I am writing in order to ask you about Cambridge Examinations, since
I will be doing CAE (Cambridge Advanced Exam) next week. I have been
preparing myself for this exam for about four months after applying
for FCE (First Certificate Exam). To sum up, I would like you to help
me, if possible, as an experienced teacher of English you are, pointing
out the main differences between the two exams as well as the last
of them, CPE (Cambridge Proficiency Exam), which I have interest in
trying in twelve months time. Thanks in advance.
hope you have done
really well in CAE, Hípias, and that you will be in a position
to take CPE in twelve months' time.
you probably know, the two exams are broadly similar in format in
so far as they both comprise Reading, Writing, Use of English, Listening
and Speaking Tests. However, there are often important differences.
CAE Writing, for instance, at Level Four, you were expected to complete
writing tasks in response to input texts taken from articles, leaflets,
notices, letters, etc. In CPE, however, at Level Five, you will
be asked to write much more freely on different topics requiring
narrative, descriptive or discursive language.
I suppose the main difference is that whereas at CAE you are expected
to use language with a good degree of accuracy and fluency, in CPE
you will be approaching the linguistic competence of an educated native
speaker. Inter alia, the Speaking Test requires:
- an ability to handle communication in most situations, including
unfamiliar or unexpected ones
- an ability to use accurate and appropriate linguistic resources
to express complex ideas and concepts and produce extended
discourse that is coherent and always easy to understand.
more information, consult the CAE, CPE and FCE Handbooks available
from UCLES, 1 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB1 2EU.