First Certificate in English (FCE)

Cambridge English : First (FCE), also known as First Certificate in English (FCE), is an exam for people who need to prove that they have the language skills to live and work independently in an English-speaking country or study on courses taught in English.  FCE for Schools, will give you the practical English skills to communicate in an English - speaking environment.


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Why should take First Certificate in English (FCE) Exam ?





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INTERNATIONALLY ACCEPTED
FCE (First Certificate in English) certificate is accepted by thousands of leading employers, businesses and educational institutions worldwide.
FCE exam
Choose when and how you take your exam
First Certificate in English (FCE) is available as either a paper-based or computer-based exam, allowing you even more choice over how you take your test.
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Most Reliable
First Certificate in English (FCE) provides the most reliable reflection of your language skills. It is designed to be fair to users of all nationalities and linguistic backgrounds.
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REAL-LIFE LANGUAGE SKILLS
First Certificate in English (FCE) will give you the practical English skills to:
  • communicate effectively face-to-face, expressing opinions and presenting arguments.
  • write clear, detailed English, expressing opinions and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of different points of view.
  • write letters, reports, stories and lots of other types of text.

Test Format

First Certificate in English (FCE exam) presently comprises four papers : Reading and Use of English, Listening, Writing and Speaking.


Paper Content Purpose
Reading and Use of English
(1 hour 15 minutes)
7 parts / 52 questions Shows you can deal confidently with different types of text, such as fiction, newspapers and magazines. Tests your use of English with tasks that show how well you can control your grammar and vocabulary.
Writing
(1 hour 20 minutes)
2 parts Requires you to be able to produce two different pieces of writing, such as letters, reports, reviews and essays.
Listening
(about 40 minutes)
4 parts / 30 questions Requires you to be able to follow and understand a range of spoken materials, such as news programmes, presentations and everyday conversations.
Speaking
(14 minutes per pair of candidates)
4 parts Tests your ability to communicate effectively in face to face situations. You will take the Speaking test with one or two other candidates.




Reading

The First Certificate in English (FCE exam) Reading and Use of English paper is in seven parts and has a mix of text types and questions. For Parts 1 to 4, you read a range of texts and do grammar and vocabulary tasks. For Parts 5 to 7, you read a series of texts and answer questions that test your reading ability and show that you can deal with a variety of different types of texts.



Part 1 (Multiple-choice cloze)

What's in Part 1? A text with some multiple-choice questions. Each question has four options (A, B, C or D) – you have to decide which is the correct answer.
What do I have to practise? Vocabulary – idioms, collocations, shades of meaning, phrasal verbs, fixed phrases etc.
How many questions are there? 8
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.



Part 2 (Open cloze)

What's in Part 2? A text in which there are some gaps, each of which represents one missing word. You have to think of the correct word for each gap.
What do I have to practise? Grammar and vocabulary.
How many questions are there? 8
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.



Part 3 (Word formation)

What's in Part 3? A text containing eight gaps. Each gap represents a word. At the end of the line is a ‘prompt’ word which you have to change in some way to complete the sentence correctly.
What do I have to practise? Vocabulary.
How many questions are there? 8
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.



Part 4 (Key word transformations)

What's in Part 4? Each question consists of a sentence followed by a ‘key’ word and a second sentence with a gap in the middle. You have to use this key word to complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence.
What do I have to practise? Grammar and vocabulary.
How many questions are there? 6
How many marks are there? Up to 2 marks for each correct answer.



Part 5 (Multiple choice)

What's in Part 5? A text with some multiple-choice questions. For each question, there are four options and you have to choose A, B, C or D.
What do I have to practise? Reading for detail, opinion, tone, purpose, main idea, implication, attitude.
How many questions are there? 6
How many marks are there? 2 marks for each correct answer.



Part 6 (Gapped text)

What's in Part 6? A single page of text with some numbered gaps which represent missing paragraphs. After the text there are some paragraphs which are not in the right order. You have to read the text and the paragraphs and decide which paragraph best fits each gap.
What do I have to practise? How to understand the structure and development of a text.
How many questions are there? 6
How many marks are there? 2 marks for each correct answer.



Part 7 (Multiple matching)

What's in Part 7? A series of statements followed by a text divided into sections or several short texts. You have to match each statement to the section or text in which you can find the information.
What do I have to practise? Reading for specific information, detail, opinion and attitude.
How many questions are there? 10
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.

Writing

In the two parts of the First Certificate in English (FCE exam) Writing paper, you have to show that you can write different types of text in English.



Part 1 (Compulsory question)

What's in Part 1? You’re given an essay title and two ideas clearly linked to the title. You write an essay giving your opinions about the title, using the ideas given. You must also add a third, different idea of your own linked to the title. The title will be a subject of general interest – you won’t need any specialised knowledge.
What do I have to practise? Using language functions, such as evaluating, expressing opinions, hypothesising, justifying, persuading.
How many questions are there? One compulsory question.
How much do I have to write? 140 – 190 words



Part 2 (Situationally based writing task)

What's in Part 2? You write a text from a choice of text types – article, email/letter, report or review. To guide your writing, you’ll be given information about context, topic purpose and target reader.
What do I have to practise? Writing different types of text that could be included in the exam.
How many questions are there? One task to be selected from a choice of three.
How much do I have to write? 140 – 190 words

Listening


The First Certificate in English (FCE exam) Listening paper has four parts. For each part you have to listen to a recorded text or texts and answer some questions. You hear each recording twice.



Part 1 (Multiple choice)

What's in Part 1? Eight short extracts from monologues or conversations between interacting speakers. There is one multiple-choice question for each extract, and you have to choose A, B or C.
What do I have to practise? Listening for feeling, attitude, opinion, purpose, function, agreement, gist and detail.
How many questions are there? 8
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.



Part 2 (Sentence completion)

What's in Part 2? A monologue (which may be introduced by a presenter) lasting approximately 3 minutes. You have to complete the sentences on the question paper with the missing information which you hear on the recording.
What do I have to practise? Listening for specific information, stated opinion.
How many questions are there? 10
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.



Part 3 (Multiple matching)

What's in Part 3? A series of five themed monologues of approximately 30 seconds each. On the question paper, you have to select five correct options from a list of eight possible answers.
What do I have to practise? Listening for gist, attitude, opinion, purpose, feeling, main points and detail.
How many questions are there? 5
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.



Part 4 (Multiple choice)

What's in Part 4? A conversation between two or more speakers of approximately 3–4 minutes. You have to answer some multiple-choice questions by choosing the correct answer from three options (A, B or C).
What do I have to practise? Listening for attitude, opinion, detail, gist, main idea and specific information.
How many questions are there? 7
How many marks are there? One mark for each correct answer.

Speaking

The First Certificate in English (FCE exam) Speaking test has four parts and you take it together with another candidate. There are two examiners. One of the examiners asks you questions and gives you the booklet with things to talk about. The other examiner listens to what you say.



Part 1 (Interview)

What's in Part 1? Conversation with the examiner. The examiner asks questions and you may have to give information about your interests, studies, career, etc.
What do I have to practise? Giving information about yourself and expressing your opinion about various topics.
How long do I have to speak? 2 minutes



Part 2 (Long turn)

What's in Part 2? The examiner gives you two 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 your photographs 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. The question you have to answer about your photographs is written at the top of the page to remind you what you should talk about.
What do I have to practise? Talking on your own about something: comparing, describing, expressing opinions, speculating.
How long do I have to speak? 1 minute per candidate



Part 3 (Collaborative task)

What's in Part 3? Conversation with the other candidate. The examiner gives you some material and a task to do. You have to talk with the other candidate and make a decision.
What do I have to practise? Exchanging ideas, expressing and justifying opinions, agreeing and/or disagreeing, suggesting, speculating, evaluating, reaching a decision through negotiation, etc.
How long do we have to speak? 3 minutes (a 2-minute discussion followed by a 1-minute decision-making task)



Part 4 (Discussion)

What's in Part 4? Further discussion with the other candidate, guided by questions from the examiner, about the topics or issues raised in the task in Part 3.
What do I have to practise? Expressing and justifying opinions, agreeing and/or disagreeing.
How long do we have to speak? 4 minutes