FCE Test and Certification
FCE, or First Certificate in English, is the first official certification of competence in the English language released under the supervision of the Cambridge University. The FCE normally serves as a preparation certificate for the exams of a higher level, which are the CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) and the CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English).
The FCE is internationally recognised, both commercially and academically and is accepted as a ‘guarantee’ of the ability of an individual to an autonomous level of English. The FCE is awarded to more than 270,000 people (from over 100 countries!) annually.
Advantages of FCE Certification?
- It never expires and therefore is yours for a lifetime!
- It is recognized worldwide by companies, universities and institutions
- Registering for the certificate costs approximately €150 (depending on the exam centre).
Information about the FCE
From January 2015, FCE consists of 4 tests, and each makes up 25% of the final evaluation score. There are 3 levels of results – A, B or C. The FCE is only issued to candidates who have obtained one of these scores. Candidates who obtain anything less, such as D, E, or U, do not therefore meet the required standard of English in order to obtain certification. The written tests of the FCE exam are sent directly to the University of Cambridge for assessment. The Speaking test is administered directly by two official examiners who are accredited by the Cambridge ESOL. To pass the tests, you must receive a confirmation of the marks obtained in the exam along with a certificate sanctioning this.
1. Reading and Use of English Tests (1 hour and 50 minutes)
Reading and Use of English were two separate areas of evaluation up until January 2015. Today, those who support the FCE will find these tests combined into one – a single test that evaluates language proficiency and reading skills of candidates. The purpose of this test is to ascertain the level of reading and understanding of text through the use of various excerpts from books, newspapers, magazines and other modern resources. The test consists of completing missing words, using synonyms, construction of complete sentences and detection of errors within the given texts.
2. Writing Test (1 hour, 30 minutes)
The Writing Test FCE aims to determine the candidate’s ability to write letters, short articles or paragraphs on generic topics, with a word count of up to 120 words.
3. Listening Test (40 minutes)
The Listening Test assesses the individual’s ability to understand spoken English and to extract meaning and key points of from general conversation, debates or lectures.
4. Speaking Test (14 minutes)
The Speaking Test requires the candidate to actively participate in a convers
ation on various topics of a general nature . The conversation focuses on key points such as dialogue, discussion and interview processes. The test utilises supporting material, such as diagrams or images.
Exam Results for FCE
Candidates receive an email approximately 2-4 weeks after sitting for the FCE exam. Candidates will have direct access to the results via the Cambridge English Language Assessment Online Results Service. The access details will be disclosed after you have registered online for the exam.
FCE Preparation Courses
This preparation course differs from the classes English courses and allow you to target your learning specifically towards the achievement of the FCE. Teachers are all qualified professionals on the Cambridge ESOL examinations, which allows them to follow your progress and grant individual attention to ensure that you can achieve the best possible results. Teachers will identify both your strengths and weaknesses, and will guide you on how to bridge the gaps by focusing on the areas of improvement you require. Student performance is monitored closely, and you are continuously evaluated on a regular basis throughout the FCE Preparation Course. You will be provided with a plan and programme of study that allows you to take responsibility for your own growth and development in the language. Your teachers make every effort to keep supporting and encouraging you throughout your studies and take extra care to ensure that they are providing you with a stimulating and engaging learning environment.
Skills and Strategies
If your goal is to get the most out of FCE test, the simple knowledge of the English language will not be enough. There are specific skills and action strategies you can utilise to your advantage. With the Preparation course, you will learn a number of techniques that allow you to complete the four areas of evaluation to the best of your ability. You will be focusing on your oral expression skills, approaches to listening, writing skills and conversational ability, all under the guidance of professional and qualified teachers, along with real exam simulations. You will be have an individual meeting with your allocated teacher, where you can discuss your goals and expectations. Your tutor will be sure to keep you on track, providing you with particular tasks which allow you to identify and bridge the gap in your language weaknesses, and help you practice in a relaxed and friendly environment. Each course also includes a number of extra-curricular activities and although these are optional, we recommend you attend a few! It provides you with the perfect opportunity to practice your English among other international students and expand your social network, all the while ensuring that you are learning.
When can I take the FCE Test?
The certification has no expiry date, and allows you to take a preparation course and sit for the FCE exam at your own convenience. Every organisation/ institution requires a minimum score, so be sure to check what the score is before taking the test, so that you can plan your course in advance, and leave plenty of time for preparation and studies.
How can I prepare for the FCE Test?
Taking a Preparation course is one way to ensure that you have prepared for this exam in the most efficient and effective way. We would suggest that you follow a proper and professional FCE preparation course, that encompasses sample papers of previous years and questions that have been developed by experts of international certifications. This course is designed to prepare candidates in a manner that will allow them to achieve a higher score than with any other method of study. The Preparation courses are designed, intended and dedicated to this particular qualification.
Where can I attend a FCE Preparation Course?
We would always recommend attending a course such as this in a country where English is their mother-tongue. It is advised that you select a school or institution that is accredited and has a Preparation course specifically targeted for FCE candidates. Our schools offer this particular course in over 20+ destinations, including UK, Malta, USA and Canada. You can find more details by clicking on the links below.
How much does the FCE Test cost?
The cost of a FCE Preparation course will depend on the duration and destination you would like to choose. You can take a look at our prices on each individual destination page, or you may also wish to check out our comparison chart.