CAE‏‎ – Certificate in Advanced English

CAE stands for the Certificate in Advanced English.

As the name suggests it is an exam for advanced users of English. It is generally aimed towards people who can use written and spoken English for most professional and social purposes and it sits roughly between the First Certificate in English‏‎ and the Certificate of Proficiency offered by Cambridge Assessment‏‎ – UCLES.

Level of English for CAE

CAE is at Level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR; an internationally recognized benchmark of language ability) and as such a CAE student can be expected to:

  • read quickly enough to cope with an academic course
  • understand complex opinions
  • produce clear, well structured and detailed pieces of writing
  • express themselves well with a good degree of fluency
  • use English flexibly for social, professional and academic purposes.

Students preparing for the CAE exam will gain these kinds of practical language skills.

The Exam

The CAE exam consists of five papers:

  1. Reading: 1 hour 15 minutes You will need to be able to understand texts from publications such as fiction and non-fiction books, journals, newspapers and magazines.
  2. Writing 1 hour 30 minutes You will have to show you can produce two different pieces of writing such as an article, a report, a proposal and a review.
  3. Use of English Paper 1 hour Your use of English will be tested by tasks which show how well you can control your grammar and vocabulary.
  4. Listening: 40 minutes You need to show you can understand the meaning of a range of spoken material, including lectures, radio broadcasts, speeches and talks.
  5. Speaking: 15 minutes You will take the Speaking test with another candidate or in a group of three, and you will be tested on your ability to take part in different types of interaction: with the examiner, with the other candidate and by yourself.


Candidates preparing for the CAE exam often take preparation courses run by language schools and universities. However many publishers have produced a wide choice of books and other aids to help students prepare for taking CAE and these are widely available at local bookshop as well as online.

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Posted in How To Teach English.

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