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Level B2
An upper-intermediate level English exam for business and academic purposes.

The First Certificate in English is an upper-intermediate level Cambridge English exam, at level B2 of the Council of Europe's Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Choose FCE if your knowledge of English is adequate for many practical everyday purposes, including business and study.

To be successful, you will have a wide grasp of vocabulary, and be able to construct an argument and use appropriate communication styles for a variety of situations. You also need to show an awareness of register and of the conventions of politeness and degrees of formality as they are expressed through language.

FCE is taken by more than 270,000 people each year in more than 100 countries.

What will taking FCE help you do?

FCE is at Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) - an internationally recognised benchmark of language ability. The framework uses six levels to describe language ability from A1 to C2. 'Can Do' statements have been used to describe these levels in terms of real skills with language.

For example, at B2 level, typical users can be expected to:

  • understand the main ideas of complex pieces of writing
  • keep up a conversation on a fairly wide range of topics, expressing opinions and presenting arguments
  • produce clear, detailed writing, expressing opinions and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of different points of view.

Your preparation for FCE will give you these kinds of practical language skills.



What is involved in taking the FCE exam?

FCE has five papers:
  • Reading: 1 hour
    You will need to be able to understand information in fiction and non-fiction books, journals, newspapers and magazines.
  • Writing: 1 hour 20 minutes
    You will have to show you can produce two different pieces of writing such as a short story, a letter, an article, a report, a review or an essay.
  • Use of English: 45 minutes
    Your use of English will be tested by tasks which show how well you control your grammar and vocabulary.
  • Listening: 40 minutes
    You need to show you can understand the meaning of a range of spoken material, including news programmes, speeches, stories and anecdotes and public announcements.
  • Speaking: 14 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 candidates and by yourself.
Cambridge English: First
Set Texts for Paper 2: Writing
Set texts for Cambridge English: First until December 2013:
  • Vanity Fair (Black Cat or any edition) William Thackeray.
  • This Rough Magic (OUP) Mary Stewart
The texts are Graded Readers which have been adapted to the level and are suitable for Cambridge English: First candidates. Other editions of these books may be available. However, teachers and candidates should be aware that the language level in other editions may be less accessible.

Registration for the FCE sessions

Schools can find information about registration for the FCE exams on the contact page. They can also register their candidates on-line on this web site.

Registration period and exam fees
'Paper Based' Sessions 'Computer Based' Sessions
Exam date
Final entry date
Fees
 Friday 26 July 2013
Session available in Barcelona, Mataró, Manresa, Sitges and Vilafranca del Penedès
24 June 2013
180 €
Saturday 10 August 2013
26 July 2013
 Thursday 22 August 2013
24 July 2013
Friday 27 September 2013
17 September 2013
Saturday 19 October 2013
9 October 2013
Friday 29 November 2013
19 Novembre 2013
 Tuesday 3 December 2013
Session available in Barcelona and Vilanova i la Geltrú
22 October 2013
 Saturday 7 December 2013
Session available a Barcelona, Manresa and Mataró
22 October 2013
Saturday 14 December 2013
Session available in Barcelona, Tarragona, Mataró, Granollers and Vilafranca del Penedès
3 December 2013


Late registration and cancellations

A late registration fee of 40 € per candidate will be charged for entries received after the end of the registration period. In the case of late entries space is subject to availability. If a candidate is unable to attend an exam session on medical grounds, a 24 € administration fee will be retained by the centre and the remainder of the fees will be returned to the candidate. No refund will be made for any other reason.

Special arrangements for candidates

Cambridge English provides a Special Arrangements service for some candidates, for example those with learning difficulties, hearing difficulties or visual difficulties.

For further information on the services we provide, click the links on the left or below:

Learning difficulties
Hearing or speaking difficulties
Visual difficulties

We also have information on the range of modified materials that can be provided for candidates with special requirements.


IMPORTANT

In order to avoid spelling mistakes on exam certificates, please make sure that candidates' names and surnames are spelt correctly and that you have included their date of birth. The centre cannot accept responsibility for spelling mistakes or missing accents on final certificates. Schools registering groups of students should provide us with their name, address, email and telephone number so that we can issue results directly to the school.

 

 

Top Tips for FCE

Cambridge English: First 2012-2013
Set Texts for Paper 2: Writing
Vanity Fair (Black Cat or any edition) William Thackeray.
This Rough Magic (OUP) Mary Stewart

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