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First Certificate in English (FCE)

Cambridge First Certificate – FCE is an exam for people who can use everyday written and spoken English at an upper-intermediate level. It is an ideal exam for people who want to use English for work or study purposes. FCE is at Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

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FCE is at Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

At B2 level, typical users can be expected to:

  • understand the main ideas of complex pieces of writing
  • keep up a conversation on a fairly wide range of topics, expressing opinions and presenting arguments
  • produce clear, detailed writing, expressing opinions and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of different points of view

A world of opportunities - worldwide recognition:

  • FCE is a truly international exam, recognised by thousands of industrial, administrative and service-based employers as a qualification in intermediate English.
  • It is also accepted by a wide range of educational institutions for study purposes.
  • Companies such as American Express, Agfa-Gevaert GmbH, Siemens and Procter & Gamble all recognise the value of FCE in their overseas offices.

FCE has five papers:

  • Reading: 1 hour - you will need to be able to understand information in fiction and non-fiction books, journals, newspapers and magazines.
  • Writing: 1 hour 20 minutes - you will have to show you can produce two different pieces of writing such as a short story, a letter, an article, a report, a review or an essay.
  • Use of English: 45 minutes - your use of English will be tested by tasks which show how well you control your grammar and vocabulary.
  • Listening: 40 minutes - you need to show you can understand the meaning of a range of spoken material, including news programmes, speeches, stories and anecdotes and public announcements.
  • Speaking: 14 minutes - you will take the Speaking test with another candidate or in a group of three, and you will be tested on your ability to take part in different types of interaction: with the examiner, with the other candidates and by yourself.

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