CAE Exam Introduction

The CAE exam is also known as the C1 Advanced exam. It was called the Cambridge English: Advanced exam in the past but this has now changed. C1 Advanced is a name that is supposed to make it obvious what this exam is. If you pass the CAE exam, you have a C1 level of English. If it isn't obvious, C1 is an advanced level of English and if you want to know more about this, you can check out the CEFR scale here. Many resources you find, will still refer to the C1 Advanced as CAE.

The CAE: C1 Advanced can be taken in loads of different countries around the world. You can see a list of institutions and work places which recognise the CAE as a formal language qualification here. So, that page is worth checking if you want to use your certificate to get into university etc. I know that the certificate is now accepted by all universities in the U.K. as proof of entry.

Where Can You Take The CAE Exam?

You can take the CAE exam in many countries around the world. You can find specific exam centres where you can take the C1 Advanced in different countries here or watch this video below and I will show you...

Who Can Take The CAE Exam?

Watch the video below for some CAE exam FAQs, including who can take the exam:

There are lots of different English exams and I compare a few of these in my free e-book. But for now, let's look at why you should take the CAE exam.

Why Take The CAE Exam?

The C1 Advanced exam is a globally recognised English language certification.

There are many reasons why you might want to take the CAE exam, including:

  1. getting into an English speaking university
  2. getting a better job
  3. getting visas
  4. wanting proof of your language ability.

Some of my students who have passed this exam, left me reviews saying how it has helped them in life. You can check out what my students have said here.

I talk a lot more about why you should take this exam in my free e-book. I also give useful tips for this exam and compare it with a few different English exams, so click the picture below to sign up now.


If you're convinced this is the exam for you, then you have come to the right place. On this website I will show you how to prepare yourself in the best way possible for the exam, while at the same time, saving yourself time and money by using the best resources with the right strategies. I want to stop you from spending too much time and money going to language schools when you don't need to. Before looking in more detail at these resources and strategies, let's get familiar with the CAE exam format.

CAE Exam Format

There are 4 exam papers in the C1 Advanced (CAE) exam: Reading and Use of English, Speaking, Listening and Writing. I have designed my website to include lots of tips and techniques, strategy preparation and practice to help you prepare yourself for the exam and save lots of £$ money on private lessons and language schools.

i. Reading & Use Of English

90 minutes.

8 parts.

The Reading and Use of English section consists of 8 parts and this section lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes. Parts 2, 3 and 4 form the 'Use of English' paper and focus on grammar and vocabulary. My Use of English CAE video course tests your understanding of varying word types, sentence structures and collocations. These are all important areas to practise when preparing for the CAE.

Parts 2-4 – Use of English

Part 2 – 8 marks

Part 3 – 8 marks

Part 4 – 12 marks

Parts 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 form the 'Reading' paper. Part 1 tests your knowledge of word families and sentence structures. Parts 5-8 test your overall comprehension and awareness of how sentences and paragraphs fit within different written texts. They also test your ability to find and understand small differences in meaning between similar looking sentences.

Parts 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 – Reading

Part 1 – 8 marks

Part 5 – 12 marks

Part 6 – 8 marks

Part 7 – 12 marks

Part 8 – 10 marks

If you want more detailed tips and techniques to pass this exam paper, check out my C1 Advanced Use of English and Reading pages.

ii. Speaking

15 minutes.

4 parts.

The Speaking section has 4 parts. The first part is a general chat between the candidate and the examiner when they typically ask personal questions. In part 2, you have one minute to answer a question about some different pictures. You then answer a question about another candidate's pictures. In part 3 the examiner gives you a topic to discuss with another candidate for 2/3 minutes. You then have one minute with your partner to answer another question. In part 4, you have a further discussion which is connected to the topic in part 3. My FREE C1 Advanced (CAE) speaking video course tells you exactly what you need to do to pass the Speaking exam. If you want to see some preview lessons from this FREE course, check out CAE Speaking Test Tips And Technique.

iii. Listening

40 minutes.

4 parts.

Part 1 – 6 marks

Part 2 – 8 marks

Part 3 – 6 marks

Part 4 – 10 marks

The Listening section has 4 parts including multiple choice and sentence completion questions. You listen to conversations set in different contexts. In order to prepare for this, you need to be able to locate and select both general and specific information. For more free tips and techniques to pass this section of the exam check out my CAE Listening Online page

iv. Writing

The Writing section of the exam has 2 parts. The first part requires students to write a 220-260 word essay. You must write about 2 points from a choice of 3 and explain why one point is the most important. In the second part, you have to write a 220-260 word letter, proposal, report or review. The writing parts are assessed on a scale of 1 (poor) - 5 (great) for: Content, Communicative Achievement, Organisation and Language. It's really important to understand these marking criteria to get good marks in the exam. Luckily, I explain it for you in this video 🙂

For more free help with the writing paper, check out my C1 Advanced writing page with previous student example writings, feedback, videos and loads more useful information

How To Pass The CAE Exam

Do you want to pass the CAE exam?

If the answer to this question is "ABSO BLOOMIN LUTELY!!!" then you have come to the right place!

I made this website to help you pass the CAE exam and make your dreams a reality, just like I made my dreams of travelling the world and teaching online a reality...check out my instagram page.

So, this is what you should do, the first place to start is to head to my CAE preparation online page where I tell you what you need to do before, during and after the exam, as well as walking you through the best resources and materials to use to save yourself time and money. If you follow what I teach on this website, you will prepare yourself for the exam in the most effective and efficient way possible!

CAE Exam