The Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) is the second highest of the Cambridge ESOL exams and is a respected UK qualification. It’s an in-depth assessment of English language ability and is recognized by thousands of employers and educational institutions around the world as a qualification at advanced level (Level C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference).

Comparison of table of official exams and CEFR levels

The CAE is for students who have a level of English which is sufficient for most tasks, including social and educational situations. The CAE recognizes and proves the ability you have of being able to speak English confidently. The more advanced candidates can defend themselves in meetings and discussions, develop their ideas, express their opinions with clarity, and understand and create various types of texts, including business letters, stories, proposals and reports. Furthermore, a CAE course is a useful way to prepare yourself for the highest of the Cambridge certificates, the CPE.

Useful links

University of Cambridge – CAE exam page


Exam date

We offer a variety of Cambridge First (CAE) exam dates during the year.

Exam fee €227,50.

Visit us in our central location to register for your CAE exam and check all the dates available for this exam.

Prep course

Oxford House Barcelona has more than 16 years of experience as a preparation centre for Cambridge ESOL English exams such as the Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), offering both long-term and intensive preparation courses with expert teachers. Our exam preparation courses are dynamic and focused on training our students to acquire the necessary skills needed to identify and tackle exam tasks. We provide pre-exam support and a professional, personal service to make your exam day as successful as possible.

In our CAE exam preparation courses you will be taught how best to approach the different parts of the exam. This will include:

* Techniques for doing the reading tasks quickly and efficiently.

* How to organise and compose the different writing options: narratives, reports, articles etc.

* The types of grammar and vocabulary exercises which appear in use of English and how best to approach them.

* Hints and techniques for listening.

* How to produce the best English possible on the day of your speaking exam.

* Free mock exam included so you can check your progress before registering to the official exam.

Can you..

- use English in an effective way for business or study?

- use English confidently and flexibly?

- produce well-structured, clear pieces of writing on complex issues?

If you are working towards acquiring those skills and your level of English currently permits you to do approximately those things, then CAE is probably the right exam for you.

There are four parts to the CAE exam, updated version from January 2015:

Reading and Use of English (1hour 30 minutes): You will need to read and understand different types of text, including fiction and non-fiction books, newspapers, magazines and informational materials. The Use of English requires you to demonstrate your knowledge of English vocabulary and grammatical structures at C1 level.

Writing (1hour 30 minutes): You will have to write in two different text styles, such as essays, proposals, reports and reviews. You may write about a set reading text if you prefer.

Listening (40 minutes): You’ll answer questions after listening to either short monologues or conversations.

Speaking (15 minutes): You take this with one or two other candidates and will have to speak alone, with the examiner and with the other candidates.

Employers rely on the abilities of potential employees to have a high level of English such as the CAE because it features real-life language skills for use in the professional world. In addition to this, universities and colleges rely on the CAE because they will be able to trust that candidates will have the academic language skills they need to achieve a degree.