CAE Format and Content

The main changes to the Cambridge English: Advanced exam that start from January 2015 are the following:

  • The exam will be 45 minutes shorter. But it still covers all the same language skills and tests at the same level as the current version.
  • The exam will have four papers, not five.
  • The Reading and Use of English papers are now combined into a single paper that looks at language knowledge and reading skills.
  • There will be some new tasks and tests in the Reading and Use of English, Writing and Speaking papers.
CAE Format and Content as of January 2015

 

Section Time Description # of items
Reading and Use of English 1 hour 30 minutes Part 1 
A text in which there are eight gaps. After the text there are four possible answers for each gap and candidates have to choose the correct answer (A, B, C or D).
8 questions
Part 2
A text in which there are eight gaps. Candidates have to find the correct word for each gap.
8 questions
Part 3 
A text containing eight gaps. Each gap represents a word. Next to the gap is the stem of the missing word which candidates have to change in some way to complete the sentence correctly.
8 questions
Part 4 
A task asking candidates to read six items consisting of a lead-in sentence and a gapped sentence. Candidates have to complete the gap with three to six words guided by a given ‘key’ word.
6 questions
Part 5
A text followed by six multiple-choice questions. For each question, there are four options and candidates have to choose A, B, C or D.
6 questions
Part 6  
Candidates are presented with four short texts followed by four multiple-matching questions. They must read across all of them so as to match a given prompt to elements in those texts.
4 questions
Part 7 
A text from which six paragraphs have been removed. After the text, candidates will find the missing paragraphs in jumbled order and will have to decide which paragraph best fits each gap.
6 questions
Part 8 
Ten multiple matching questions followed by a single text or several shorter texts. Candidates have to match a given prompt to certain elements of the text(s).
10 questions
Writing 1 hour 30 minutes Part 1  
Candidates are presented with a text to read and are then asked to write an essay based on two points included in it. They will have to explain which of the two points is more important and give reasons for their opinion.
220-260 words
Part 2  
Candidates are presented with a situation and given a choice of contextualized task (choice of three tasks). They are asked to write one of the following: a letter or an email, a proposal, a report or a review.
220-260 words
Listening about 40 minutes Part 1  
Three short extracts from conversations between interacting speakers. Candidates are asked two multiple-choice questions per extract and are given three answer choices (A, B or C) each time.
6 questions
Part 2 
Candidates listen to a monologue (which may be introduced by a presenter) lasting approximately 3 minutes. They are asked to complete the sentences on the question paper with the missing information they hear on the recording.
8 questions
Part 3  
A conversation lasting approximately 4 minutes between two or more speakers.  Candidates have to answer six multiple-choice questions, each with 4 answer choices (A, B, C or D).
6 questions
Part 4 – (Multiple matching)
A series of five themed monologues of approximately 30 seconds each. On the question paper, there are two tasks and for each task candidates have to match each of the five speakers to one of eight possible answers.
10 questions
Speaking 15 minutes per pair of candidates Part 1  
A brief conversation between the candidates and the interlocutor (all questions are spoken). 
4 parts
Part 2 
An individual long turn for each candidate followed by a brief response from the second candidate. In turn, both candidates are presented with a set of three pictures to talk about (e.g. describe, compare, express opinion about them etc).
Part 3  
A two-way conversation between the candidates who are given spoken instructions and written prompts to be used in a discussion. The discussion involves a decision-making task and requires them to exchange ideas, express and justify their opinion, suggest, speculate, evaluate, negotiate etc.
Part 4  
A discussion between the candidates on topics related to the above collaborative task. Candidates are asked to express and justify their opinion, speculate etc.

 

Last Update At: 2015/09/08 - 15:26:52

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