Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)

Advanced (CAE) requires a high level of competence in English (C1) for students who are reaching a standard of English that is adequate for most purposes, including business and study. The exam, which was updated in 2015, is recognised by the majority of British universities as proof of sufficient language skills for courses taught and assessed in English.

Approximately 700 – 800 hours of study* are recommended for secondary students and above.

Teacher's resources Student's resources

Reading and Use of EnglishTOTAL 90 MINS
8 parts, 56 questionsShows students can deal confidently with different types of text, such as fiction, newspapers and magazines. Tests students' use of English with tasks that show how well they can control their grammar and vocabulary.
Writing TOTAL 90 MINS
2 parts, 2 questionsRequires students to be able to produce two different pieces of writing (220–260 words each). Students must write an essay and then choose between a letter, a review, a report or a proposal.
ListeningAPPROX. 40 MINS
4 parts, 30 questionsTests students' ability to follow and understand a range of spoken materials, such as interviews, radio broadcasts, presentations, talks and everyday conversations.
4 partsTests students' ability to communicate effectively in face-to-face situations. Students take the Speaking test with another candidate.


Teacher's Resources for Advanced

Advanced Listening – Teacher's Notes

Advice to help students answer questions on the Listening test and to reinforce the importance of prediction activities before the listening starts.

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Advanced Reading – Teacher's Notes

Encourage students to develop a pre-reading approach and become more effective in their reading with tasks to practise reading skills in class.

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Advanced Speaking – Teacher's Notes

Prepare students for the Speaking component of their Advanced exam with tasks to encourage classroom discussion ahead of exam practice.

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Advanced Writing – Teacher's Notes

Covering some of the most common errors candidates make in the Advanced Writing test, these tasks demonstrate the importance of using models and encouraging vocabulary development.

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Student's Resources for Advanced

For your Advanced (CAE) exam you will be  expected to sit four papers: Reading & Use of English, Listening, Writing and Speaking. Reading & Use of English is worth 40% of the total mark, and the remaining three papers are each worth 20%.

Remember:  a low mark in one section does not necessarily mean you will fail the exam; it  is the overall mark which counts. So if you are a strong speaker but a weak  reader, you can use the marks from your speaking to balance out your low  reading marks and still pass the exam.

Advanced Listening – Student's Notes

An overview of the four parts to the Listening paper, testing your ability to uinderstand gist, main points, specific information, attitudes and opinions.

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Advanced Reading and Use of English – Student's Notes

Revision tips and key strategies to help you prepare for the Reading and Use of English test: from approaching different writing styles tobuilding vocabulary through Macmillan Dictionary.

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Advanced Speaking – Student's Notes

Starting points to consider when preparing for the Speaking component of your Advanced exam, where you will need to demonstrate a wide range of grammatical forms and make relevant and varied contributions.

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Advanced Writing – Student's Notes

A general overview of the two parts in the Writing paper which includes a compulsory essay in Part 1, and a choice between writing a letter, proposal, report or review  in Part 2.

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*The information above suggests how many hours students might need to spend to reach each level of the CEFR, but these figures are intended as a guideline only. Students may require more or less time and support depending on their own needs.