The Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE) is internationally-recognized by thousands of employers as a qualification in upper-intermediate English (Level B2 in the Common European Framework of Reference).

Comparison of table of official exams and CEFR levels

By studying for and passing the First Certificate in English (FCE), many doors will be opened to international education and provide a variety of employment opportunities, helping you to compete in the workplace or start working in an English speaking country or environment.

The First Certificate in English (FCE) is for students whose knowledge of English is sufficient for every day situations, including social, work and study situations. Passing the First Certificate in English (FCE) exam indicates that the student can handle a variety of different tasks in the workplace. The more advanced candidates on First Certificate courses can handle more challenging written communications, as well as speak on the phone and understand some different accents. Their English is good enough to follow certain types of textbooks and articles, they have a broad range of vocabulary and can apply correct register and style in different situations.

As well as being strong evidence of your level in the above situations, the First Certificate in English (FCE) course is useful preparation for students hoping to take a more advanced certificate, such as the Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) course or the Certificate of Proficiency In English (CPE) course.

Useful links

University of Cambridge – FCE exam page

FCE exam registration

Exam date

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

Exam fee


Contact reception to register for your FCE exam.

FCE exam prep courses

Oxford House Barcelona has more than 16 years of experience as a preparation centre for Cambridge ESOL English exams such as the First Certificate in English (FCE), offering both extensive and intensive preparation courses with expert teachers. Our First Certificate exam preparation courses are dynamic and focussed 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 First Certificate (FCE) 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, identifying parallel phrases and guessing vocabulary from context.

* How to organise and compose the different writing options, including using the correct format, register and vocabulary to fulfill the requirements set out by Cambridge.

* How best to approach the types of grammar and vocabulary exercises which appear in the Use of English part of the exam.

* Hints and techniques for the listening paper using a variety of listening materials which expose you to different accents and task types.

* How to produce the best English possible, following the requirements of the speaking tasks within your time limit 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..

- understand the main ideas of different or complex texts from a wide variety of sources?

- use English to make notes while someone is speaking in English?

- talk to people about a wide variety of topics and presenting arguments and opinions?

- understand the majority of spoken English on radio or television programmes?

If you would like to improve the skills above or are working towards acquiring them, then FCE is probably the right exam for you.

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

Reading and Use of English (1 hour 15 minutes): You will need to read and understand different types of text, including fiction and non-fiction books, articles and informative texts. In the Use of English you will be tested on your grammar and vocabulary.

Writing (1 hour 20 minutes): You will have to produce two pieces of writing in any of the following styles: a short story, a letter, an article, a report or an essay.

Listening (40 minutes): You will listen to a variety of spoken material, including news programmes, stories and dialogues and answer some questions on their content.

Speaking (14 minutes): You’ll take the speaking test with one or two other candidates and will have to speak alone, with the examiner and with the other candidate(s).

If you are looking for a way of proving your English skills, studying for and taking the First Certificate in English (FCE) exam is a great option. The First Certificate in English is accepted by many educational institutions as evidence of your abilities in English at upper-intermediate level, and major multinational companies look for this qualification when hiring employees.