CPE is Cambridge ESOL's most advanced exam. It is aimed at people who use English for professional or study purposes.
Is CPE for you?
If this describes your skills now, or describes the level of skills you are working towards, then CPE is the right exam for you.
What will CPE do for you?
Cambridge ESOL is a department of the world-famous and historic University of Cambridge. Attaining one of its certificates is an achievement and a reward in itself. However, there are many other benefits to taking CPE:
What will taking CPE help you do?
CPE is at Level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) — an internationally recognised framework which Cambridge ESOL helped to develop. The framework uses six levels to describe language ability from A1 to C2. 'Can Do' statements have been used to describe these levels in terms of real skills with language.
For example, at C2 level, typical users can be expected to:
What does CPE involve?
CPE has five papers:
Reading 1 hour 30 minutes
You will need to be able to understand the meaning of written English at word, sentence, paragraph and whole text level.
Writing 2 hours
You will have to show you can produce a number of different items such as a short story, a letter, an article, a report or a composition, each of about 300—350 words.
Use of English 1 hour 30 minutes
Your use of English will be tested by tasks which show how well you can control your grammar and vocabulary and how well you can summarise information.
Listening: 45 minutes
You need to show you can understand the meaning of a range of spoken material, including lectures, news programmes and public announcements.
Speaking: up to 14 minutes
You will take the Speaking test with another candidate or in groups of three, and you will be tested on your ability to take part in different types of interaction: with the examiner, with the other candidates and by yourself.
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