Cambridge English: First (FCE) changes this month, to reflect the latest research in language learning and teaching. The exam is now about 30 minutes shorter. It will still cover all the same language skills and tests at the same level as the previous version and has four papers, not five.
The ‘Reading’ and ‘Use of English’ papers are now one single paper which tests language knowledge and reading. It is designed to be fair to people of all nationalities and linguistic backgrounds and is supported by a dedicated research programme.
All four language skills (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking) and knowledge of grammar and vocabulary are examined:
Reading and Use of English: 1 hour 15 minutes
Shows you can understand texts from publications such as books, newspapers and magazines.
Writing: 1 hour 20 minutes
Shows you can write different text types, such as an essay, report or a letter.
Listening: 40 minutes
Shows you can follow a range of spoken materials, such as news and everyday conversations.
Speaking: 14 minutes.
Shows you can communicate effectively in face-to-face situations. You take the test with one or two other candidates.
The Reading and Use of English paper is worth 40% of the marks, and each of the other papers is worth 20%.
Also, the Cambridge English Scale for reporting results has been introduced.