In the Cambridge Proficiency Exam both the Reading and Use of English are combined in a single exam. The total time for the exam is 1 hour 30 minutes. However, they are marked separately and the answer sheet lists the question tasks from 1 to 7. In total the exam contains about 3000 words in texts.

The Cambridge Proficiency Exam Layout

Use of English starts the paper and there are four exercises listed from 1-4.  The Reading tasks are listed as questions 5-7.

Number of Questions

The complete Reading & Use of English exam has a total of 53 questions.

Use Of English Part 1 Multiple Cloze

There are 8 questions in this part and each correct answer is one mark. The task tests knowledge of idioms, collocations, phrasal verbs and fixed expressions.

Use Of English Part 2 Modified Cloze Gap-Fill

This is a single text with 8 gaps and each correct answer is one mark. This exercise tests grammar awareness and some vocabulary.

Use Of English Part 3 Word Building

This is also a single text with 8 gaps and each correct answer is one mark. The task tests knowledge of afixation and other forms of words.

Use Of English Part 4 Word Transformation

There are 6 questions in this part and a prompt that must be used in any answer. For each fully correct answer there are two marks, with a single mark possible for a partially correct answer. The task tests grammar, vocabulary and collocations.

Reading Part 5 Multiple Choice

This is a long text with 6 individual questions and each correct answer is two marks. The task tests ability to identify main ideas, attitude and tone and how test is organised.

Reading Part 6 Gapped Text

There are 7 questions in this part and each correct answer is two marks. This exercise evaluates the ability to understand the structure and coherence of a text and global meaning.

Reading Part 7 Multiple Matching

For this text or series of short texts there are 10 questions and each correct answer is one mark. This part tests the ability to understand details and specific information as well as opinions and attitudes.

Download a sample Proficiency exam from the Cambridge website. (Zip file)