CAE (the Certificate in Advanced English) — is an examination at Cambridge set at C1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference scale.
There are 4 papers, each representing 25% of the total mark.
- Paper 1 Reading and Use of English (8 parts, 56 questions, 1 hour 30 minutes)
- Paper 2 Writing (2 tasks, 1 hour 30 minutes)
- Paper 3 Listening (4 tasks, 40 minutes)
- Paper 4 Speaking (4 parts, 15 minutes)
Books for preparation can be found here.
Sample papers can be downloaded here.
How is writing marked? –
Marks are awarded for appropriate
- content (Is it relevant? Is the topic fully covered?)
- vocabulary (Is a vide range of vocabulary used? Is it used appropriately?)
- grammar (Is a wide range of structures used? Are grammar structures used accurately?)
- register (Is the register (formal, neutral, informal) chosen appropriately?)
- coherence and cohesion (Are ideas linked logically? Are linking words used appropriately?)
- general impression (Does the candidate’s writing have a positive effect on the target reader?)
Sample writing papers
Part 1 (3 minutes)
The interlocutor asks candidates questions in turn.
- Where are you from?
- How long have you been studying English?
- Apart from English, what other languages have you studied?
- What is your happiest memory of childhood?
- Do you prefer going out with friends or family?
Part 2 (4 minutes)
Candidates compare and contrast pictures for 1 minute.
Part 3 (4 minutes)
Candidates talk about several pictures for 4 minutes
Part 4 (4 minutes)
Candidates answer questions related to the visuals used in Part 3
- Which is more important in any job: qualifications, personality or practical experience?
- What type of jobs should be most highly-valued? Why?
- Should there be a compulsory retirement age or should people be allowed to work as long as they like? Why?
- Do you think that people can be taught to be good leaders? Why/why not?
- Some people say it doesn’t matter what job you do – the most important thing is to enjoy doing it. What do you think?