Cambridge English: First (FCE) and First for Schools (FCEfs)

British Council

Cambridge English: First is also called the First Certificate in English (FCE) and First Certificate in English for Schools (FCEfs). 

Cambridge English: First for Schools (FCEfs) is at the same level as Cambridge English: First and leads to exactly the same internationally accepted certificate. The only difference is that the exam content is targeted at the interests and experiences of schoolchildren.

This general English qualification proves that you can speak and write English well enough to work or study in an English-speaking environment.

Level of qualification: Upper intermediate = B2 on the Common European Framework.

Who should take this exam?

You should study for the FCE if you want to work in an English-speaking business, live in an English-speaking country or study a foundation-level or pre-university course taught in English.

To take the exam you should be able to:

  • write short reports and emails
  • explain an idea or have a detailed discussion in English
  • understand general English on TV and in newspapers.

How does the exam process work?

There are four parts to the FCE exam. You will complete papers Reading, Writing, Use of English and Listening on the same day. The Speaking may be on a different day. You do the speaking with two examiners and one other candidate.

 FCE / FCEfs

Reading and Use of English

Writing Listening Speaking
Time allowed 1 hr 15 mins 1 hr 20 mins 40 mins 14 mins per pair of candidates
Marks (% of total) 40% 20% 20% 20%

Please check the list of exam centres here.