FCE (First Certificate in English)



FCE (First Certificate in English) – is Cambridge exam the third level of complexity. Many universities recognize FCE as evidence of proficiency in English at the secondary level. The exam is designed for language course students completing levels Pre-Advanced.


To pass the FCE, you can see the schedule and register on the relevant date.


Structure of exam:


– reading
– letter
– listening comprehension
– practical English (use of grammar and vocabulary)
– speaking


Passing the exam takes two days. On the first day shall be sections of reading, writing, listening and practical English, and the second – speaking.


FCE 2015


In 2015. Exam format has modified. Exam duration decrease, due to join the two parts of the exam: reading + Practical English.


The content of the exam


Reading and practical English (1 hour 15 minutes)


During this stage of the exam the student must be able to read and understand texts taken from fiction and non-fiction, newspapers and magazines. Also at this stage it is tested understanding of the language system by performing various lexical, syntactic and textual tasks.


The first part consists of 7 parts and includes 52 questions.

– texts with gaps and answer options to fill them, 8 questions
– texts with gaps without response options, 8 questions
– word formation, 8 questions
– key words transformation, 6 questions
– task to understand the content of text, multiple choice answers, 6 questions
– task to understand the structure of text, filling in gaps in the text, 6 questions
– reference to perception of certain information from the text, the correlation with the options, 10 questions


The 1, 2, 3, and 7 parts for each correct answer gives one point. The 4, 5 and 6 units for each correct answer given by two points. The rating for this task is 40% of the total marks for the exam.


Writing (1 hour 20 minutes)


The second part includes 2 written assignments 140-190 words each:

– obligatory essay writing (agree or disagree with the statement, express an opinion, to argue their point of view, compare and contrast ideas and point of view, come to the conclusion)
– to choose one task from three (types of written work: an article, informal or formal letter or an email, report or review)
– quest, based on the pre-read the text, was abolished in 2015
– the rating for this task is 20% of the total marks for the exam


This phase is designed to test the skills of a variety of types of written works. Quest is estimated depending on the quality of performance, volume used vocabulary, organization of the material and coherence of the text, spell check, content.


Listening (approximately 40 minutes)


The third part consists of 30 questions and consists of 4 parts:

– a few short monologues or dialogues (about 30 seconds each); a choice of three possible answers, 8 questions
– monologue (3-4 minutes); notes, filling out forms and completion of proposals, 10 questions
– 5 short monologues (approximately 30 seconds each); correlation with the options, 5 questions
– conversation (3-4 minutes); selection of the three possible answers seven questions


As part of the task is supposed to one point per correct answer.
The rating for this task is 20% of the total marks for the exam.
To perform this part, apply audio materials with different sample text.
This part of the exam is designed to assess the following skills: understanding of the dialogue, narration; ability to recognize details or specific information, as well as to understand the meaning of words in context.


Speaking (14 minutes)


The fourth part consists of 4 parts:

– interview (2 minutes)
– card with an individual assignment (4 minutes)
– joint task (4 minutes)
– discussion (4 minutes)


The rating for this task is 20% of the total marks for the exam
This part of the examination is performed using an additional material.
The test is designed to test the candidate’s ability to use spoken English in different situations. Evaluated: grammar, vocabulary, verbal literacy, pronunciation, interactive communication. The test takes place in the form of a conversation between the two examiners and two candidates. If an odd number of candidates, the last candidate joins the last pair.


The exam grade


To pass the FCE candidate must:


– understand the main idea of the text describing practical and abstract subjects
– to take an active role in discussions on technical topics within its own competence
– speak fluently with a native speaker without mutual efforts
– easy to communicate on various topics
– discuss international news
– able to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of individual situation.


Passing the exam can be estimated as:


– Pass
– Pass with Merit
– Pass with Distinction, depending on the number of points
– Do not put (Fail) means that the test is not passed


The certificate is issued in the assessments A, B and C. The candidate who receives 45 to 59 points, get the certificate of level B1. Certificate FCE, as well as other certificates of the University of Cambridge haven’t expiration date and does not require repeating.