publications such as books, newspapers and magazines.

Writing (worth 20%): 1 hour 20 minutes  
This section of the exam requires you to produce 2 text types such as an essay, report or a letter.

Listening (worth 20%): 40 minutes
This part of the exam is split into 4 parts and consists of 30 questions.
Shows you can follow and understand a range of spoken materials, such as news and everyday conversations.

Speaking (worth 20%): 14 minutes
This section of the exam is split into 4 parts.
You will take the speaking test with one or two other candidates, this part shows you can communicate effectively in face-to-face situations.
You can download sample papers at www.cambridgeenglish.org/first


CAE

Reading and Use of English (worth 40% of the marks): 1 hour 30 minutes
The Certificate in Advanced English covers
Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking
This section is split into 8 parts and has 56 questions. It proves you can confidently understand texts from publications such as fiction and nonfiction books, journals, newspapers and magazines. Tests your control of English grammar and vocabulary through various exercises.


Writing (worth 20%): 1 hour 30 minutes
Tests ability to produce two different pieces of writing, such as essays, reports or letters.


Listening (worth 20%): 40 minutes
This section of the exam consists of 30 questions over four parts. It shows you can follow and understand a range of spoken materials such as interviews, radio broadcasts, presentations, talks and everyday conversations.


Speaking (worth 20%): 15 minutes
This element of the exam consists of 4 parts. You take this part of the test face-to-face with one or two other candidates.This part tests that you can communicate in a real-life context.
Download sample papers at  www.cambridgeenglish.org/advanced


Both FCE and CAE exams are supported by a dedicated research programme to ensure the exams are fair to people of all nationalities and linguistic backgrounds. Both cover all four language skills (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking) and knowledge of grammar and vocabulary.

How is FCE/CAE scored?

FCE and CAE
You will receive a separate score for each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and a fifth score for use of English, giving you a clear understanding of your performance. These five scores are averaged to give your overall exam score. You will also be given a grade and Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level. The score, grade and level will appear on your Statement of Results. If you pass you will also get a certificate.

FCE:
Cambridge English Scale Score
Grade/CEFR
CEFR level
180–190
Grade A
C1
173–179
Grade B
B2
160–172
Grade C
B2
140–159
Level B1
B1

CAE:
Cambridge English Scale Score
Grade/CEFR
CEFR level
200–210
Grade A
C2
193–199
Grade B
C1
180–192
Grade C
C1
160–179
Level B2
B2

These charts show how the grades relate to each other and the Common European Framework (CEFR).

FCE: CAE:
FCE- Cambridge English Scale First - Image

What score do I need?

It depends on what you are taking the exam for. If you are taking the exam for professional or academic reasons, you should check which scores are required by the relevant company or university. If you are taking the exam in order to get a visa you should check with the appropriate immigration authority. Different types of visa require different scores. To get an idea you can look at this part of the Cambridge English website: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/why-cambridge-english/visas-and-immigration/uk/

Where can I take the test?

You will need to take the exam in a registered exam centre; there are over 2,800 centres in 130 countries around the world. You can find your nearest centre using this website:
You can take both exams in Cardiff, or nearby cities, including Bristol and Swansea. Both the FCE and CAE are available in paper-based and computer-based formats. 
If you are taking the exam as part of your UK visa application you must take the exam in a centre which is approved to offer Secure English Language Tests (SELTs). A list of these can be found here:

When can I take the test?

There are lots of dates to take the exams. Sometimes there are two or three dates a month. The 2015 dates can be seen here:
But, it’s best to register and contact your nearest centre to check availability.

How do I apply?

Step 1 - Find an exam centre.
Step 2 - Contact your exam centre.
Step 3 - Choose when and how you take your exam.
Peartree Languages are very familiar with the application process and can help you through these steps.

How much does it cost?

Peartree Languages can help you with the whole process of enrollment, you just need to ask for the information and make the payment for the exam here at school. The fee for the FCE exam is £150 and for the CAE exam is £155. The prices are higher during the summer period (July and August).

When do I get my results?

Two weeks after the exam (or four weeks if you take the paper-based test). The quickest and easiest way to get your results is using their FREE online results service. You will be given more information on how to do this when you register!

How do I know if I am ready for the exam? Peartree Languages has recently started an FCE or CAE assessment test, so you can very easily find out if you are ready for the exam. Just send us an email to info@peartreelanguages.com to book a place on the level test.


Where I can do the preparation for the exam?

Peartree Languages as accredited exam preparation centre can help you with the preparation for the exam. You can study the preparation course as a flexible, part-time or full-time course, what depends on your availability and the level of your English that is tested as a part of the enrollment. If you are looking for an intensive course try our FCE Summer course. This course includes more than just English classes.


Where can I get more information?

You can come and speak to us at Peartree Languages! We have staff with extensive knowledge of these exams who can answer any of your questions. Pop in and see us at:
2A, Llandaff Rd, Cardiff. CF11 9NJ
Or send us an email: info@peartreelanguages.com

Alternatively, you can read all about the exams on the Cambridge English website.



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About Info Peartree

Peartree Languages is a language school located in Cardiff.

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