Proficiency (CPE)

The Cambridge Proficiency Examination, or as it is more commonly known, the CPE or Proficiency, is the highest qualification that a test taker can attain in the Cambridge English examinations. And it really is a stamp of approval: if you passed with at least a C grade then you are definitely a very competent English language user, as your reading, writing, grammar and speaking skills are equivalent to those of a native speaker. Universities and employers the world over recognise the CPE as evidence of an applicant’s excellent English language competence. Many so-called native English language speakers would be hard pushed to attain an excellent grade in the CPE. Therefore, if someone holds the CPE, which is valid for two years, it is really a passport to not only academia but also job positions that demand proficient use of the English language.

The CPE consists of 5 sections:

  • Reading – 4 parts, 90 minutes
    • part 1, 3 texts with 18 gaps
    • part 2, 4 related texts with 2 questions each
    • part 3, text with missing paragraphs
    • part 4, text with multiple choice questions
  • Composition – 2 tasks, 2 hours
  • Use of English – 90 minutes
    • part 1: text with 15 gaps
    • part 2: word formation
    • part 3: gapped sentences
  • Listening – 3 or 4 recordings, 40 minutes
    • part 1: 4 passages with multiple choice questions
    • part 2: 1 long passage with gapped text
  • Speaking: interview, normally with another candidate, lasting approximately 15 minutes

You now have the opportunity to choose whether you want to do the CPE on paper or on a computer – you will have to check to see whether your nearest test centre offers the requisite facilities.

The CPE examination is offered four times a year: in March, May, June, August and December for the paper-based test, and February, April, July, August and November for the computer-based test. The results are generally available about two weeks after the test date. The grades of the CPE are from A to U, a pass generally considered anything between C an A; anything below is considered a fail.

At AGF Tutoring, we have extremely well-qualified linguists and English language tutors with years of experience who are very capable of preparing you for the CPE in the minimum possible time whilst ensuring the highest possible results. If you are interested in commencing online tutorials for the CPE please register here or book your free introductory session.