What’s in Cambridge English: First?

Cambridge English: First (FCE) is a test of all areas of language ability.

The updated exam (for exam sessions from January 2015) is made up of four papers developed to test your English language skills. You can see exactly what’s in each paper below.

The Speaking test is taken face-to-face, with two candidates and two examiners. This creates a more realistic and reliable measure of your ability to use English to communicate.

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.

Your overall performance is calculated by averaging the scores you achieve in Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking and Use of English. The weighting of each of the four skills and Use of English is equal.

The exam is available as a:

  • paper-based test
  • computer-based test

Edinburgh School of Language deliver quality language training to students from around the world.

We offer a professional, friendly atmosphere and focus on your individual needs to help you learn as quickly as possible.

Our teachers are highly qualified and provide the highest standards regarding methods of teaching and helpful materials. Furthermore, all our teachers are native speakers with proper experience and confidence in teaching.