What is CAE?
Cambridge English: Advanced is an advanced level exam and the fourth level of the University of Cambridge exams in general English. This exam is set at Level C1 of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework for modern languages.
Who is the CAE exam for and why should I take it?
The CAE exam is suitable for learners who have reached an advanced level of English and are able to use English effectively and confidently in social, educational and professional situations.
CAE is useful preparation for anyone who wishes to take CPE at a later stage, and valuable for anyone who is looking to work or study abroad.
A CAE certificate has no expiration date. However, some institutions have their own language requirements or policies on how recent they require exam results to be. They may ask you for evidence that you have maintained or improved your level of English since you took your exam. Speak to the institution you are applying to and confirm their individual requirements.
CAE is a truly international certificate, recognised around the world for business and study purposes. Thousands of employers, universities and government departments officially recognise CAE as an Advanced qualification in English.
What is the format of the exam?
CAE has 4 papers:
Reading and Use of English: 1 hour 30 minutes
You will need to be able to understand texts from publications such as fiction and non-fiction books, journals, newspapers and magazines. Your use of English will be tested by tasks which show how well you can control your grammar and vocabulary.
Writing: 1 hour 30 minutes
You will have to show you can produce two different pieces of writing such as an article, a report, a proposal and a review.
Listening: 40 minutes
You need to show you can understand the meaning of a range of spoken material, including lectures, radio broadcasts, speeches and talks.
Speaking: 15 minutes
You will take the Speaking test with another candidate or in a group of three, and you will be tested on your ability to take part in different types of interaction: with the examiner, with the other candidate and by yourself.
Reading & Use of English carries 40% and the rest of the tests each carry 20% of the total mark.
Candidates can access their results through the Cambridge English Results website. For paper-based exams, these will be available after 4 to 6 weeks. For computer-based exams, they will be available after 2 to 3 weeks.
From 2015, results will be reported on the new Cambridge English Scale (replacing the candidate profile and standardised scores). You will receive a separate score for each of the five skills (reading, use of English, writing, listening and speaking). These scores are averaged to give you an overall result for the exam.
There are three Pass grades – A (score between 200 and 210), B (score between 193 and 199), C (score between 180 and 192) – and two Fail grades – Council of Europe Level B2 (160 and 179) and Not Reported (159 and below).
There is no minimum pass mark for individual papers. The grade is based on the total score of all 5 papers.
Certificates are awarded to candidates who score 160 and above and are despatched approximately 10 days after the results release window has ended. For further information about the scores, please visit the Cambridge English website.