Exam students
General English

Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a fluent speaker wanting to perfect your language skills, whether you’re a student or a professional, we have the right exam for you. Find out which General English qualification suits you best.

A2 Key (KET) and A2 Key for Schools (KETfS)

A2 Key was previously known as the Key English Test (KET), is the lowest level General English exam in the Cambridge English range. It shows that you can communicate in basic English in everyday situations.

A2 Key for Schools (previously known as KETfS) is at the same level as A2 Key and leads to exactly the same internationally accepted certificate. The only difference is that the exam content is targeted at the interests and experiences of schoolchildren and youths.

Level of qualification: Elementary = A2 on the Common European Framework of Reference.

Who should take this exam?

You should take the A2 Key if you have done about 250 hours of study or practice and can speak, write and understand basic English. This exam is the first step in building your English language skills for work or study in the future. To take the exam you should be able to:

  • ask and answer questions about yourself and others
  • understand announcements and instructions when people speak slowly and clearly
  • tell people what you think about something you read or hear

What is the exam format?

There are three parts to the exam. You do the Reading and Writing and the Listening papers on the same day. You may need to return to do the Speaking test on a different day. You do the Speaking test with two examiners and one other exam candidate.

 

A2 Key / A2 Key for Schools Reading and Writing Listening Speaking
Time allowed 1 hr 10 mins 30 mins 8-10 mins per pair of candidates
Marks (% of total) 50% 25% 25%

B1 Preliminary (PET) and B1 Preliminary for Schools (PETfS)

B1 Preliminary was previously known as the Preliminary English Test (PET). This exam shows that you can communicate in English in practical, everyday situations. It will give you a good foundation if you want to study for a professional English qualification.

B1 Preliminary for Schools (previously know as PETfS) is at the same level as B1 Preliminary and leads to exactly the same internationally accepted certificate. The only difference is that the exam content is targeted at the interests and experiences of schoolchildren and youths.

Level of qualification: Intermediate = B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference.

Who should take this exam?

Studying for the B1 Preliminary exam will improve your English so that you can communicate when travelling or dealing with English speakers for work.

To take the exam you should be able to:

  • express your likes and dislikes, and discuss them with others
  • understand spoken and written announcements and instructions
  • write a personal letter or take notes from a meeting or discussion.

What is the exam format?

There are three parts to the exam. You do the Reading and Writing and the Listening papers on the same day. You may need to return to do the Speaking test on a different day. You do the Speaking test with two examiners and one other exam candidate.

 

B1 Preliminary / B1 Preliminary for Schools Reading and Writing Listening Speaking
Time allowed 1 hr 30 mins 30 mins 10-12 mins per pair of candidates
Marks (% of total) 50% 25% 25%

B2 First (FCE) and B2 First for Schools (FCEfS)

B2 First was previously known as the First Certificate in English (FCE). This general English qualification proves that you can speak and write English well enough to work or study in an English-speaking environment.

B2 First for Schools (previously known as FCEfS) is at the same level as B2 First and leads to exactly the same internationally accepted certificate. The only difference is that the exam content is targeted at the interests and experiences of schoolchildren and youths.

Level of qualification: Upper intermediate = B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference.

Who should take this exam?

You should study for the B2 First if you want to work in an English-speaking business, live in an English-speaking country or study a foundation-level or pre-university course taught in English.

To take the exam you should be able to:

  • write short reports and emails
  • explain an idea or have a detailed discussion in English
  • understand general English on TV and in newspapers.

What is the exam format?

There are four parts to the B2 First exam. You will complete papers Reading, Writing and Listening on the same day. The Speaking test may be on a different day. You do the speaking test with two examiners and one other candidate.

 

B2 First / B2 First for Schools
Reading and Use of English Writing Listening Speaking
Time allowed 1hr 15 mins 1 hr 20 mins 40 mins 14 mins
Marks (% of total) 40% 20% 20% 20%

C1 Advanced (CAE)

C1 Advanced was formerly known as the Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE). This general English qualification shows that your English is of a standard expected of a professional business person or an undergraduate university student.

Level of qualification: Advanced = C1 on the Common European Framework of Reference.

Who should take this exam?

You should take C1 Advanced if you want to prove to employers or universities that you can communicate confidently in English in professional and high-level academic situations. To take the exam you should be able to:

  • write complex reports and emails, and take notes in meetings or lectures
  • give presentations on complicated ideas in English
  • understand a variety of texts, from fiction to newspaper opinion pieces

What is the exam format?

There are four parts to the C1 Advanced exam. You will complete papers Reading, Writing and Listening on the same day. The Speaking test may be on a different day. You do the speaking test with two examiners and one other candidate.

 

C1 Advanced Reading and Use of English Writing Listening Speaking
Time 1hr 30 mins 1 hr 30 mins 40 mins 15 mins per pair of candidates
Marks (% of total) 40% 20% 20% 20%

C2 Proficiency (CPE)

C2 Proficiency was known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). This qualification shows that you have mastered English and can use it fluently in demanding research, academic and professional situations. This is the highest Cambridge English Qualification.

Level of qualification: Proficient = C2 on the Common European Framework of Reference.

Who should take this exam?

You should take the CPE if you want to prove to employers that you can use English at a senior management level, or if you want to study at postgraduate or PhD level at an English-speaking university.

To take the exam you should be able to:

  • understand almost everything you hear or read in English
  • use and understand formal, academic and colloquial language
  • negotiate, argue and discuss the subtle issues of complex subjects

What is the exam format?

There are four parts to the CPE exam. You will complete papers Reading and Use of English, Writing and Listening on the same day. The Speaking test may be on a different day. You do the speaking test with two examiners and one other candidate.

 

C2 Proficiency Reading and Use of English Writing Listening Speaking
Time allowed 1hr 30 mins 1hr 30 mins 40 mins 16 mins per pair of candidates
Marks (% of total) 40% 20% 20% 20%

Sitting a Cambridge Assessment English examination in Austria

Register for Cambridge Assessment English exams in Austria.

Find out when and where you can sit Cambridge Assessment English exams in Austria and the examination fees.

Click here for information on what to expect on the exam day

Results for exams are available online between four and six weeks after you take the exam.

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