Cambridge Assesment English: C2 Proficiency
Proof of exceptional English ability
C2 Proficiency is the Cambridge English most advanced exam, for learners who have achieved an extremely high level of skill in the English language. The C2 Proficiency exam uses real-life situations that are especially designed to help you communicate more effectively and learn the language skills you need to function at the very highest levels of professional and academic life.

 C2 Proficiency FAQs
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  • Overview
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Real-life language skills

General and
higher education leaflet

C2 Proficiency is set at Level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Preparing for C2 Proficiency will give you the practical English skills to:
  • negotiate and persuade effectively at senior management level in international business settings.
  • study demanding subjects at the highest levels, including postgraduate and PhD programmes.
It shows that you have mastered English to an exceptional level. For example, at C2 level you can expect to:
  • understand the main ideas of complex pieces of writing.
  • understand documents, correspondence and reports, including the finer points of complex pieces of writing.
  • advise on or talk about complex or sensitive issues, understanding colloquial references and dealing confidently with hostile questions.
  • write on any subject and take full notes of meetings or seminars with good expression and accuracy.
Backed by the largest research programme of its kind, Cambridge English exams provide the most reliable reflection of your language skills.

Choose when and how you take your exam - C2 Proficiency is available as either a paper-based or computer-based exam, allowing you even more choice over how you take your test.

Cambridge English exams cover all major varieties of English and are designed to be fair to users of all nationalities and linguistic backgrounds.

Globally Accepted
More than 3,000 employers, universities and colleges, government departments and other organisations around the world rely on C2 Proficiency It is accepted wherever a high level of English language is required.

Fast results
Get your results in just two weeks with our computer-based exams.

A Cambridge English qualification
Once you have earned a Cambridge English certificate, you hold one of the most valuable English qualifications in the world.

What does C2 Proficiency involve?
C2 Proficiency is an in-depth assessment of English for people who want to use English in demanding work and study situations. It consists of four papers: Reading and Use of English, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The Speaking exam uses a face-to-face test with two candidates and two assessors. This creates a more realistic and reliable measure of your ability to use English to communicate.

C2 Proficiency has five papers:

Reading and Use of English: 1 hour 30 minutes
The C2 Proficiency Reading and Use of English paper has 7 parts and 53 questions and has a mix of text types and questions. This paper accounts for 40% of the total mark.

Number of parts:
Number of questions:53
Type of questions – Reading tasks:

  • Part 1: Multiple-choice cloze
    A single text with eight gaps. Candidates must choose one word or phrase from a set of four to fill each gap.
  • Part 2: Open cloze
    A modified cloze test consisting of a text with eight gaps. Candidates think of the word which best fits each gap.
  • Part 3: Word formation
    A text containing eight gaps. Each gap corresponds to a word. The stems of the missing words are given beside the text and must be changed to form the missing word.
  • Part 4: Key word transformations
    Six discrete items with a lead-in sentence and a gapped response to complete in 3–8 words including a given ‘key’ word.
  • Part 5: Multiple choice
    A long text followed by some multiple-choice questions, each with four options (A, B, C or D).
  • Part 6: Gapped text
    A text from which paragraphs have been removed and placed in jumbled order after the text. Candidates must decide from where in the text the paragraphs have been removed.
  • Part 7: Multiple matching
    A text, or several short texts, preceded by multiple-matching questions. Candidates must match a prompt to elements in the text.

Writing: 1 hour 30 minutes
The C2 Proficiency Writing paper has two parts. Candidates have to show that they can write different types of text in English. In Part 1 there is one compulsory question and in Part 2 candidates answer one question from a choice of three. This paper accounts for 20% of the total mark.

Number of parts:2
Number of questions:
Type of questions – Writing tasks:

  • Part 1: Compulsory question
    Some material to read (two texts, each approximately 100 words). Using the information in this material, you have to write an essay.
  • Part 2: One question from a choice of four
    A choice of four questions (2–5). For Questions 2–4, you may have to write an article, a letter, a report or a review.
C2 Proficiency set texts January 2020 - December 2021
One or both of the following texts may be read as preparation for the two optional set text tasks:
1. Nick Hornby: About a boy (any edition); Teachers may choose to prepare candidates for questions on this set text by studying the film directed by Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz (2002) as well as, or instead of, the novel.
2. Dodie Smith: I Capture the Castle (any edition); Teachers may choose to prepare candidates for questions on this set text by studying the film directed by Tim Fywell (2000) as well as, or instead of, the novel.

Candidates should not attempt the optional set text question in Part 2 unless they have the necessary understanding of the text to answer the task set.
Teachers are best placed to judge which, if any, of the set texts and/or film version may be appropriate and stimulating for a given teaching situation.

Listening: About 40 minutes
The C2 Proficiency Listening paper has four parts. For each part you have to listen to a recorded text or texts and answer some questions. You hear each recording twice.This paper accounts for 20% of the total mark.

Number of parts:4
Number of questions:30
Type of tasks:

  • Part 1: Multiple choice
    Three short, unrelated recordings lasting approximately 1 minute each. You have to listen to the recordings and answer two multiple-choice questions for each recording. Each question has three options (A, B or C).
  • Part 2: Sentence completion
    A monologue or prompted monologue lasting 3–4 minutes. The questions are a series of incomplete sentences. You have to listen to the recording and identify the information you need (one to three words) to fill each gap.
  • Part 3: Multiple choice
    A recording with interacting speakers lasting 3–4 minutes. You have to listen to the recording and answer a series of multiple-choice questions, each with four options (A, B, C or D).
  • Part 4: Multiple matching
    Five short, themed monologues, of approximately 35 seconds each. There are two multiple-matching tasks. Each multiple-matching task requires the selection of the five correct options from a list of eight.

Speaking: 16 minutes per pair of candidates
The C2 Proficiency Speaking shows how good your spoken English is as you take part in conversation by asking/answering questions and talking, for example, about your likes and dislikes. The test has three parts and will be conducted face-to-face with one or two other candidates. This makes your test more realistic and more reliable. There are two examiners. One examiner (the interlocutor) talks to you and the other examiner (the assessor) just listens. Both examiners decide your grade but the assessor gives more detailed marks than the interlocutor. The Speaking test accounts for 20% of the total mark.

Number of parts:3
Type of tasks:
  • Part 1: Interview
    Conversation between the interlocutor and each candidate. The examiner asks each of you a series of questions, addressing a question to each of you in turn, to give you an opportunity to talk about yourselves.
  • Part 2: Collaborative task
    The interlocutor gives you some spoken instructions and one or more pictures to look at. First, you have to answer a question which focuses on your reaction to aspects of one or more pictures (1 minute). The second part is a decision-making task which you have to do with the other candidate.
  • Part 3: Long turn and discussion
    The interlocutor gives you a card with a question and some ideas on it and you have to speak for about 2 minutes on your own. After you finish, your partner has to comment and the interlocutor then asks you both a question on the same topic. The interlocutor follows the same procedure with your partner and then leads a discussion with both of you.
Choosing your Speaking Test partner
If you would like to be paired together with a friend/classmate you can request this when you register for the exam. Please note however that research has shown that there are both advantages and disadvantages in taking the test with someone you know and that in the end it doesn’t matter. What is important is that the test judges you on your own performance.

Groups of three candidates
Almost all the C1 Advanced Speaking Tests are conducted in groups of two candidates. However, if there is an uneven number of candidates at an exam session there will be one test with a group of three candidates, normallly at the end of the day or before a long break. The test format is exactly the samebut will last a little longer. Please, note that you can't request to take your test in a group of three.
Paper and pencil tests
Try a paper-based sample C2 Proficiency exam paper.
Download sample papers

Information for Candidates

A guide to the exam, with an overview of what’s involved and examples of papers.
Download Information for Candidates

Guide to exam day tips
Practical information about the session.
Paper-based exams
Computer-based exams

Summary Regulations for Candidates
All the important information you need to know when taking the exam.
 Download Summary regulations for candidates

Cheating warning
Cheating is treated very seriously by Cambridge English and if you cheat you will not get a result or a certificate.
 Please view this poster and make sure that you understand what it says.

Your results
If you are successful in the exam you will receive two documents: a Statement of Results and a certificate. Universities, employers and other organisations you apply to may ask you for either of these documents as proof of your English language skills.

'Statement of Results'
Your Statement of Results contains three pieces of information:
  1. Your score on the Cambridge English Scale for each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and use of English
  2. Your score on the Cambridge English Scale for the overall exam
  3. Your grade (A, B, C, Level B2) for the overall exam
  4. Your CEFR level for the overall exam. Depending on which university, college or organisation you are applying to, you may be asked to achieve a specific score or grade, either overall or for a particular skill.
For Cambridge English: Proficiency, the following scores will be used to report results:
Cambridge English Scale Score
Grade/ CEFR
CEFR level
Grade A
213-219Grade B
200-212Grade C
180-199Level C1

The exam is targeted at Level C2 of the CEFR. The examination also provides reliable assessment at the level below (Level C1).

Scores between 162 and 179 are also reported for Cambridge English: Proficiency. You will not receive a certificate, but your Cambridge English Scale score will be shown on your Statement of Results.

Please click on the image to the left of this text to find out the relationship between the CEFR levels, the Cambridge English Scale and the grades awarded in Cambridge English: Proficiency.

You can access your results through the
  Cambridge English Results Online website.

Your certificate
If a candidate demonstrates that he/she has achieved level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), one of the following certificates will be awarded:
Cambridge English: Proficiency - Level C2
If you achieve grade A, B or C in your exam, you will be awarded the Cambridge English: Proficiency certificate at Level C2.
Level C1 Certificate
If your performance is below Level C2, but falls within Level C1, we will recognise your achievement with a Cambridge English certificate stating that you demonstrated ability at C1 level.

Results Verification Service
If you want a university, employer or other organisation to verify your result, you must provide them with the information on your Statement of Results and two additional pieces of information:

1.- Your ID Number (a sequence of nine letters and numbers).
2.- Your Secret Number (a four-digit number).

Both of these pieces of information can be found on your Confirmation of Entry, which you receive when you register for the exam.
They can then verify your result by logging in to
On this page you will find useful resources to help you to prepare for your C2 Proficiency exam

Free Practice Tests

Computer tests
Try a computer-based sample C2 Proficiency exam paper:
Reading-Use of English
The CB sample test is only compatible with Mozilla Firefox. The reason is that this browser is packaged to the Connect Plus program which is used for Live Computer Based Exams. You can download Firefox for free here. Once downloaded, open Firefox and use the links below to view the tests.
Paper and pencil tests
Try a paper-based sample C2 Proficiency exam paper.
 Download sample papers
 Download examiners comments

Books for Study
You can find a huge range of course books and learning resources to help you prepare for your Cambridge English exam here:
Exam success: Flo-Joe

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Visit the Cambridge English: Proficiency support page here:

Are you a private candidate?
It’s easy to register for Cambridge English: Proficiency
in just three steps:
Step 1 Find an exam date

You can take the Cambridge English exams most months of the year.
Use our online search to find an exam date.

Step 2 Complete the registration form

You can complete the exam registration form online or come to our offices to register for an exam.

Step 3 Make payment

Payment for the exam must be made before the registration deadline.
If you register after the deadline a late fee of 40 Euros will be applied. You can choose to pay for your exam via the following payment methods:

  1. By credit/debit card

    Preparation Centres may also make payments by credit card through the Exams Catalunya Online portal.

  2. By bank transfer to any of the following accounts:
    Banco Santander
    Account holder: Assessment and Certification Services, S.L.
    Account number: 0049 4754 89 2516056032
    IBAN: ES9400494754892516056032
    Banco Sabadell
    Account holder: Assessment and Certification Services, S.L.
    Account number: 0081 0053 54 0001180228
    IBAN: ES7300810053540001180228
    IMPORTANT: If you pay for your exam by bank transfer you should clearly state the name and surname/s of the candidate and the level and date of the exam session. All transfers must reach us free of bank charges or interest. Exams Catalunya will not be responsible for these charges. You must send us the payment receipt by email to so that we may trace your payment with the bank. Your place on the exam will not be confirmed until we receive a payment receipt for the exam fee.

  3. At our offices:
    Registration and payment for exams may also be made at our offices. If candidates choose this option payment should be made on registering. Payment may be made in cash, by bank transfer or credit/debit card.

    C/ Freixa, 5-9
    08021 Barcelona
    Tel: 934 111 333
    Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm
    The candidate may register directly or send someone to register in his/her name.
IMPORTANT: After we receive the exam registration form a confirmation of receipt will be sent to the candidate. Once the exam fees have been settled the candidate will receive confirmation that he/she is registered to take the exam.
If you do not receive confirmation of your exam registration within 3 working days please phone us on tel.: 934 111 333. You should also check that our email has not been sent to your junk/spam mail folder.