Cambridge First Exam Guide

What's in your exam?

Cambridge First Exam Guide

What's in your exam?

What is the Cambridge First Exam?

The Cambridge First exam or FCE(First Certificate exam) is an internationally recognised exam which tests English language skills of candidates at a level of B2.  

You can take the exam in the traditional way as a paper exam or as a computer exam and all written exams are done on the same day.

There are five parts to the exam with the Reading and Use of English combined as one single exam.

The exam is 1 hour and 15 minutes and combines Reading and Use of English. Parts 1-3 are the reading tasks and there are four Use of English exercises. Reading and Use of English are marked separately.

Learn more about the First Reading & Use of English exam

The Writing exam is 1 hour and 20 minutes and consists of two parts. Part 1 is an essay which candidates must answer. Part 2 has a selection of writing exercises and candidates choose one. In part 2 there is a choice of three questions. Each exercise has a word limit of 140-190 words.      

Learn more about the First Writing exam

The listening test is about 45 minutes. It consists of 4 parts which candidates will hear twice. There is extra time at the end of the exam to copy answer on to the answer sheet.

Learn more about the First Listening exam

The speaking exam is 14 minutes and generally done in pairs with a partner. It can either take place the same day as the rest of the exams or some time before or after them, depending on the centre where you choose to do your exam. It consists of four parts and includes some tasks where you speak on your own and some tasks in discussion with a partner.

Learn more about the First Speaking exam

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First Exam


Learn all about the Cambridge First exam, how it is organised and what each of the different parts is about. 

–  Explore each part of each exam.

–  Learn key strategies. 

–  6 hours of extra practice exercises to improve reading, Use of English and Writing performance.