FCE CONTENT: AN OVERVIEW

CAMBRIDGE ESOL EXAMINATIONS, Cambridge ESOL Examinations

Reading 1 hour 15 minutes
Writing 1 hour 30 minutes
Use of English 1 hour 15 minutes
Listening 40 minutes (approximately)
Speaking 14 minutes (approximately)

 

Reading

Candidates are expected to be able to read semi-authentic texts of various kinds (informative and general interest) and to show understanding of gist, detail and text structure, and deduce meaning.

The paper contains four parts and 35 questions. Each part contains a text and corresponding comprehension task. One part may contain two or more shorter related texts.

Writing
Candidates are expected to be able to write non-specialised text types such as letters, articles, reports and compositions for a given purpose and target reader, covering a range of topics. One of the optional tasks in Part 2 is based on thereading of one of five set books. Candidates are required to carry out two tasks; a compulsory one in Part 1 and one from a choice of four in Part 2. The
word length of each answer is 120–180 words.

Use of English
Candidates are expected to demonstrate their knowledge and control of the language system by completing a number of tasks, some of which are based on specially written texts. The paper contains five parts and 65 questions, which take the form of multiple-choice cloze, open cloze, key word transformations, error correction and word-formation task types.

Listening
Candidates are provided with short extracts and longer monologues, announcements, extracts from radio programmes, news, features, etc., at an intermediate level. They are expected to show understanding of detail and gist, and to deduce meaning. The paper contains four parts and 30 questions. Each part contains a recorded text or texts and corresponding comprehension tasks.

Speaking
The standard test format is two candidates and two examiners. Candidates must be able to respond to questions and interact in conversational English. Prompt materials are used by the examiner to stimulate and guide the interaction. The paper contains four parts, including short exchanges with
the examiner and with the other candidate, and a ‘long turn’ of about one minute.

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