How are you?
Knowing what to expect can really make things easier, so today, we are going to look at the different sections of the First Certificate Exam.
(New vocabulary has been highlighted and you can find the definitions below)
The exam is divided into five sections or as they are commonly called “papers”. This is because the FCE used to be a paper based exam only. However, now you also have the option of taking a computer based exam.
The only difference between both options is where you read the questions and then write your answers, a paper or a computer, but the content and sections are the same.
Let’s look at each one of the exam papers in more detail.
Paper 1: READING
A passing mark in this section shows that you can confidently deal with different types of texts, such as fiction, newspapers and magazines.
You have an hour to answer 30 questions that are divided into three different tasks: multiple choice, gapped text-sentences and multiple matching.
Read more about Paper 1
Paper 2: WRITING
The results of this section show how well you can write in English. You will be asked to produce two different pieces of writing, such as letters, reports, reviews and short stories.
You have an hour and twenty minutes to complete both writings.
Read more about Paper 2
Paper 3: USE OF ENGLISH
The results of this section will show how well you can control English grammar and vocabulary.
You will have 45 minutes to answer 42 questions that are divided into four different parts: multiple choice lexical cloze, open cloze, word formation and key word transformations.
Read more about Paper 3
Paper 4: LISTENING
A passing mark in this section shows that you can confidently follow and understand a range of spoken materials, such as news programmes, presentations and everyday conversations.
This part of the exam lasts about 40 minutes and you will have to answer 30 questions that are divided into four parts. You will be able to hear each part twice and there are two multiple choice parts, sentence completion and multiple matching.
Read more about Paper 4
Paper 5: SPEAKING
The results of this section show your ability to communicate effectively in face-to-face situations. You will take the Speaking test with one or two other candidates and it lasts 14 minutes per pair or group of candidates.
There are four parts: general conversation, comparing photographs, decision-making task, and discussion.
Read more about Paper 5
New vocabulary and notes
Confidently: (Adverb) Marked by confidence in oneself; self-assured.
Task: (Noun) It is a piece of work assigned or done, a function to be performed or an objective.
Multiple choice: It is a form of testing in which best possible answer is to be selected out of the given choices.
Gapped text-sentences: It is a form of testing or exercise that includes a text with missing sentences to be completed.
Multiple matching: It is a form of testing that requires finding correspondence among many possible items.
Review: It is a written, critical report on a new work or performance, for example.
Lexical cloze: It is a form of testing related to the vocabulary, words, or morphemes of a language in which gaps in a text are to be completed.
Word formation: The process or result of forming new words, called derived words, from words or word groups with the same root.
Note that the word programme is written program in American English.
Well, this is all for today
Stay tuned for more interesting information about the exam, exercises, and fun stuff to improve your English…
The NOW teachers