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FCE (First Certificate in English)

The "first" is an intermediate level Cambridge exam which proves that you can get by, both in spoken and written language, in everyday communication and that you can adapt to the different registers used by the people you are speaking with.

Choose the FCE exam if :

  • You wish to work or study abroad in a domain which requires knowledge of the English language
  • You are aiming for a use of the language which requires direct contact with people (secretarial work, business, management, administration or tourism)
  • You feel at ease when you have to read letters, answer the telephone, or even understand simple texts

What does the FCE exam consist of ?

1. Reading comprehension (75 minutes)
The reading comprehension exam evaluates your ability to read and understand texts taken from books, newspapers or magazines. You need to show that you are able to understand the most important points, details and structure of the proposed extracts. If you are not familiar with all of the words, you will have to deduce the general meaning from the sentence or the text.

2. Written expression (90 minutes)
The written expression exam evaluates your ability to write a simple text such as a letter, an article, a report, an essay or a summary of around 120-180 words.

3. English in Use (75 minutes)
The "English in Use" exam evaluates your knowledge of the syntax of the language, by asking you to fill in cloze tests, multiple choice questionnaires, to recognise mistakes in the text, to convert words and sentences etc.

4. Listening comprehension (40 minutes)
This exams tests you on your ability to understand spoken language in all of the approached subjects. The texts which are read or recorded are taken from interviews, discussions, conferences and discussions.

5. Oral exam (14 minutes)
The oral exam generally takes place with two examiners and another candidate. Firstly, you have to introduce yourself ad then answer questions regarding your interests, your professional plans etc. Then you have to complete a common task with the other candidate which leads to a conversation between the candidates and the examiners regarding the task.

To find out the exact dates of the exams and to get further information on the FCE, take a look at the Cambridge ESOL website.