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Cambridge exams revision 2015

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All Cambridge FCE, CAE and CPE exams are reviewed regularly to ensure they are up to date. There are some major changes to the FCE and CAE exam, effective from January 2015. The University of Cambridge are also introducing changes to the way exam results are reported.

For details please refer to this website: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams/first/.
Here is my summary.

10 Changes to Cambridge FCE exam - from January 2015

1. The updated exam has four papers instead of five. Reading and Use of English have been combined into a single paper.

2. Revised exam is 30 minutes shorter: 3 hours and 29 minutes down from 3 hours and 59 minutes.

3. All the task types have been retained but there are fewer questions in each task : Reading and Use of English papers used to consist of 72 questions in total. Now there are 52 questions in the new, combined Reading and Use of English paper.

4. The new, combined Reading and Use of English paper is 1 hour and 15 minutes long - that's 30 minutes shorter than the current separate papers.

5. The writing paper stays the same length (1 hour 20 minutes), but there are some changes to the task types, testing focus and amount of writing required. The compulsory question used to be an email or a letter - now it is an essay.

6. In the writing paper, part 2 , candidates have a choice of tasks - there used to be more options, now candidates can choose between an article, an informal email or letter, a formal letter, a review or a report.

7. In the writing paper the word count is now 140-190 words for each part (up from 120-180 and 120-150 in the old version)

8. There are a few small changes to the Listening and Speaking papers but the length and task types remain the same.

9. In the old version, each paper carried 20% of the total mark, now combined Use of English and Reading carry 40% of the total mark, whereas other papers carry 20% each.

10. There are some changes to the way results are reported. Next to the A, B, or C grade the certificates will also show the number of points scored on the Cambridge English (CE) scale. The scale is designed to complement the CEFR. The difference is that the CE scale gives more detailed results that CEFR alone.

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