The Cambridge First Certificate Examination in English is made up of five papers, each testing a different area of ability in English. Each paper is worth 20% of the total mark. There are five grades. A, B and C are pass grades; D and E are fail grades.
Paper 1 Reading (i hour)
The Reading paper has three parts. Each part tests a different reading skill or skills. There are 30 questions altogether. You write your answers on an answer sheet during the exam.
Part 1 Multipie-choice questions
Focus: Detail, opinion, gist, attitude, deducing meaning, text organisation features (exemplification, comparison, reference), tone, purpose and main idea Task: There are eight four-option multiple-choice questions. You have to choose the correct option (A, B,
C or D) based on the information in the text.
► Exam focus p.44
Part 2 Gapped text
Focus: Understanding text structure, cohesion and coherence
Task: You read a text from which seven sentences have been removed and placed in jumbled order after the text. You have to decide where they fit in the text. There is one extra sentence that you do not need to use.
► Exam focus p.148
Part 3 Multiple matching
Focus: Specific information, detail, opinion and attitude Task: You read 15 questions or statements about a text which has been divided into sections, or several short texts. You have to decide which section or text contains ' the information relating to each question or statement.
► Exam focus p.24
Paper 2 Writing o hour20 minutes)
The Writing paper is divided into two parts, and you have to complete one task from each part. Each answer carries equal marks, so you should not spend longer on one than another.
Part 1 is compulsory, and there is no choice of questions. You have to write a letter or email based on given information and prompts. It may be informal or semi-formal, and you have to write 120-150 words.
► Unit 1 p. 16, Unit 2 p.28
Part 2 has four tasks to choose from. The first three options may include any three of the following:
• a letter or email ► Unit 11 p.140
• an article ► Unit 4 p.52
• a report ► Unit 6 p.78
• an essay ► Unit 7 p.90
• a story ► Unit 3 p.40
• a review ► Unit 5 p.64
The fourth option has a choice of two tasks based on one of five background reading texts. The task could be any one of the following: a letter, an article, a report, an essay or a review.
The background reading texts change regularly, so you should check the current regulations to find out what the texts are. For Part 2, you have to write 120-1 SO words. ► Writing reference p.206
Paper 3 Use of English (45minutes)
There are four parts in the Use of English paper, with 42 questions altogether. You write your answers on~an answer sheet during the exam. There is always an example at the beginning of each task to help you.
Part 1 Multiple-choice cloze
Task: You read a text with 12 gaps. You choose the best word'to fit each gaf5 from a choice of four options (A, B,' C or D). ► Exam focus p,36
Part 2 Open cloze
Focus: Grammar and vocabulary Task: You read a text with 12 gaps. You have to think of the most appropriate word to fill each gap. You must use one word only. No options are provided.
► Exam focus p,83
Part 3 Word formation
Task: You read a text with ten gaps. You are given the stems of the missing words in capitals at the end of. the lines. You have to change the form of each word to fit the context. ► Exam focus p.110
Part 4 Key word transformations
Focus: Grammar and vocabulary Task: There are eight items. You are given a sentence and a 'key word'. You have to complete a second, gapped sentence using the key word. The second sentence has a different grammatical structure but must have a similar meaning to the original.
► Exam focus p.61
Paper 4 Listening (approximately 40 minutes)
There are four parts in the Listening paper, with a total of 3.0 questions. You write your answers on the question paper and then you have five minutes at the end of the exam to transfer them to an answer sheet. In each part you will hear the text(s) twice. The texts may be monologues or exchanges between interacting speakers. There will be a variety of accents.
Part 1 Extracts with multiple-choice questions
Focus: Each extract will have a different focus, which could: be: main point, detail, purpose or location of speech, relationship between the speakers, attitude or opinion of the speakers
Task: You hear eight short, unrelated extracts of about 30 seconds each. They may be monologues or conversations. You have to answer one three-option multiple-choice question (A, B or C) for each extract.
► Exam focus p.88 .
Part 2 Sentence completion
Focus: Specific information, detail, stated opinion Task: You hear a monologue or conversation lasting about three minutes. You complete ten sentences with words from the text. ► Exam focus p.98
Part 3 Multiple matching
Focus: As for Part 1
Task: You hear a series of five monologues or exchanges, lasting about 30 seconds each. The speaker/s in each extract are different, but the situations or topics are all related to each other. You have to match each speaker to one of six statements or questions (A-F). There is one extra option that you do not need to use.
► Exam focus p.131 .
Part 4 Multiple-choice questions
Focus: Specific information, opinion, attitude, gist, main idea
Task: You hear a monologue or conversation which lasts about three minutes. There are seven questions. You have to choose the correct option (A, B or C).
► Exam focus p. 109
Paper 5 Speaking
(approximately 14 minutes)
You take the Speaking test with a partner. There are two examiners. One is the 'interlocutor', who speaks to you, and the other is the 'assessor', who just listens. There are four different parts in the test.
Part 1 Interview (3 minutes)
Focus: General interactional and social language Task: The interlocutor asks each of you questions about yourself, such as where you come from, what you do in your free time. ► Exam focus p, 15
Part 2 Individual long turn (4 minutes)
Focus: Organising your ideas, comparing, describing, expressing opinions
Task: The interlocutor gives you a pair of photographs to compare, and to give a personal reaction to: You speak by yourself for about a minute while your partner listens. Then the interlocutor asks your partner a question about what you have said, Only a short answer is expected.
You then change roles. ► Exam focus p.77
Part 3 Collaborative task (3 minutes)
Focus: Interacting with your partner, exchanging ideas, expressing and justifying opinions, agreeing and/or disagreeing, suggesting, speculating, evaluating?, reaching a decision through negotiation Task: You are given a task to discuss together, based on a set of pictures. You should try to reach a conclusion together, but there is no right or wrong answer to the , task,- and you donit have to agree with each other. It is the interaction between you that is important.
► Exam focus p.125
Part 4 Discussion (4 minutes)
Focus: Expressing and justifying opinions, agreeing and disagreeing
Task: The interlocutor asks you both general questions , related to the topic of Part 3, and gives you the chance to give your opinions on other aspects of the same topic,
► Exam focus p.125