What is it?

The C1 Advanced is one of the highest Cambridge English levels of qualification. It is a thorough exam, testing all areas of language ability and validates the language skills desired by both employers and universities.

C1 Advanced English (CAE)

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

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Why should I do the exam?

The C1 Advanced certificate enhances every application made to a firm or educational organisation where high-level English skills are required. This certificate opens the way to education, work and travel abroad and is accepted by more than 8’000 institutions and businesses world-wide. A C1 Advanced certificate validates that you are able to:

  • discuss successfully with others, expressing your opinion and reasons
  • study in an educational course at the tertiary level
  • speak and write with confidence at an executive level
  • fluently participate in discussions whether at work or university

Format of the exam

Paper Content Marks Purpose
Reading and Use of English
(90 minutes)
8 parts/ 56 questions
40% Proves you can cope well with a large range of published material demonstrating your command of grammar and vocabulary.
(90 minutes)
2 parts 20% You are required to compose two styles of text to communicate complex ideas in an effective and convincing way.
(about 40 minutes)
4 parts/ 30 questions 20% Evaluates your skill in tracking and understanding a variety of spoken situations, such as conversations, radio broadcasts and presentations etc.
(15 minutes per pair of candidates)
4 parts 20% Shows your capability at conversing competently with another candidate.

C1 Advanced (CAE) speaking test, Raphael and Maude

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: "C1 Advanced (CAE) – 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 C1 Advanced FAQs

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