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About the Exams >> FCE FAQs

Frequently asked questions about First Certificate in English

I've decided to take the FCE. How do I enrol for the exam and how much will it cost?
In order to take the exam you will need to enrol at one of the 1,900 examination centres that Cambridge ESOL has throughout the world. (Clicking will let you search the Cambridge ESOL web site to find your nearest one.) Your local examination centre will tell you the exact cost of the exam, as this varies slightly between countries.

How many components are there?
There are five separate papers: Reading, Writing, Use of English (grammar and vocabulary), Listening and Speaking. Click on each one to get a summary of what you have to do in each paper.

What's the best way of preparing for the exam?
That depends on you, how much money you want to spend and how you like to learn! You may decide to take an FCE course in a language school; you may decide to study on your own with FCE books and software; or you may decide to combine both of these ways.

How is the exam graded?
You will achieve either a pass grade (Grade A, B or C) or a fail grade (D, E or U).

How many marks do I need to pass, and do I need to pass each paper in order to pass the exam?
Each paper is worth a maximum of 40 marks. The total number of marks available is therefore 200 and you will need to achieve around 60% overall in order to get a grade C. (Individual papers are not marked on a pass/fail basis.)

If you have any further questions then please post one in our forum in Teacher Talk.

Adapted from 'FCE Handbook', which is available from Cambridge ESOL. (Clicking here will take you to their site.)

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