This exam is proof of the wide range of English language knowledge and confirms
the language skills required by foreign universities and international employers. This
is the next step after the First Certificate (FCE), the next is English Proficiency. This
certificate is recognized by over 6000 institutions worldwide. Below you will find
advice on preparing for the CAE exam as well as materials you can use.
Reading and using English
In the text, there will be so-called distractors, which are synonymous or similar to the
words in the question or the wrong answers. This is a deliberate distraction to check
your understanding of the text. To avoid this trap, first, read the text quickly to make
the text more general and only then read the text in order to answer the questions.
Read the questions and answers carefully. When you think you already know the
answer to a question, read the question and answer again, then read the text that led
you to the chosen answer before making a final decision.
If you come across words that you don't know, try to know their meaning from the
context of the sentence, but remember the time that is running out.
Consider the order in which you will perform the tasks, leave multiple-choice tasks at
the end and focus on those that require more attention.
Manage your time! Leave the answers you are unsure about at the end while having
enough time for those you can answer.
Always read the titles and instructions. They can give you tips and make it easier for
you to answer questions.
Remember that some exercises have examples with the correct answers given!
Never waste time on questions marked with zero (0).
Check your spelling carefully.
To do well in the written part of the exam you must know what is expected of you.
The examiner will focus on four aspects of your text – content (whether you have
done what you were asked to do), style (whether you have applied the right style and
correct tone of the text), organisation (whether you have planned the text properly
and it is constructed logically), whether you have used advanced vocabulary and
whether you have made many grammatical mistakes.
Start by making a plan and write down what you want to include in each text and
what you write in each paragraph. You can also write down the vocabulary you
intend to use.
Manage the time – both texts are approximately the same length and are scoring the
same, so split the time equally.
Remember the word limit and practice writing within the limit.
Include all the points listed in the command and use your words instead of repeating
those in the command.
The easiest way to prepare for listening is… yes, you guessed it – listening! Listen to
different types of recordings such as interviews, speeches, monologues, lectures,
daily conversations and more.
Get ready to listen to a wide range of accents and practice understanding of people,
from different parts of the country and different English speaking countries. You can
listen to podcasts, radio, interviews, watch YouTube videos, series and movies.
As with reading, watch out for distractors.
Try to predict what word you will be listening to. Read the question and highlight the
most important phrases or words and try to identify the most likely answer. Whether
it is an adjective, a verb, a number, an activity, a person, or a time.
Speaking consists of four parts – interview, picture discussion, joint task and
discussion. In the interview, you can expect questions about you, your interests,
family, job or school, etc. Remember to give comprehensive answers and to include
The next part will require you to discuss two of the three pictures in one minute.
Focus only on the two you choose and don't say anything about the third one.
Compare the pictures with each other. Use all your time and don't let the silence
come. The examiner will tell you what to do, but the instructions are also on the
picture page. Use words like 'while', 'whereas' and 'both'. If there is the word 'might'
in the command, the examiner will expect you to speculate, so use words or phrases
like: perhaps, seems like, might have, it could be that.
The third part focuses on communication. You and your partner (the second
candidate) receive a thought map that will form the basis of your conversation.
Remember that the other person is as stressed as you are and is in the same
situation. Let the other person talk and leave them time for that.
The fourth part is a discussion which is a continuation of part 3. Ask your partner
questions, give comprehensive answers, use connectors to structure your
statements. This is your opportunity to show how you can develop the topics from
the previous part.
On the Engxam platform, you will find various forms of exercise and preparation for
each part of the exam. You can use them and include them in your preparation for
the exam to feel more confident. These resources include complete sample test kits,
practice tests, exercises for individual sections, speaking materials with sample
questions and answers, materials focusing on individual sections and more.