Cambridge Advanced – English at Champions League level
Jump-start your career and studies: The Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) is a language certificate for people learning English as a second language. The exam is oriented towards the C1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and provides official proof of your language proficiency in professional and academic settings.
Who should consider taking the CAE?
- Language students (secondary school) who are already at the B2 level or higher
- Students at secondary school or university who would like to study in an English-speaking country
- Job applicants who want to prove their proficiency in English
- Employees who work in an English-speaking country
- Employees who work in an international setting
Not on the list? Then why not aim for the Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE) first? This exam is intended for language students (secondary school) with less prior knowledge; it demonstrates comfort with using the language independently.
What are the benefits of the CAE?
- Recognised by more than 6,000 educational institutions, companies and government agencies worldwide
- Fulfils entrance requirements for many universities in the UK, Canada and Australia
- Fulfils visa application requirements for the UK and Australia
- Helps you prepare for living, studying and working in an English-speaking country
Exam format and content of the CAE
A talented all-rounder: The Cambridge Advanced exam has four parts, each of which tests a different aspect of the candidate’s proficiency in the language and provides a comprehensive picture of your language skills. The test includes reading and language usage, writing, listening and free speaking. The exam takes around four hours.
Reading & Use of English
The first part of the Cambridge Advanced exam focuses on reading comprehension. You’ll have to answer multiple-choice questions on various texts. The sources for these are authentic: short stories, novels, newspapers, magazines or online articles. Here, you have the chance to prove you can reliably grasp both overall themes and detailed information in the text. Next various types of fill-in-the-blank test your vocabulary and knowledge of grammar. These require wide-ranging familiarity with language use. You have 90 minutes to answer the questions in the Reading & Use of English section of the test.
Next up, two writing exercises will let you demonstrate your ability to express yourself in writing. The first part of the Writing test is for you to compose a paragraph about a given text. The text might be a newspaper article, brochure or letter. Your job here is to summarise what you’ve read in your own words, then reflect on the exam text from a specific point of view (you will also receive a prompt for this).
During the second half, you can choose one of three writing exercises. Usually this means writing a letter, application, report or assessment. You are given 90 minutes for both exercises. How you divide up the time you spend on the individual texts is up to you..
The Cambridge Advanced Exam tests your listening comprehension in this section. As you listen to short snippets of conversations, monologues of varying length and interviews or discussions, you’ll answer questions on the general topics of the conversations, detailed information or the speakers’ opinions and attitudes. This material also comes from everyday sources. The recordings might be of presentations, speeches, interviews or radio shows, for example.
What’s more, you’ll have to deal with different accents of the English language: The speakers on the recordings come from the UK, the United States and Australia – this challenges your ability to adapt to different ways of pronouncing the language. The Listening section takes around 40 minutes.
The test of free speaking attempts to approximate a normal conversation as closely as possible. Therefore the Speaking section takes place face to face (with one examiner and one other candidate). First, the examiner individually asks each candidate a few questions about themselves and their interests. Once you’ve warmed up a bit, you and your test-taking peer will each give a short monologue about a selection of images.
Next, the two of you will have a discussion based on a specific task, using another selection of images. For example, this task might be deciding on a suitable recreational activity to do after the exam, or choosing the perfect location for your next holiday. You’ll then go into more depth on the topic with the examiner. This is the Cambridge Advanced method of testing both your ability to state your own opinions in English and your skill at responding to unexpected conversational input. At the same time, you’re proving that you can use grammar and vocabulary correctly, not to mention pronounce English words and place the stress on the right syllables. The Speaking test takes around 15 minutes..
CAE preparation with Eurocentres
Be prepared: Cambridge Advanced sets high standards for its candidates’ knowledge of English. Beginner English-language learners should therefore start with the Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE). However, the CAE may still be a piece of cake for more experienced language students who have prepared properly. That’s why Eurocentres offers intensive preparatory courses for the exam at language schools all over the world.
During these eight to twelve-week courses, you’ll become familiar with test materials such as English-language literature, newspaper articles and an array of audio recordings. We’ll also help you prepare for the testing environment and work on the right strategies using sample exams. After the course concludes, you’ll have approximately one more week of time to prepare independently before the exam date. You will then sit the exam in the familiar atmosphere of the Eurocentres language schoo - exactly as you’ve been practising over the previous few weeks.
Language travel through Eurocentres as preparation for the CAE
To learn English, you need to speak the language – and not just during the lesson, but in everyday life too. That’s why language study abroad in an English-speaking country is the ideal opportunity to improve your English skills. During your language stay, you’ll frequently talk to native speakers and try out your newly acquired abilities. There’s no better way to prepare for the speaking test. What’s more, you’ll expand your vocabulary and fine-tune your use of the language.
Your constant exposure to English-language media will get you ready for the reading and listening portions of the exam. In addition to the high-quality language courses at our language schools and contact with the language, language study abroad also means you’ll have lots of unique experiences.
For example, let’s find out what two selected Eurocentres language schools have in store for you:
Eurocentres Cambridge Language School
Study for your language certificate right near the birthplace of the Cambridge Certificate. The English university city of Cambridge has been shaped by a unique academic atmosphere. Grand buildings such as the colleges and university library bear witness to a centuries-old tradition of learning and teaching. We invite you to dive into this environment and study for the Cambridge Advanced Certificate at the Eurocentres Language School in Cambridge. Let yourself be swept up in the allure of academia – and pass your exam with flying colours!
New York Language School
There are many other amazing places to learn the English language besides Great Britain. Along with masterpieces of architecture and world-famous destinations, New York also offers outstanding options for social interaction. Experience the English language live – at concerts, plays and musicals – and have conversations with the residents of the Big Apple. Not only will the Eurocentres Partner School Rennert on the East Side of Manhattan prepare you for your exam – it’ll also guarantee unforgettable experiences in the city that never sleeps.
Assessing & Scoring the Cambridge Advanced Certificate
In the CAE, points are awarded as follows: The Cambridge First is assessed by the staff of Cambridge English Language Assessment, a department at the University of Cambridge. It is possible to attain up to 210 points on this test. If you score between 200 and 210 points, you achieve Grade A – and are even awarded a C2-level certificate. This means that your language skills are on a par with those of a native speaker. Grades B and C are likewise excellent results, falling between 180 and 200 points, and demonstrate your capabilities as a C1-level speaker of English.
All three scores mean that you will receive the Cambridge Advanced language certificate. If you score any lower, however, you do not pass the CAE. However, if you achieve between 160 and 180 points, you will at least receive a certificate demonstrating B2-level English skills. Unlike other language certificates like IELTS or TOEIC, the CAE does not expire or need to be retaken. It will remain valid for several years.
If you have any other questions about the CAE, you can contact us here. We’re happy to advise you on choosing the right exam and can help you find a corresponding language study abroad programme. You can find more information on the CAE and other language certificates offered by the University of Cambridge at the Cambridge English Language Assessment website. Use the opportunity to officially demonstrate your English skills!