Why Cambridge English exams?
Cambridge English Language Assessment exams are known and recognised by schools, universities, private and public sector employers all over the English-speaking world. Success in a Cambridge English exam provides you with an internationally recognised certificate showing the level you have attained in English.
Why take the FCE exam?
It’s a globally accepted qualification – there’s a long list of universities and employers that accept the exam. It proves you can use every day written and spoken English for work or study purposes. It shows you have a good level of English to function in a job, and that you can study abroad. If you don’t need it now, maybe you’ll need it in the future, and it gives you a reason to study, a goal, and an aim, to study towards.
What is the level of the exam?
Cambridge English: First is set at Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Reaching this level means you can:
· 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.
Preparing for Cambridge English: First will give you these kinds of practical language skills.
How can we tell whether a student is ready to take the exam or not?
Students at The Corner take several mock tests throughout the year and are continuously assessed by their teacher, who will advise them and help them decide the best time to take the exam. There are also free practice tests on the Internet.
What’s in the exam?
The updated exam (for exam sessions from January 2015) is made up of four papers developed to test your English language skills. The papers are: Reading and Use of English (1 hour 15 minutes), Writing (1 hour 20 minutes), Listening (about 40 minutes), Speaking (14 minutes per pair of candidates). The Speaking test is taken face-to-face, with two candidates and two examiners. This creates a more realistic and reliable measure of your ability to use English to communicate.
Can I choose my Speaking partner?
If you would like to be paired with a friend/classmate you can request this when you register for the exam. Please note however that research has shown that there are both advantages and disadvantages in taking the test with someone you know and that in the end it doesn’t matter.
How does a student at The Corner register?
Students this year had from 16/03 until 14/04/2015 to register. However, it is still possible to register for the exam, though on a different date. For more information, they are advised to speak to Reception.
When can students register for the exam?
Students can register from 16/03 until 14/04/2015. If they want to take the exam on a different date they are advised to speak to Reception.
How much does the exam cost?
The 2015 FCE exam costs 180€.
Where are the exams held?
Exams are held at Lewis School in Barcelona, in the Sarrià neighborhood.
How long does it take for the results to come through?
The exam results are now issued on-line. Candidates will be sent a personalised access code published on their Confirmation of Entry and Timetable together with instructions. This will enable them to register and log in on https://candidates.cambridgeenglish.org website in order to view and print out their Statement of Results as soon as it is released from Cambridge. It is usually 4-6 weeks after the exam.
How long is the First Certificate valid for?
The FCE exam result/certificate does not have an expiry date. It shows that on a particular date you demonstrated language skills at a specified level, however language skills are known to diminish over time if not used and maintained. Individual institutions (such as universities, employers, professional organisations and government bodies) can choose whether or not to accept a certificate that is more than two years old, although many will take into account evidence that you have taken action to maintain or improve your level of English since taking your exam. Please speak to the institution that you wish to apply to if you have any doubts.
What happens if I lose it?
Where a certificate is lost between the centre and the candidate, Cambridge English will issue a duplicate copy provided that:
· an application for a replacement certificate is made in writing by the centre of entry within 12 months of the certificate being issued by Cambridge English
· the examination centre has attempted to trace the certificate via the postal system
· it is more than six months since the certificate was dispatched from Cambridge English to the centre.
Cambridge English will only supply a replacement certificate up to 12 months after the dispatch of the original. After this time, the candidate may only apply for a certifying statement.
Candidates who have lost their certificate may only apply for a certifying statement; a replacement certificate will not be issued.
How can students prepare for the exam at home?
Students can prepare at home by doing their homework and doing extra practice on the Internet. There is a lot of support material on the Cambridge English website. Students can also ask their teacher for extra material.
Any other recommendations?
We recommend our students to dedicate as much time as possible to the preparation of the exam, the advised time is of 10-12 hours per week on top of class time.