Cambridge English: First also known as First Certificate in English (FCE) is an exam for people who need to prove they can use everyday written and spoken English at an upper-intermediate level for work or study purposes.
Cambridge English: First FAQs
|Real-life language skills|
|Cambridge English: First is an upper-intermediate English language exam set at Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Reaching this level means you can:|
|Fair and reliable|
Cambridge English: First is respected and accepted internationally. It:
Choose when and how you take your exam - Cambridge English: First is available as either a paper-based or computer-based exam, allowing you even more choice over how you take your test.
Your Cambridge English: First certificate will be accepted as a qualification in upper-intermediate English by many thousands of employers, universities, colleges and leading businesses around the world. Find out more about institutions that accept Cambridge English: First
Get your results in just two weeks if you take your Cambridge English: First as a computer-based exam.
|A Cambridge English qualification|
Once you have earned a Cambridge English certificate, you hold one of the most valuable English qualifications in the world. It’s an achievement you can be really proud of.
|Reading and Use of English: 1 hour 15 minutes|
The Cambridge English: First Reading and Use of English paper has 7 parts and 52 questions and has a mix of text types and questions. For Parts 1 to 4, candidates read a range of texts and do grammar and vocabulary tasks. For Parts 5 to 7, candidates read a series of texts and answer questions that test their reading ability and show that they can deal with a variety of different types of texts This paper accounts for 40% of the total mark.
|Writing:1 hour 20 minutes|
The Cambridge English: First 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. In part 1 they are given an essay title and two ideas clearly linked to the title. They write an essay giving their opinions about the title, using the ideas given. They must also add a third, different idea of their own linked to the title. The title will be a subject of general interest and candidates won’t need any specialised knowledge. In part 2 candidates write a text from a choice of text types: article, email/letter, report or review. To guide their writing, they will be given information about context, topic purpose and target reader. This paper accounts for 20% of the total mark.
|Listening: about 40 minutes|
The Cambridge English: First Listening paper has four parts and 30 questions. For each part candidates have to listen to a recorded text or texts and answer some questions. The test requires candidates to be able to follow and understand a range of spoken materials, such as news programmes, presentations and everyday conversations.
Recordings may be from
|Speaking: 14 minutes per pair of candidates|
The Cambridge English: First Speaking has four parts and is conducted face-to-face with one other candidate and two examiners. One of the examiners, the interlocutor, conducts the test (asks questions, gives candidates the booklet with things to talk about). The other examiner, the assessor, listens to what the candidates say. Part 1 is a conversation with the examiner. The examiner asks questions and candidates may have to give information about their interests, studies, career, etc. In Part 2 the examiner gives each candidate two photographs and asks him/her talk about them. Each candidate has to speak for 1 minute without interruption and the interlocutor then asks the other candidate to comment on the photographs for about 30 seconds. Part 3 is a conversation with the other candidate. The examiner provides some material and a task to do. Candidates have to talk to each other and make a decision. Part 4 is further discussion with the other candidate, guided by questions from the examiner, about the topics or issues raised in the task in Part 3. The Speaking test accounts for 20% of the total mark.
Download Examiner comments of the Speaking paper
For Cambridge English: First, the following scores will be used to report results:|
The exam is targeted at Level B2 of the CEFR. The examination also provides reliable assessment at the level above B2 (Level C1) and the level below (Level B1).
Scores between 122 and 139 are also reported for Cambridge English: First. 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: First.
|Cambridge English: First - Level C1|
Exceptional candidates sometimes show ability beyond B2 level. If you achieve grade A in your exam, you will receive the Cambridge English: First certificate stating that you demonstrated ability at Level C1.
|Cambridge English: First - Level B2|
If you achieve grade B or C in your exam, you will be awarded the Cambridge English: First certificate at Level B2.
|Level B1 Certificate|
If your performance is below Level B2, but falls within Level B2, we will recognise your achievement with a Cambridge English certificate stating that you demonstrated ability at B1 level.
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 www.cambridgeenglish.org/verifiers
|Free Practice Tests|
Try a computer-based sample Cambridge English: First exam paper:
Reading and Use of English
Find out how to use the computer-based sample tests.
Please note you will need to use the Firefox or Chrome browser to view these sample tests.
Check your answers as you do the test – once the test has finished you will not be able to check them.
|Paper and pencil tests|
Try a paper-based sample Cambridge English: First exam paper.
Download sample paper 1 for Cambridge English: First (FCE)...
Download sample paper 2 for Cambridge English: First (FCE)...
Download Examiner comments of the Speaking paper
Listening Answer Keys
Use of English answer Keys
(Please note that there is no answer key for the Writing paper, but there are sample answers and examiner comments).
|Preparation resources, games and Cambridge activities
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