What is it?

The B2 First qualification confirms that you have the ability to attend some courses taught in English or even to live self-sufficiently in an English-speaking country.

B2 First for Schools (FCE for Schools)

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

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Why should I do the exam?

The B2 First certificate proves that you have enough skill to enter university level foundational classes or undergraduate lectures offered in English in many non-English-speaking countries. A B2 First certificate demonstrates that you are able to:

  • discuss successfully with others, expressing your opinion and reasons
  • write in thorough, clear-cut English to share points of view and express the pros and cons of varying opinions
  • listen to and understand the news
  • write various kinds of texts

Format of the exam

Paper Content Marks Purpose
Reading and Use of English
(75 minutes)
7 parts/ 52 questions 40% Tests your ability to deal with a variety of material, for instance, books, journals and other publications.
Use of English skill is determined by tasks that show how well you can handle word usage and language rules.
(80 minutes)
2 parts/ 2 tasks 20% Calls for you to compose two diverse types of texts, for example, an article, a report or an essay.
(about 40 minutes)
4 parts/ 30 questions 20% Demonstrates your ability to understand a variety of different recordings, for example - radio broadcasts and presentations or interviews.
(14 minutes per pair of candidates)
4 parts 20% Demonstrates your speaking skill in a conversation with another candidate.

B2 First (FCE) speaking test, Ottavia and Hannah

B2 First (FCE) speaking test, Victoria and Edward

Good to know

  • What is the difference between the B2 First (FCE) exam and the B2 First for Schools (FCE) exam?
    • Both exams are the same level and format. However, the B2 First is designed for people who have left school and may already be working, whereas the content of the B2 First for Schools version is directed at the experiences of school-age students. The certificate awarded is the B2 First for both versions.
  • 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: "B2 First (FCE) – 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 B2 First FAQs

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