What is it?

The C2 Proficiency is the highest level of the Cambridge English Qualification exams. This qualification proves that you are a very skilled speaker of English and that you can communicate with the complexity and confidence of a highly capable English speaker.

C2 Proficiency  English (CPE)

The diagram shows all of our English exams on the CEFR   read more

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Why should I do the exam?

This qualification shows the world that you have mastered English to the exceptionally high level needed to study or work in a senior academic or professional setting. A C2 Proficiency certificate proves that you are able to:

  • participate in academic learning at the very highest levels
  • comprehend the key points of complicated written material
  • work confidently with challenging problems while discussing complicated matters
  • effectively discuss and collaborate in international settings at a senior managerial or postgraduate/PhD level

Format of the exam

Paper Content Marks Purpose
Reading and Use of English
(90 minutes)
Reading:
7 parts/ 53 questions
40% Establishes that you can work with confidence from a large range of texts.
Writing
(90 minutes)
2 parts 20% Illustrates that you can write an assortment of texts. For example articles, letters and reviews.
Listening
(about 40 minutes)
4 parts/ 30 questions 20% Analyses your ability to track and follow presentations by a variety of speakers often in formal or professional situations.
Speaking
(16 minutes per pair of candidates)
3 parts 20% Demonstrates your ability to confidently communicate with others.

C2 Proficiency (CPE) speaking test, Derk and Annick

C2 Proficiency (CPE) speaking test, Rodrigo and Ollin

Good to know

  • I'm better at speaking than writing. Do I have to pass each paper of the exam in order to pass the whole exam?
    • No. Your final grade is an overall mark determined by averaging together the scores from each of your papers.
  • Can I take one part of the exam now and do another part later?
    • No. Cambridge Assessment English requires you to take all parts of the exam during the same exam session.
  • How do I know if the exam is on paper or on a computer?
    • Our exams are normally offered as paper-based exams. If the exam is a computer-based exam, under the exam date listed on the Dates & Registration page it would appear as: "C2 Proficiency (CPE) – Computer Based"
  • What must I bring to my exam?
    • Some kind of valid governmental photo identification such as a passport or identity card - check the expiration date.
    • For candidates aged 17 or under on the exam days who do not own a valid ID or cannot get an emergency passport, please complete this form and send it to the office at the latest two weeks before the exam.
    • you will need a pencil to complete the exam papers - if a pen is required it will be provided.
    • a bottle of still water is allowed.
  • What if the expiration date on my identification is expired?
  • What is a test day photo?
    • Due to increased regulations and exam security concerns, a photo will be taken on the day of the speaking test for the FCE-CAE-CPE exams. If anyone else wishes to have their photo taken they should contact the exam centre when they register for their exam.

  More C2 Proficiency FAQs

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