What’s in Cambridge English: Advanced?

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is a thorough test of all areas of language ability. The format of the exam divides into five papers: Reading and Use of English, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

The Speaking test is taken face-to-face, with two candidates and two examiners. This creates a more realistic and reliable measure of your ability to use English to communicate.

Exam format at a glance:

Paper Content Purpose
Reading and Use of English
(1 hour
30 minutes)
8 parts/
56 questions
Shows you can deal confidently with different types of text, such as fiction, newspapers and magazines. Tests your use of English with different types of exercise that show how well you can control your grammar and vocabulary.
(1 hour
30 minutes)
2 parts You create two different pieces of writing, such as essays, letters/emails, proposals, reports and reviews.
40 minutes)
4 parts/
30 questions
Tests your ability to follow and understand a range of spoken materials, such as interviews, radio broadcasts, presentations, talks and everyday conversations.
(15 minutes per pair of candidates)
4 parts Tests your ability to communicate effectively in face–to–face situations. You will take the Speaking test with another candidate.