Advanced CAE / C1

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)

 Difficulty levelC1 / advanced

Who is it for? If you can communicate with confidence in English for work or study purposes, this is the exam for you. CAE is taken by more than 60,000 people each year in more than 60 countries.

What is the CAE test like?

The test has five sections:

Reading – 75 minutes

  1. Part 1 – three themed texts with multiple-choice questions 
  2. Part 2 – text with 6 paragraphs mising
  3. Part 3 – long text with multiple-choice questions
  4. Part 4 – Multiple matching

Writing – 2 or 3 tasks , 120 minutes

The test has two sections and takes 90 minutes:

  1. Part 1 – Write an article, report or letter Some material to read (up to 150 words) which may include material taken from advertisements, extracts from letters, emails, postcards, diaries, short articles, etc. Using this information, you may have to write an article, a report, a proposal or a letter. 180–220 words.
  2. Part 2 – Situationally based writing task Choose one of four questions. You have to read some input material of no more than 80 words which describes a situation, and write one of the following: an article, a competition entry, a contribution to a longer piece, an essay, an information sheeta letter, a proposal, a report or a review. 220–260 words.

Set Texts: Instead of answering part 2 above, you can choose to write about one of the set texts. The set text titles for 2013 and 2014 are:

William Golding: Lord of the Flies  Teachers may choose to prepare candidates for questions on this set text by studying a film version as well as, or instead of, the novel.
P D James: The Lighthouse There is currently no film version of this book.

 Scoring: The CAE Writing Test makes up 20% of the entire exam.

Use of English 5 tasks with 50 questions – 60 minutes

  1. Part 1 – Multiple-choice cloze 
  2. Part 2 – Open cloze
  3. Part 3 – Word formation
  4. Part 4 – Gapped sentences
  5. Part 5 – Key word transformations

Scoring There are 50 questions in the CAE Use of English Test. It makes up 20% of the entire exam.

Listening – 40 minutes, 30 questions

  1. Part 1 – three short extracts from conversations with multiple-choice questions 
  2. Part 2 – Sentence completion
  3. Part 3 – conversation with multiple-choice questions
  4. Part 4 – Multiple matching

Scoring There are 30 questions in the CAE Listening Test. It makes up 20% of the entire exam.

Speaking – interview, normally with another candidate, 15 minutes Normally you will do the speaking test with another candidate. The two of you will meet two examiners. One of the examiners will talk to you, the other does not particpate in the conversations.

  • Speaking part 1: short questions and answers between you and the examiner
  • Speaking part 2: ‘Long turn‘ .The examiner gives you between two and five photographs and asks you to talk about them. You have to speak for 1 minute without interruption and the interlocutor then asks the other candidate to comment on what you have said for about 30 seconds. The other candidate receives a different set of photographs and you have to listen and comment when they have finished speaking.
  • Speaking part 3: Collaborative task. Conversation with the other candidate. The examiner gives you some pictures and a task to do. You have to talk with the other candidate and make a decision.
  • Speaking part 4: Discussion. Further discussion with the other candidate based on the topics or issues raised in the task in Part 3.

Scoring The Speaking section is worth 25% of the total score for the exam.

Your speaking is assessed using five criteria:

    1. Grammar – have you used a range of grammar structures
    2. Lexical resource – have you used a range of vocabulary
    3. Discourse management – have you participated effectively in the conversations and discussions?
    4. Proununciation
    5. Interactive Communication – have you completed the tasks effectively?


Description and recommendations for candidates to test

Written part:

To watch the videos you must have installed an updated version of Flash Player.

Speaking part:

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