The Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) examination is for candidates who can communicate in English at an advanced level who wish to pursue a managerial or professional career, or to follow a course of academic study at university.
CAE is the right exam for you if the following criteria apply to you:
- Your first language is not English.
- You can use English in an effective way for business or study purposes.
- You can use English with confidence and flexibility.
- You can produce well-structured, clear and detailed pieces of writing on complex issues.
CAE has five papers – Reading, Writing, Use of English, Listening and Speaking. Each paper contributes 20% towards the final result.
Reading (Paper 1)
1 hour 15 minutes
This paper has four parts comprising a range of texts with accompanying comprehension tasks. A text may consist of several short pieces. The style and content of the texts is based on the types of material that candidates can expect to encounter in everyday situations such as newspapers, magazines, journals, books (fiction and non-fiction), promotional and information leaflets.
Candidates are expected to be able to understand the main point and the development of the theme of the text, identify text structure, deduce meaning or read closely to extract specific details.
Writing (Paper 2)
1 hour 30 minutes
Candidates demonstrate their ability to write 180-220 words for Part 1 and 220-260 words for Part 2. At this level, they should have a good control of written English and be able to use the appropriate tone and comprehension for different audiences. They are required to complete two tasks. Task types include an article, a report, a proposal, a letter, an entry for a competition, a contribution to a longer piece, an essay, an information sheet and a review. Two set texts will also be included, with one text-specific question on each.
Use of English (Paper 3)
Candidates complete a variety of tasks which test their lexical knowledge, and their ability to recognise and use the structures of English in context. The tasks include multiple-choice cloze, open cloze, word formation, gapped sentences and key word transformations.
Listening (Paper 4)
approximately 40 minutes
This paper tests candidates’ ability to understand and extract information from a number of recorded texts such as announcements, radio broadcasts, speeches, talks, lectures, interviews, discussions, etc. Candidates are tested on their ability to understand the main points, details and specific information of what they hear, and recognise the attitudes and opinions of the speakers. Task types include multiple choice, sentence completion and multiple matching.
Speaking (Paper 5)
approximately 15 minutes
Candidates demonstrate their ability to sustain conversation and interaction with others. They are normally assessed in pairs by two locally-based examiners. Task types include short exchanges between the interlocutor and each candidate; a one-minute individual ‘long turn’; a collaborative task involving the two candidates; and a follow-up discussion.
Exam Schedule and Fees
Cambridge English Language Assessment Exam
Click here for the latest exam schedule.
The Speaking paper is held within the specified periods, and the special arrangements are made at the discretion of CEFL Headquarters, taking into account the needs and conditions of CEFL Member Institutions.
Click here for more information.
With the exception of Paper 5, all exam scripts are returned to Cambridge English Language Assessment for marking and grading.
Five or six weeks after the exam, all candidates receive an enhanced Statement of Results, showing the relative strengths and weaknesses of the candidates’ performance in each of the papers by means of a graphical profile. In addition, the statement will show a standardised score out of 100 to give candidates a clearer understanding of their exam performance so that they can determine how much additional preparation will be needed for CPE.
The overall grade is based on the candidate’s total score in all the papers. There are three Pass grades: A, B and C. The minimum successful performance which a candidate typically requires in order to achieve a Grade C corresponds to about 60% of the total marks. Successful candidates are awarded the Cambridge English Language Assessment CAE certificate approximately 10 weeks after the exam. This certification is valid for life. Candidates judged not to have reached the required standard for CAE receive D or E Fail grades.
If you have any questions about your results, contact the CEFL Member Institution where you registered for the exam.
Click here to contact the Cambridge English Language Assessment Centre Exams Manager for the actual exam dates, especially for Paper 5, and the latest fees if you are a walk-in/external candidate or feeder school representative.
Click here for further information on the CEFL CAE course.