Cambridge English: First Certificate (FCE)
The Cambridge English: First (FCE) examination is for candidates who can use every day written and spoken English confidently at an upper-intermediate level.
FCE is the right exam for you if the following criteria apply to you:
- Your first language is not English.
- You can understand texts from a wide variety of sources.
- You can use English to make notes while someone is speaking in English.
- You can talk to people about a variety of topics.
- You can understand people talking in English on radio and television programmes.
FCE has four papers – Reading and Use of English, Writing, Listening and Speaking.
Reading and Use of English (Paper 1)
1 hour 15 minutes
The paper has seven parts, with a range of texts and accompanying comprehension tasks. The style and content of the texts is based on the types of material that candidates can expect to encounter in everyday situations and may include newspaper and magazine articles, reports, fiction, advertisements, correspondence, messages and informative material.
Candidates are expected to be able to understand the main points in a text, deduce meaning, identify text structure and extract specific details.
Writing (Paper 2)
1 hour 20 minutes
Candidates are required to write two texts: 140-190 words for Part 1 and Part 2. The task in Part 1 is compulsory and takes the form of writing a transactional letter; Part 2 provides a choice of tasks. Each task gives candidates a clear context and an intended audience, and candidates are expected to take these into account in the content and form of their response. Three set texts will also be included, with one text-specific question on each.
Listening (Paper 3)
approximately 40 minutes
Candidates listen to a number of recorded texts such as commentaries, instructions, speeches, reports, conversations and more. They are not expected to be able to understand the recordings word for word; they are tested on their ability to understand the main points and extract details from the recordings.
Speaking (Paper 4)
approximately 14 minutes
Candidates are normally tested in pairs by two locally-based examiners on their ability to speak and interact with the interlocutor and the other candidate. Tasks include an interview section where candidates give basic personal information about themselves; an individual ‘long turn’, which lasts one minute; a collaborative task involving the two candidates; and a discussion of topics related to the previous task.