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LearnEnglish Professionals - Exams
FCE Listening Practice
FCE Speaking Practice
Welcome to FCE preparation!

Welcome to your FCE Exam Skills section!

The First Certificate exam consists of five papers:

Paper 1 Reading
Paper 2 Writing
Paper 3 Use of English
Paper 4 Listening
Paper 5 Speaking

The First Certificate of English exam (FCE) has followed new specifications since December 2008. This means it is a little different from the previous exam. In the table below, we describe the new FCE exam.

First Certificate of English

Paper 1: Reading 3 parts to complete in 1 hour.
30 questions in total
Part 1 Multiple choice (8 questions)
Candidates choose A, B, C or D to answer questions on the text.
Part 2 Gapped text (7 questions)
Candidates complete a text with missing sentences which by choosing sentences from a jumbled list.
Part 3 Multiple matching (15 questions)
Candidates match a prompt to a relevant text.
Paper 2: Writing 2 tasks to complete in 1 hour 20 minutes.
Part 1 Question 1 - Compulsory task
Candidates write a letter or email based on input material.
Part 2 Questions 2-5
Candidates choose to write one of the following: an article; an essay; a review; a report; a short story. Question 5 is on a set book.
Paper 3: Use of English 4 parts to complete in 45 minutes.
Part 1 Multiple choice cloze (12 questions)
Candidates choose the correct missing words from a choice of 4.
Part 2 Open cloze (12 questions)
Candidtes complete a gapped text with a correct word.
Part 3 Word formation (10 questions)
Candidates form the missing words from a text by changing the stem words given.
Part 4 Key word transformations (8 questions)
Candidates complete a sentence using a key word so that it means the same as the lead-in sentence.
Paper 4: Listening 4 parts to complete in approximately 40 minutes.
Part 1 Multiple choice (8 questions)
Candidates listen to 8 short recordings of people talking in different situations and choose the right answer A, B or C
Part 2 Sentence completion (10 questions)
Candidates listen to a 3 minute recording and complete some notes.
Part 3 Multiple matching (5 questions)
Candidates listen to a series of related monologues and match each extract to the correct option from a choice of six.
Part 4 Multiple choice (7 questions)
Candidates listen to a recording and answer multiple choice questions on it.
Paper 5: Speaking 4 parts to complete in 14 minutes per pair of candidates
Part 1 Interview
Each candidate answers the interlocuter's questions about themselves.
Part 2 Individual long turn
Candidate A talks for a minute about a pair of photographs, after which Candidate B is invited to make a brief comment on the topic of the photographs. Then Candidate B is given 2 different photographs and talks about them for a minute, after which, Candidate A is invited to comment on the topic of the photographs .
Part 3 Collaborative task
Candidates work together to carry out a task based on some pictures. This part lasts 3 minutes.
Part 4 Discussion
The interlocuter will ask both candidates some questions which are related to the topic in part 3. This part lasts for 4 minutes.

For more information about the First Certificate of English exam, visit the Cambridge ESOL website .

Here you can practise the listening and speaking papers. For the Reading and Use of English papers, look at Lesson downloads.

Each set of materials has several parts which practise a particular type of question. The materials give you exam question practice and show you how to answer the question. They also improve your vocabulary for the exam.

You can prepare for each paper twice, as follows:

  • practice materials for the listening and speaking papers - general skills practice
  • exam practice - practise the exact question types you'll see in the exam, with exam tips

Good luck with the exam!

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