Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Exams – 2015 Updates


Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)

From January 2015, Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) will have new specifications. Find out what’s in the updated exam.

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is at Level C1 on the CEFR. It can be taken as a computer-based or a paper-based exam. It provides high-level English skills for academic and professional success. Preparing for the exam will help your students develop the skills they need to make the most of studying, working and living in English-speaking countries.

Reading and Use of English

  • The Reading and Use of English papers have been combined.
  • The revised exam takes 1 hour 30 minutes, which is 45 minutes shorter than the current Reading and Use of English papers combined.
  • From 2015, there are 8 parts and 56 questions.
  • The task types in the revised Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) exam are now the same as the task types for Cambridge English: First (FCE). The differences are in levels, content and relative abstraction/cognitive challenges in the text.
  • Some of the tasks from the current Reading and Use of English papers (short texts and gapped sentences) have been dropped.
  • There is a new cross-text multiple matching task.
  • Use of English tasks are before Reading tasks so that there is a clear progression from a focus at word and sentence level to a focus on whole text content and structure.
  • The content has a stronger academic flavour, reflecting its intended use by late teens and young adults intending to study at higher education level, or by those who need a CEFR Level C1 qualification for career or immigration purposes.


  • There is a new compulsory essay in Part 1. The input takes the form of notes made during a seminar, lecture or panel discussion.
  • Part 2 will remain essentially unchanged; however, it will no longer include an article or information sheet as output text types.
  • There will no longer be questions on set texts.


  • All the current listening tasks are retained.
  • The Part 3 multiple choice task is slightly changed to focus more on interaction between speakers.


  • In Part 1, Phase 2 is modified to reduce the number of follow up questions.
  • Part 1 timing is reduced by one minute.
  • In Part 3, visuals are replaced with written prompts. The task is now split into two to include a discussion phase and a decision-making phase.
  • The Part 4 timing is extended by one minute.
  • Some tasks may have more of a study or work theme.

                             Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)

Support for 2015 exam

Watch the Cambridge English: Advanced Speaking Test above

Watch the Cambridge English: Advanced Writing example above


 To view all Cambridge Advanced 2015 (CAE) titles listed on the BEBC website click here:


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