First Certificate in English (FCE)
FCE is an exam available from University of Cambridge ESOL examination. This exam is for people who can use everyday written and spoken English at an upper-intermediate level. It is an ideal exam for people who want to use English for work or study purposes.
The test consists of five sections:
- Use of English
In the reading section, the candidate is expected to answer a set of questions based on the context of three texts, which are approximately 350-700 words in length each. Types of questions include multiple choice, multiple matching or gap filling. This part of the exam lasts 60 minutes
The Writing section consists of two parts. One is a mandatory task and the other is chosen from a set of four optional tasks. The first task is usually a transactional letter, which has a stricter format, and the second one’s type ranges from discursive compositions to articles, whose format is less stringent. One of the four options includes two questions based on a set of pre-set books. This part of the exam lasts for 90 minutes.
Use of English
The Use of English section includes four tasks, whose types vary, including multiple choice filling, open gap filling, word formation and key word transformation. The error correction task from previous years was removed for the 2008 syllabus. This part of the exam lasts for 45 minutes.
The Listening section consists of a set of questions based on four spoken texts. The texts vary from news announcements to speeches and stories. This section lasts approximately 40 minutes.
In this section of the exam, two candidates are interviewed by two examiners. The test has four parts. In the first one, the candidates are asked personal questions, whereas in part two they are given a pair of photographs to compare and contrast. In part three, the candidates engage in discussion, and in part four, the candidates and the interviewer discuss an issue on a certain topic. This part of the exam lasts for approximately 14 minutes, and usually takes place on a different date from the other parts.
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