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  5. Passing the FCE: Cambridge First Certificate

FCE : Cambridge First Certificate in English

The Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE) is a world-renowned English exam that is a must for those wishing to demonstrate a qualified upper-intermediate level of English. It is taken by a large number of students each year, with a good test score being regularly required to join an English-speaking university. Wall Street English Switzerland is a certified test centre for the First Certificate in English.

Who is the FCE for?

FCE was developed by the University of Cambridge to assess the level of English of non-native English speakers. This training has real value, as it is recognised by international schools and training organisations as well as employers. Students aiming to study at an Anglo-Saxon university or people wishing to enrich their CV with a reputable English test are well advised to take the FCE. By demonstrating a good level of English language proficiency, you will be able to show a university or company that you can work in a completely English-speaking environment. Employers, particularly in the business and international trade sector, place great importance on Cambridge tests.

Exam preparation

Do you wish to take the FCE in the best conditions? To do so, a Cambridge English preparation perfectly adapted to the conditions of the exam is necessary. In Wall Street English schools, you will have the opportunity to train in small groups or with a private teacher in private lessons. The language diploma preparation offered includes a placement test, courses based on official paper-based subjects and registration for the exam.

Renowned for its effectiveness, the Wall Street English method will greatly increase your chances of obtaining a language certification. The preparation programme lasts 12 weeks with 2 hours per week in small groups (maximum 8 students).

Would you like to prepare for the exam? Please contact us!

Taking the FCE: Examination procedure

The Cambridge First Certificate is similar to a standard English test, consisting of 5 tests for a total duration of approximately 3.5 hours. The first part of the examination, lasting 75 minutes, is designed to test candidates' reading comprehension. A total of 52 multiple-choice questions are asked around grammar and vocabulary. The second, slightly longer part (80 minutes) is devoted to the writing of two texts of no more than 190 words. The third section, lasting 40 minutes, tests listening comprehension by listening to conversations or speeches in English, about which 30 questions are then asked. In the final, shortest section (14 minutes), oral expression is examined in groups of two students.

FCE Score and Scorecard

The examination gives a total of 5 separate marks: 2 for the first written comprehension test and 1 for each of the other tests. An average is then calculated between these 5 marks to obtain your overall score. For the FCE, it should be noted that each section has the same importance in the final result since no coefficient is applied here. Your final score must then be reported on the Cambridge English Scale. This score scale is common to all Cambridge tests. It ranges from 80 to 230 points, with different levels and equivalences to other existing English exams such as IELTS. The minimum score for FCE is Grade C, with a total of 160 points. The B2 level is often claimed by English-speaking universities: it is achieved with a score between 161 and 180 points. A score above 180 is considered excellent and allows for a special mention indicating a higher level of English comprehension.

In order to obtain a very good score in FCE, adequate preparation is a necessity. Please do not hesitate to enquire about the activities offered by Wall Street English schools in Switzerland. Preparation courses take place throughout the year to help candidates improve their chances of success.

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