The First Certificate of English corresponds to Level Three in the Cambridge ESOL five-level system. It also corresponds to the Association of Language Teachers in Europe (ALTE) Level Three, and Council of Europe level B2.
There are five papers in the examination, each worth 20% of the total marks. To achieve a passing grade (A, B or C) candidates must achieve approximately 60% of the total marks available, or above. Candidates’ grades are based on the total score from all five papers and there is no pass or fail grade for individual papers.
Paper 1 Reading (1 hour)
This paper has three parts, each with a text or texts and comprehension questions. There are 30 questions in total.
The texts may consist of several short pieces, and the length of each text may be between 550-700 words.
The texts are taken from newspapers, magazines, reports, fiction, advertisements, leaflets, brochures, etc.