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E X A M I N AT I O N S , C E RT I F I C AT E S & D I P L O M A S
C E R T I F I C AT E I N A D VA N C E D E N G L I S H
English as a Foreign Language
P R E FAC E
This Handbook is intended principally for teachers and course designers who are, or intend to become, involved in preparing candidates for the Certificate in Advanced English (CAE). There are separate Handbooks for other Cambridge EFL examinations. The introductory part of the handbook provides a general background to the Cambridge EFL examinations and an overview of the work of UCLES-EFL, including a description of current procedures for test design, production and marking. For further information on any of the Cambridge EFL examinations, please contact: EFL Information University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate Syndicate Buildings 1 Hills Road Cambridge CB1 2EU Tel: +44 1223 553355 Fax: +44 1223 460278 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cambridge-efl.org.uk
question 2) Open cloze (formerly Section B. Page 3 . Candidates are required to form a new word to complete the gap using a prompt word provided.e. but an alternative task will be introduced in some versions of the test consisting of ten 3-option multiple choice questions. five short listening texts with common theme). question 4) Register change gap-fill task (formerly Section C. question 3) Error correction text Word formation (a new task) (formerly Section B.C H A N G E S TO C A E The following changes to CAE are being introduced from the December 1999/June 2000 examining sessions: Paper 3 (see page 32) The following changes to CAE Paper 3 are being introduced for the first time in the December 1999 examining session: A new task appears on the paper. Paper 3 thus consists of: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 (formerly Section A. with two questions relating to each short text. question 5) The time allowed for the paper (1 hour and 30 minutes) remains unchanged. The current Question 6 (expansion of notes into sentences) will no longer appear on the paper. In Part 4 the Assessor no longer takes part in the discussion. Paper 5 (see page 49) The following changes to CAE Paper 5 are being introduced for the first time in the December 1999 examining session: In Part 2 ‘describe and draw’ tasks no longer appear in the specifications for the test. question 1) Multiple choice cloze (formerly Section A. Paper 4 (see page 40) The following change to CAE Paper 4 is being introduced for the first time in the June 2000 examining session: Part 4 (formerly Section D): the taped material remains unchanged (i. This is a word formation task consisting of two short texts containing in total 15 gaps.
specifications. It is also the responsibility of EFL staff to ensure that obligations to test users are met. UCLES-EFL is also responsible for the administration and processing of examinations. with the Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). handbooks. The English as a Foreign Language (EFL) UCLES-EFL has specific responsibility for all the professional and specialist aspects of the EFL examinations and the TEFL schemes. More information about ALTE and copies of ALTE documents can be obtained from the ALTE Secretariat at UCLES.g.000.. The First Certificate in English (FCE) was introduced in 1939. specifications. and with considerable experience in overseas teaching situations. The members are all providers of language examinations and certificates from countries within the European Union. etc.I N T RO D U C T I O N Introduction to UCLES The University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) was established as a department of the University of Cambridge in 1858 in order to set a standard of efficiency for schools in England. At the present stage of development of the framework. reporting of test results. so that UCLES now offers the most comprehensive range of EFL examinations and TEFL schemes with a total annual candidature of over 500. e. Examinations in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) were started at UCLES in 1913. test administration. considerable agreement has been reached on the content definition of all five levels of proficiency. and that in this context UCLES EFL examinations fulfil the Code of Practice established by the Association of Language Testers in Europe (see below). sample materials. interpreting examination results. etc. to collaborate on joint projects and in the exchange of ideas and know-how.e. for example. especially in Europe. Other EFL examinations and schemes for Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) have been added periodically since then.). This includes. question and item writing. to establish common standards for all stages of the language testing process: i. test analysis and reporting of findings. support for the administration of the examinations (particularly the Speaking Tests). Page 4 . processing of examinations (marking. marking and grading. sample materials. UCLES-EFL is responsible for ensuring that various professional requirements are met. etc. user service. It is also the responsibility of EFL e. • In all these areas there is a programme of ongoing validation. The work of UCLES-EFL covers four main areas: • • • • • question paper production. The Cambridge examinations cover a wide range of academic and vocational subjects and include examinations specially designed for the international market. the development and implementation of training and monitoring procedures which are required for carrying out the assessment of spoken and written language by examiners. striving for fairness. user service concerns professional matters such as the production of information for test users. The aim is to ensure that standards are being met and that the examinations develop in order to meet the changing needs of candidates and other test users. handbooks. The Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) UCLES is a member of the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) which was formed in 1990. This is described in detail on pages 6 and 7. The EFL team is made up of staff with qualifications mainly in the area of applied linguistics and TEFL. examination reports.g. This Code of Practice focuses on the responsibilities of both examination providers and examination users and covers four main areas: • • • • developing examinations. For UCLES-EFL. for test development. The core of the EFL system is the question paper production process. and specialist staff work on analysis and evaluation. informing examination takers. The principal objectives of ALTE are as follows: • to establish a framework of levels of proficiency in order to promote the transnational recognition of certification. examination reports. Further empirical research is taking place.
on the basis of sex. The anchor items are carefully chosen on the basis of their known measurement characteristics and their inclusion means that all new items can be linked to a common scale of difficulty. Topics or contexts of language use which might introduce a bias against any group of candidates of a particular background (i. Within the series of five levels. Cambridge Level Five MATERIALS BANK* Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) Cambridge Level Four Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) Cambridge Level Three First Certificate in English (FCE) Cambridge Level Two Preliminary English Test (PET) Cambridge Level One Key English Test (KET) Page 5 Question paper construction *electronic bank for pretested materials . This process can be represented in the diagram below. After selection and editing. The pretesting process helps to ensure that all versions conform to the test requirements in terms of content and level of difficulty.e. question paper construction.. analysis and banking of material. ethnic origin. The Production Cycle for Pretested Question Papers UCLES employs a team of Item Writers to produce examination material. Material for the productive components of the examinations is trialled with candidates to assess its suitability for inclusion in the Materials Bank. After the completed pretests are returned to the Pretesting Section of the EFL Division. For the majority of EFL question papers there are five main stages in the production process: • • • • • commissioning. editing. the Certificate in Advanced English is at Cambridge Level Four. Commissioning of material for question papers A Pre-editing and editing of material B Trial construction Pretest construction The UCLES Main Suite: A Five-Level System Trialling Revision Pretesting Trialling review Rejection Item Analysis UCLES has developed a series of examinations with similar characteristics.) are avoided.The Production of EFL Question Papers The production process for question papers for EFL examinations and TEFL schemes begins with the commissioning of material and ends with the printing of question papers. and those which are found to be suitable are banked. pretesting/trialling. the items are compiled into pretest papers. In 1998 there were over 50. which have offered to administer the pretests to candidates of a suitable level. spanning five levels. etc.000 candidates for the CAE examination throughout the world. Pretesting plays a central role as it allows for questions and materials with known measurement characteristics to be banked so that new versions of question papers can be produced as and when required. and throughout the writing and editing process strict guidelines are followed in order to ensure that the materials conform to the test specifications. Pretest papers are despatched to a wide variety of EFL schools and colleges. The items are marked and analysed. Each pretest paper contains anchor items or is supplied to candidates with an additional anchor test. a score for each student is provided to the centre within two weeks of receiving the completed scripts.
with the ability to respond appropriately to unforeseen as well as predictable situations. They can use language in a creative and flexible way. and express opinions and take part in discussions and arguments in a culturally acceptable way. ALTE Level Four .g.g. The candidates for CAE come from a wide range of backgrounds and take the examination for a number of different reasons. The following points summarise the characteristics of the current CAE candidature. Examinations at Level Four may be used as proof of the level of language necessary to work at a managerial or professional level or follow a course of academic study at university level. Gender . when candidates fill in a Candidate Information Sheet.Candidates’ reasons for wanting an English language qualification are roughly distributed as follows: • • • for study (44%) for work (41%) other (15%) The Level of CAE As well as being at Cambridge Level Four. leaflets. CAE also falls within Level Four of the ALTE framework. in Greece it is about 17). Employment . although the total number of nationalities represented in the candidature is over 175. connected with renting accommodation. Age . scanning. More information about recognition is also available from British Council Offices. and a brief description of this level is given below.Most candidates are students. newspapers. Many candidates also take the examination in the UK. with the average age being about 23.Competent User At this level. It is also designed to encourage the development of the skills required by students progressing towards CPE. Users at this level can enjoy a wide range of social contacts. learners are expected to be able to use the structures of a language with ease and fluency. In some countries the average age is lower (e. Learners at this level can develop their own interests in reading both factual and fictional texts. These are listed in a leaflet ‘Recognition in Britain’ available from UCLES. e. Page 6 . demand this level of language. and of the significance of register. producing quite long and complex utterances. such as letters of varying degrees of formality.A large proportion of candidates (about 80%) undertake a preparatory course before taking the examination.. etc. It is designed to offer a high-level qualification in the language to those wishing to use English for professional or study purposes.B A C K G RO U N D TO C A E CAE was introduced in December 1991. C A E C O N T E N T : A N O V E RV I E W The examination consists of five papers: Reading Writing English in Use 1 hour 15 minutes 2 hours 1 hour 30 minutes 45 minutes (approximately) 15 minutes (approximately) Recognition CAE is recognised by the majority of British universities for English language entrance requirements. Exam Preparation . They are aware of the relationship between the language and the culture it exists in. This means that to some extent they are able to adapt their language use to a variety of social situations. The majority of these candidates enter for CAE in European and South American countries.Nearly 80% of candidates are under 25. Listening Speaking Reading Candidates are expected to be able to read and understand texts taken from magazines.About 70% of candidates are female. They should demonstrate a variety of reading skills including skimming. Reasons for taking CAE .. although there are considerable differences in the proportion of students in different countries. with emphasis very much on real-world tasks. This description is not a specification for the examination content but refers to language activities in real-world. but certain more difficult situations. deduction of meaning from context and selection of relevant information to complete the given task.CAE is taken by candidates throughout the world in about 67 countries. They can also produce a variety of types of texts and utterances. Nationality . The written and spoken texts encountered in most common everyday situations can be dealt with at a level below that reached by the Level Four Learner. non-examination contexts. CAE Candidature Information is collected about the CAE candidates at each session.
The second part involves choosing one of four tasks from a range of writing activities (letters. The final two parts are linked. The candidates first respond to one another’s and the Interlocutor’s questions about their interests. e. The overall grade boundaries (A. The candidates first complete a collaborative task. etc. The tasks candidates are asked to perform include the following: information transfer. Statements of results for those candidates who fail with grade D and E provide an indication of those papers in which performance is particularly weak. statistics on overall candidate performance. It is not necessary to achieve a satisfactory level in all five papers in order to pass the examination. messages. after weighting. etc. D and E) are set according to the following information: • statistics on the candidature. They must complete six tasks with a total of eighty items. giving a total of about 3.g. and recommendations of examiners where this is relevant (Papers 2 and 5).There are four compulsory texts. etc. Each candidate is then given a set of visual stimuli which serves to encourage a ‘long turn’ from each candidate. etc. advice. notices. Awards The Awarding Committee meets after the grade boundaries have been confirmed. multiple choice and gapped text. English in Use Candidates are expected to demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge of the language system by completing tasks based on authentic passages. to withhold results. They must also be able to identify and interpret the context. Each paper is weighted to 40 marks. Statements of results for those candidates who achieve a pass grade provide an indication of those papers in which an outstanding performance has been achieved. articles. The input texts are taken from articles. Writing Candidates are expected to complete non-specialist writing tasks in response to the stimuli provided (input text and task descriptions). proof-reading exercises. formal and informal letters. B and C) and two failing grades (D and E). temporary disability. The first two parts consist of two short monologues. The committee can decide to ask for scripts to be remarked. The three main task types are: multiple matching. negotiation and collaboration. leaflets. with a total of thirty to forty questions. suspected collusion. speeches. Centres are notified if a candidate’s results have been scrutinised by the Awarding Committee. There are four parts lasting approximately forty-five minutes in all. The minimum successful performance which a candidate typically requires in order to achieve a Grade C corresponds to about 60% of the total marks. Texts take the form of announcements. • • • • Listening Candidates are expected to understand each text as a whole. Speaking The Speaking paper is conducted by two examiners with a pair of candidates.000 words. gain detailed understanding and appreciate gist and the attitude of the speaker. for those parts of the examination for which this is appropriate (Papers 1. word formation exercises and text completion. unsatisfactory examination conditions. It deals with all cases presented for special consideration. C. Results may be withheld because of infringement of regulations or because further investigation is needed. They must be able to demonstrate a range of oral skills: interactional. G R A D I N G A N D R E S U LT S The five CAE papers total 200 marks. Notification of Results Statements of results are issued through centres approximately two months after the examination has been Page 7 . to change grades. careers. etc. social. instructions. Both audience and purpose are made clear in the task descriptions. The first part is compulsory and candidates must complete one or more tasks in response to a reading input which is usually made up of several short texts. the third of a longer dialogue/interview and the fourth of conversational extracts. 3 and 4). This is followed by further discussion between candidates and the Interlocutor on points which have arisen from the collaborative task. B. etc.). multiple choice. There are forty to fifty questions. Responses should be about 250 words in length. The test lasts for about fifteen minutes. statistics on individual items. based on the performance of candidates. gap filling. Results are reported as three passing grades (A. transactional. radio broadcasts. A candidate’s overall CAE grade is based on the total score gained by the candidate in all five papers. to check results. comparison with statistics from previous years’ examination performance and candidature. various types of matching and note completion. The tasks include the following types: cloze exercises.
Candidates must enter through a recognised centre. or from: EFL UCLES 1 Hills Road Cambridge CB1 2EU Telephone: +44 1223 553355 Fax: +44 1223 460278 In some areas this information can also be obtained from the British Council. Seminars for Teachers UCLES offers a wide range of seminars designed for teachers concerned with the EFL examinations. are available from Local Secretaries and from the Publications Department at UCLES. and others can be used to introduce teachers to established examinations and also to new UCLES examinations. CAE requires an all-round language ability and this should be borne in mind when selecting course materials.000 centres worldwide. which can be used for practice. C A E A D M I N I S T R AT I O N CAE is held each year in June and December in about 1. candidates are strongly advised not to concentrate unduly on working through practice tests and examinations as this will not by itself make them more proficient in the different skills. Braille transcription. etc. etc. Consult the UCLES Local Secretary in your area for more details. within a month of the issue of statements of results. N. care should be taken to ensure that course books and practice materials selected accurately reflect the content and format of the examination. Examination Reports are also available from Local Secretaries or from UCLES. some are also suitable as introductions for administrators. C A E S U P P O RT Course Materials A number of course books and practice materials are available from publishers. The sample question papers included in this Handbook (in reduced format) are taken from previous CAE examinations and trialled materials.Certificates are issued about six weeks after the issue of statements of results. separate accommodation or equipment. Enquiries about results may be made through Local Secretaries. school directors. These may include extra time. However. Page 8 . UCLES does not undertake to advise on text books or courses of study. Contact EFL Information for further details. A comprehensive list of those published by members of the Publishers’ Association is available from UCLES.B. Some seminars are intended to provide information and support for teachers who are familiar with the examinations. Further Information Copies of the Regulations and details of entry procedure. Most course books will need to be supplemented. current fees and further information about this and other Cambridge examinations can be obtained from the Local Secretary for UCLES examinations in your area. Past Papers & Examination Reports Past examination papers. Special Arrangements Special arrangements are available for disabled candidates.
journals. From the following: informational. Task Types Multiple matching. Part Task Type and Focus Multiple matching Main focus: specific information Number of Questions 12-18 Task Format 1 A text preceded by multiple-matching questions. A text may consist of several short pieces. detail. Candidates must decide from where in the text the paragraphs have been removed. Length of Texts 3. opinion/attitude Multiple matching Main focus: specific information 5-7 A text followed by four-option multiple-choice questions.1. Number of Questions Approximately 50. two marks are given for each correct answer to the multiple-choice and gapped-text tasks. advice/instructional. main points. Answering For all parts of this paper. descriptive. 450 . Task Focus Understanding gist. text structure or specific information. brochures. multiple choice.A DETAILED GUIDE TO CAE PA P E R 1 R E A D I N G General Description Paper Format The paper contains four parts.000 words approximately overall. deducing meaning or recognising opinion/attitude. Candidates must match a prompt from one list to a prompt in another list.200 words approximately per text. or match prompts to elements in the text. leaflets. Each part contains a text and corresponding comprehension tasks. candidates indicate their answers by shading the correct lozenges on an answer sheet. Marks One mark is given for each correct answer to the multiplematching tasks. imaginative/journalistic. 4 12-22 As 1st Text. persuasive. Page 9 . narrative. gapped text. magazines. Timing 1 hour 15 minutes. A text from which paragraphs have been removed and placed in jumbled order after the text. nonliterary books. opinion/comment. etc. Text Types From the following: newspapers. 2 Gapped text Main focus: text structure 6 or 7 3 Multiple choice Main focus: detail.
pronouns.g. and there may be more than one correct answer to some questions. The task requires candidates to select from a number of choices the paragraphs which fit the gaps in a text. as well as the four possible answers. Page 10 . if so.g. The final question may depend on interpretation of the text as a whole. contrasting arguments. The task consists of a single-page text followed by a number of questions. Candidates should read each question very carefully. reasons. Students should practise skimming and scanning texts. The variety of sources used for texts on the Reading paper is reflected in the contents of coursebooks and skills books available for CAE students. tests detailed understanding of the text. Sometimes candidates will need to choose carefully between two extracts as possible answers and will need practice in making decisions about which is the most logical extract to fill the particular gap. tests understanding of how texts are structured and the ability to predict text development. since careful reading of a particular part of the text is required to ensure an accurate match in terms of meaning. titles of books or films. e. It can be helpful for students to underline key words in the questions as this helps when trying to find the information in the text which provides the answers. The range of texts and task types which appear on the Reading paper is intended to encourage familiarity with texts from a range of sources. Task Focus and Format The task formats included on the Reading paper indicate the main purposes for reading. The task consists of a single-page gapped text followed by the extracts from the text and one extra paragraph which does not fit in any of the gaps. including names and dates. The task consists of one or two sets of questions followed by a single page of text. candidates should practise reading the instructions carefully and noticing the information they provide regarding the type of text. The range of possible answers may be presented in the form of a list of. Candidates should notice the particular wording of questions since these are intended to lead the reader to specific information and to disregard irrelevant information. in order to reconstitute a particular part of the text. only one answer is correct in each case. the first multiple-matching task. candidates need to read the text closely in order to distinguish between apparently similar viewpoints. the task is designed to test understanding of the development of ideas. Part 2 of the Reading paper. all of which may at first appear to be likely answers. the ability to process large quantities of text in real time. e. repetition. Part 1 of the paper. Candidates should be trained to read the gapped text first in order to gain an overall idea of the structure and the meaning of the text. for their own needs and interests. the gapped-text task. Some of the answers may be correct for more than one question. where the text is made up of several sections or shorter texts. Candidates for the Reading paper need practice in doing multiple-matching tasks within a certain time-limit and without recourse to a dictionary. the instructions to candidates will indicate this. however. Candidates should practise scanning texts for particular information required and not feel that they must read every word in the text. cause and effect. including more than one gap. events rather than the superficial recognition of individual words. and not to focus on each gap separately. tests the ability to locate particular information. with a number of options to choose from in order to answer each question. Practice is needed in a wide range of linguistic devices which mark the logical and cohesive development of a text. names of people or places. candidates should be trained to consider the development of the text as a whole. and to notice carefully the information and ideas before and after each gap as well as throughout the gapped text. the text may be continuous. In preparing for Part 1 of the CAE Reading paper. written for different purposes and presented in different formats. words and phrases indicating time. its content and the precise nature of the multiple-matching task. looking for sections of the text which are close in meaning to the wording of the questions. including opinion or attitude. it can be helpful to skim the whole text before scanning it for the specific information required. Candidates are required to match the questions with the relevant information from the text. The questions for the multiple-matching task are printed before the text so that the candidate knows what to look for in the text. for example. types of occupation. the questions are presented in the same order as the information in the text so that candidates can follow the development of the text. tested by means of different types of task. the writer’s purpose. i. use of verb tenses. The questions can be answered correctly only by close reference to the text. including opinions and attitudes. outcomes.P R E PA R I N G F O R PA P E R 1 Introduction The Reading paper consists of four parts. by skimming and scanning a text. Students should also be encouraged to read widely outside the classroom. attitude or opinion. or consist of a group of short texts or of a text divided into sections. The way in which a text has been gapped may require the reader to consider large sections of the text. They should be discouraged from selecting an answer solely on the basis of lexical proximity. Part 3 of the Reading paper. Candidates should beware of approaching the gapped-text task as an exercise requiring them merely to identify extracts from the text and sections in the text containing the same words.e. sections of a text. The Reading paper aims to test skills which reflect the real-world needs of learners/users of English at an advanced level. opinions. the multiple-choice task.
It is important to familiarise candidates with the instructions on the front page of the test. The advice on examination practice for Part 1 also applies to Part 4. candidates should be reminded to fold out the second page of the text so that all the information is available to them simultaneously. candidates should also be familiar with the technique of indicating their answers on the separate answer sheet so that they can do this quickly and accurately. testing candidates’ ability to locate specific information in a text. in general terms. what to expect in each part of the paper. Some candidates prefer to transfer their answers at the end of each task rather than wait until the end of the examination. it is helpful for candidates to spend time going through past papers. in addition. followed by close reading of the text in order to prevent any misunderstandings which may lead candidates to choose an answer subsequently proved wrong by the text. Page 11 . Part 4 usually requires candidates to scan a two-page text.Candidates should be encouraged to read the text before reading the multiple-choice questions. When preparing for the examination. Preparation for the multiple-choice task should include practice in reading the text quickly for a first overall impression. this may be continuous or made up of a group of shorter texts or sections of text. The Reading paper has a standard structure and format so that candidates will know. both are multiple-matching tasks. though the total number of questions remains fairly constant. Part 4 of the CAE Reading paper complements Part 1. and for each part of the text. The number of questions within a task may vary for different CAE Reading tests. to ensure accuracy of transfer and in case they do not finish the paper.
directions. written for a given purpose and target reader. Number of Tasks Candidates are required to complete two tasks: a compulsory one in Part 1 and one from a choice of four in Part 2. information sheets. announcements. Answering Candidates write their answers on separate answer paper. formal and informal letters. directions. writing text types from the following: newspaper and magazine articles. personal notes and messages. Input may consist of several individual texts and visuals. Task descriptions specified in approximately five lines each. reviews. formal and informal letters. competition entries. contributions to leaflets and brochures. 250 words. Marks Each question in this paper carries equal marks. reports. Part Task Type and Focus Number of Tasks and Length One or more compulsory tasks. One task from a choice of four. Candidates are required to deal with substantial reading input well below the expected reading comprehension level of CAE. Approx. notices. instructions. notices. Task Types From the following: newspaper and magazine articles. reports. announcements. comparing items of information. 250 words in total. instructions.PA P E R 2 W R I T I N G General Description Paper Format The paper contains two parts. Approx. Timing 2 hours. Page 12 . memos. personal notes and messages. contributions to leaflets and brochures. reviews. information sheets. memos. competition entries. selecting & summarising input. Task Format 1 Applying information contained in the input. 2 Writing text types as for Part 2.
register and effect on target reader. articles. notes or any combination of these. Wordlists. leaving gaps where grammatical errors occur. or omission are likely to be penalised. Examiners are looking for an appropriate selection and expansion of the key points. Well-written model answers can also provide students with good examples of natural language appropriate to the task. and includes a work-orientated task as one of the four questions. candidates have to choose one of four tasks. Notes. repetition. Students must become aware of the need to adopt an appropriate style. students often need to improve the range and extent of their productive vocabulary. and may include formal letters. due to their poor grammar. Feedback on students’ written work which relates to the assessment criteria will help them to learn what is being assessed and where their strengths and weaknesses lie. Page 13 . Some students may benefit from re-writing their work. selecting that which is important and ignoring the irrelevant. for example. Candidates should be told to avoid selecting a task in Part 2 if they are unfamiliar with the appropriate features of the particular format. Equally. using the information appropriately to perform the task required. such as: content. To help rectify this. unecessary and omitted words can also help students to identify and correct common grammatical errors. range of structure and vocabulary. In assessing written work. informal letters.P R E PA R I N G F O R PA P E R 2 Part 1 Part 1 is compulsory and requires candidates to process about 400 words of input material. To get them into the habit. cohesion. To become more effective at written communication. in whole or in part. Serious. Teachers need to spend time focusing on the key elements of text genre and draw attention to the differences and constraints involved. students can learn to write in a variety of styles and registers and identify which tasks are best suited to their interests and experience. However. Model answers which incorporate typical student errors. layout and register for the format (or text type) of each writing task: the overall aim of the task being to have a positive effect on the target reader. before handing it in. They also need to practise checking their work for errors and inaccuracies. Candidates must carefully read all the input material. organisation. They can then go back to the gapped version later and try to fill the gaps. There are various ways in which this might be done. while a report should not look like an ‘opinion’ composition. Examiners will consider a number of factors. Paragraphs should be well organised and points need to be appropriately linked. During the preparation stage. answers need to be planned carefully and students may need help in this respect. needless repetition of rubric. reports. Students do not need to write ‘perfect’ answers and model answers which are beyond the level to which students might reasonably aspire might be demotivating and therefore should be avoided. Input material may consist of varied combinations of text and notes. numerous and/or repetitive errors may need to be dealt with systematically. reports and leaflets. deviation. teachers should become familiar with the assessment criteria and try to apply them. Further remedial action may be taken where errors persist. sometimes supported by illustrations or diagrams. The task is often divided into more than one section. Therefore. teachers can encourage students to give homework a final check. in class. as well as extensive and intensive reading practice will serve to achieve this aim. Some students fail to do as well as they might otherwise. illegibility. recycling activities. need to be concise. Answers which suffer from irrelevance. Part 2 In Part 2. Task types will vary in Part 1. teachers should encourage students to spend time looking carefully at their corrected written work. candidates with no relevant business experience would be best advised not to choose the business question. care should be taken. misinterpretation. This part covers a range of task types. such as spelling. such as articles. vocabulary games and exercises.
consistently appropriate register. Not necessarily a flawless performance. but content clearly organised. including relevance. Band 3 Either (a) task reasonably achieved. only minor omissions. Very negative effect on target reader. causing a number of non-impeding errors. register usually appropriate. Band 5 Minimal errors: resourceful. Would achieve the required effect on target reader. Good realisation of task. range of structure. Very positive effect on target reader. showing good range of vocabulary and structure. controlled and natural use of language. Would have a negative effect on target reader. all tasks carry the same maximum mark. The general impression mark scheme is used in conjunction with a task-specific mark scheme. Errors sometimes obscure communication and/or language is too elementary for this level. Band 0 or or (a) Fewer than 50 words per question. N. Narrow range of language. which focuses on criteria specific to each particular task. vocabulary and presentation and register. The criteria for assessment with reference to the general impression mark scheme are summarised as follows. accuracy of language satisfactory and adequate range of vocabulary and range of structures or (b) an ambitious attempt at the task. There may be minor omissions. (b) Totally illegible work. errors only when more complex language attempted. Content not clearly organised. often inappropriately. No relevant omissions. Some evidence of range of vocabulary and structure. with good use of cohesive devices. Noticeable lifting of language from the input. Positive effect on target reader achieved. Attention paid to organisation and cohesion. Band 1 Serious lack of control and/or frequent basic errors. Band 4 Sufficiently natural. Task fully completed.ASSESSMENT An impression mark is awarded to each piece of writing. Page 14 . Inadequate attempt at task. (c) Total irrelevance (often a previously prepared answer to a different question).B. Band 2 Some attempt at task but lack of expansion and/or notable omissions/irrelevancies. but a good range of vocabulary and structure demonstrated.
Paragraphs should be clearly laid out either by indenting or by leaving a space between each paragraph. over-length will be penalised. but there should be consistency. whereas over-long pieces of writing may involve irrelevance or have a negative effect on the target reader.Length The specific number of words used is not taken into account (except in Band 0). A rigorous process of co-ordination and checking is carried out before and throughout the marking process. reports and instructions is part of task achievement. each examiner is apportioned scripts chosen on a random basis from the whole entry in order to ensure there is no concentration of good or weak scripts or of one large centre of one country in the allocation of any one examiner. Layout Following the conventions of writing letters. and target reader indicated in the task. and a task-specific mark scheme is finalised for each individual task on the paper. This is held immediately after the examination and begins the process of establishing a common standard of assessment by the selection of sample scripts for all the questions in Paper 2. Page 15 . organisation and cohesion. These are chosen to demonstrate the range of responses and different levels of competence. Significantly fewer words are likely to mean that the task has not been completed. Spelling American spelling is acceptable. register and format. During marking. The Principal Examiner guides and monitors the marking process. in the form of satisfactory band descriptors. range of structures and vocabulary. but candidates who introduce blatantly irrelevant material learned by heart or who deliberately misinterpret the question are penalised. each with a very experienced examiner as Team Leader. Poor spelling is penalised by a one-band reduction if it interferes with communication. as length is an integral part of task achievement. MARKING The panel of examiners is divided into small teams. If this is the case. Handwriting Work which is difficult to read is penalised by a one or possibly two-band reduction depending on the degree of illegibility. including spelling and punctuation. The accuracy of language. Examiners discuss these individual mark schemes and refer to them regularly while they are working. is assessed on the general impression scale for all tasks. Irrelevance The examiners’ first priority is to give credit for the candidates’ efforts at communication. This summarises the content. beginning with a meeting of the Principal Examiner and the Team Leaders. Any acceptable modern layout for a formal letter may be used.
Task Focus Understanding and control of the formal elements of language in context. etc. which must be identified. misspellings. Timing Number of Questions 80. 1 hour 30 minutes. Part Task Type and Focus Number of Questions 15 Task Format 1 Multiple choice cloze An emphasis on lexis A modified cloze text of approximately 200 words containing 15 gaps and followed by 15 four-option multiple choice questions. gapped text. word formation. 4 Word formation An emphasis on word formation 15 5 Register transfer An emphasis on register 13 6 Gapped text An emphasis on cohesion and coherence 6 Page 16 . Marks Task Types Multiple choice cloze. extra words. The first may include information in tabular or diagrammatic form. 2 Open cloze An emphasis on structure 15 3 Error correction An emphasis on proofreading 16 A text of about 200 words containing errors as specified in the rubric.. Two texts. punctuation errors.g. Candidates must form an appropriate word to complete each gap using the given prompt words. Two short texts of up to 130 words each. register transfer.PA P E R 3 E N G L I S H I N U S E General Description Paper Format The paper contains six parts. Candidates must select the correct options from the list to complete the text. Answering For all parts of this paper candidates write their answers on an answer sheet.. each about 150 words in length. and is followed by an incomplete (gapped) text providing the same information in a different register. e. A modified cloze text of approximately 200 words containing 15 gaps. One mark is given for each correct answer. open cloze. error correction. A text of about 300 words with gaps at phrase and/or sentence level followed by a list of 10 options.
Clues may lie in a number of features. not only in this task. the transfer of information from one text type to another. A single word is needed to fill each gap but there may be more than one word acceptable for each gap. errors of spelling and punctuation have to be identified. Part 4 is designed to test awareness of word formation. such as the grammatical context and/or the punctuation. In the first. C. When deciding which word or phrase should go in each gap. writer’s purpose and/or style. With gapped texts (as in tasks 1. and linkers. Answers must be correct both syntactically and semantically. While the absence or misuse of capital letters in answers is ignored. Candidates need to select the appropriate phrase/short sentence for each gap in the text. 2 and 6). The two texts are different from each other in terms of register. candidates will benefit from extensive work on text comparison. To develop their grammatical awareness. candidates must give careful consideration to the local context and other parts of the text as well. candidates will become aware of the general subject of the text and its style. In Part 1. The skill of proof-reading can have obvious benefits for candidates’ own writing. In the word formation task candidates should look at the surrounding context to determine the word class of the missing word. particularly features of cohesion and coherence. candidates will need plenty of controlled practice. The answers must be grammatically accurate as well as stylistically appropriate in terms of both the text’s audience and the writer’s purpose. each part being defined in terms of its task type and language focus. This will also have obvious benefits for candidates’ writing for Paper Two. candidates must choose one word from a set of four (A. conjunction. Part 6 consists of a text from which a selection of phrases/short sentences have been removed and placed below the text along with several additional phrases. Part 2 is an open modified cloze containing fifteen gaps. such as adjective. By reading the text through quickly. candidates have to identify additional words which are incorporated into the text. In the second type. To prepare for the fifth task. Part 3 consists of a correction exercise of which there are two types. The grammar and items of vocabulary given in one text need to be transformed into suitable expressions in order to complete the second text. Knowing grammatical patterns and collocations is as important as knowing the meaning of words and candidates should be encouraged to learn whole phrases rather than words in isolation. using the given prompt words. D) to fill a gap in a text. etc. ignoring the gaps as much as possible. This part of the paper tests phrases and collocations. Words contained in the first text may not be used in the second.P R E PA R I N G F O R PA P E R 3 The English in Use paper is divided into six parts. The task requires candidates to transfer information given in one text into another. it is a good idea for candidates to start by thinking briefly about the title as this might provide clues as to style and/or subject matter. testing awareness and control of structural items. B. The task requires candidates to form an appropriate word. They need to become acquainted with the relevant grammatical and lexical features of different styles of writing. This involves choosing the answer which has the right meaning and fits both in the local grammatical context and within the text as a whole. This task is devised to test an awareness of discourse features which operate within and across a text. Page 17 . and follow the guidance they offer. They should also become familiar with grammatical terminology. Concentrating on the use of prefixes and suffixes to build words and focusing on how words change word class will help candidates. The use of a prefix will be necessary in at least one of the words in the task. Teachers may choose to indicate to students in which lines of their written work errors have occurred to provide further proof-reading practice. Teachers may also choose to encourage students to proof-read and help correct each other’s written work. incorrect spelling is penalised. There are 16 lines to be corrected and candidates should not expect more than five lines to be correct. Consideration of such features may help when deciding which words are right. so candidates must learn to look carefully at the task rubric and the example answers. to fill each of the gaps in the two short texts. but also to further extend their own lexicons. Part 5 is designed to test awareness and control of features of style and appropriateness. The exact nature of the correction task varies from paper to paper. preposition. as well as idioms and phrasal verbs.
. gist and attitude 6-12 A conversation between 2 or 3 speakers. In the multiple matching format there are two tasks. with the addition of interviews and meetings. 3 & 4 are heard twice. Page 18 . lectures. etc. and to English non-native speaker accents that approximate to the norms of native speaker accents. multiple choice Identifying speakers. multiple matching. the whole sequence is heard twice. speeches. speeches. multiple choice Understanding specific information. heard twice. telephone messages. multiple choice. attitude. may also be included. from the following range of text types: announcements. Understanding specific information. Task Types From the following: note taking. lectures. attitude 10 A series of five short extracts. In the multiple choice format there are ten questions with two questions for each speaker. 4 Multiple matching. Recording Information The texts in Parts 1. from the range of text types above. note taking Understanding specific information 8-10 A monologue of approximately 2 minutes. Recordings will contain a variety of accents corresponding to standard variants of English native speaker accent. telephone messages. heard once only. to provide contextual information. The questions require selection of the correct option from a choice of three. telephone messages. Timing Approximately 45 minutes. interviews. talks. radio broadcasts. the text in Part 2 is heard once only. Background sounds may be included before speaking begins. topics. talks. of approximately 30 seconds each. 3 Sentence completion. Each part contains a recorded text or texts and corresponding comprehension tasks. heard twice. interpreting context.40. etc. Answering For all parts of this paper candidates write their answers on an answer sheet. Part Task Type and Focus Number of Questions 8-10 Task Format 1 Sentence completion. recognising function. 2 Sentence completion. radio broadcasts. Subdued reaction from an audience to talks.PA P E R 4 L I S T E N I N G General Description Paper Format The paper contains four parts. from the range of text types above. main points and detail. Interacting speakers: announcements. the questions require selection of the correct option from a list of eight. There may be prompts from a second speaker. speeches. sentence completion. gist. Marks Each question in this paper carries one mark. Number of Questions 30 . meetings. of approximately 4 minutes. Task Focus Text Types From the following: Monologues: announcements. radio broadcasts. note taking Understanding specific information A monologue of approximately 2 minutes.
The length of the box is designed to cater for a maximum of three words.P R E PA R I N G F O R PA P E R 4 In the Listening paper. Please note that the CAE listening test consists of four parts. it can be useful to go through the tapescript to identify the relationship between the language of the listening text. they can nevertheless identify more important aspects. In the sample paper there is an example of the alternative task for Part 4. time is allowed for candidates to prepare for what they are about to hear and it is important for students to learn to use this preparation time to read through the task. the candidate who writes an unnecessarily long answer is more likely to make a slip when transferring that answer. Answers which require candidates to write down the words exactly in the order that they have heard them are unlikely to occur at this level. while not understanding every word of something they hear. This will also help them to make more effective use of the time available. students should learn to focus on the key word(s) of an answer and to use that information in completing their answers to gap-fill questions. Although candidates are never asked to spell words which fall outside the CAE level. and dictation can provide useful practice in listening for detail. it is important to train students to be as accurate as possible and to check spelling carefully. It is also important in completing a gap-fill question that candidates look carefully at the stem or the wording of the question so that their answer fits the stem in every sense and provides an acceptable completion. specific information. N.g. teachers should encourage their students to limit the length of their answers. The inclusion of both tasks is for information only. gist and attitude of speakers. the more likely they are to make errors. While listening. Moreover. Extensive listening practice should also help students to be confident that. In practising productive tasks for the examination. e. After doing a task. It is often the case that the more candidates write. students can try to predict something of the content of the text which they will hear. From the task and from the introductory rubric which contextualises the text. etc.B. Page 19 . not five. Students will benefit from both extensive and intensive listening practice: jigsaw listening tasks can provide interesting communicative purpose for listening.. the question and the expected answer.
comparing & contrasting. Timing Approximately 15 minutes. transactional long and short turns. selecting. involving sequencing. Part Task Type and Focus Length of Parts 3 minutes Task Format 1 Three-way conversation between the candidates and the Interlocutor Using general interactional and social language The candidates are asked to respond to one another’s questions about themselves. The standard format is two candidates and two examiners. Marks Candidates are assessed on their performance throughout the test. Task Types Social interaction with the Interlocutor and the other candidate.PA P E R 5 S P E A K I N G Task Focus Using transactional. 4 Three-way conversation between the candidates and the Interlocutor Explaining. etc. Page 20 . reaching agreement or ‘agreeing to disagree’ 3-4 minutes The candidates are given visual and/or written prompts to set up a problem-solving task. 2 Two-way interaction between the candidates Using transactional language 3-4 minutes Each candidate in turn is given visual prompts. and respond to the Interlocutor’s questions. General Description Paper Format The paper contains four parts. Based on this output candidates are asked about their decisions. ranking. interactional and social language. summarising. 3 Two-way interaction between the candidates Negotiating and collaborating. the second candidate responds as specified. They make comments on the prompts for about one minute. developing the discussion 3-4 minutes The topic area from Part 3 is opened up by discussing wider issues. One examiner acts as both Interlocutor and Assessor and manages the interaction either by asking questions or providing cues for candidates. The other acts as Assessor and does not join in the conversation.
and to listen to what their partner has to say. yet ask for clarification/repetition if needed. conducts the test and gives a global assessment of each candidate’s performance. At the end of this part they are asked to report on the outcome of their discussion.P R E PA R I N G F O R PA P E R 5 The CAE Speaking Test is designed to offer candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to use their spoken language skills effectively in a range of contexts. using speculative or hypothetical language whenever possible.. The questions become broader and often more abstract as the discussion develops. openly and clearly. They should show sensitivity to each other’s contributions. The test takes about 15 minutes for a pair of candidates. agreeing. The other. candidates participate in a wider discussion of the issues raised in Part 3. Shared tasks set candidates the same task but each candidate. and not dominate the interaction. Students need to be equipped with the right kind of language for. eliminate and hypothesise or speculate. rank. evaluate. speculate and/or select. Preparation It is essential that students are able to participate in pair and group activities effectively. The Interlocutor introduces both examiners to the candidates. During classroom activities. Candidates may be asked to discuss. the Assessor. etc.g. invite their partners to participate. exchanging information/opinions. They should be able to handle the whole test confidently. Part 2 Give students practice in talking for one minute on a set subject. There is no right or wrong answer to this task but candidates are asked to reach a conclusion. e. Candidates are expected to listen carefully to the verbal instructions they are given. Part 1 This part of the test gives candidates the opportunity to show their ability to use general interactional and social language. students should be instructed to speak clearly so that they can be heard and paraphrase effectively when they do not know or cannot remember a word. agree to differ. ‘In the first picture the scene looks Page 21 . giving reasons. comment. candidates are thanked for attending. Candidates may be asked to respond to the same or different questions. They are given a set of visual prompts on which the task is based. and express themselves coherently in appropriate language. Part 1 Students should be made aware that they are expected to react naturally to their partners and not rehearse speeches for this part of the test.g. The Interlocutor may ask the candidates further questions about themselves as appropriate. candidates are expected to negotiate and collaborate with each other. however. in turn.. They should be encouraged to react to pictures and diagrams. when there is a group of three candidates. Candidates should pay attention while their partner is speaking. The task gives candidates the opportunity to show their own range of language and their ability to invite the opinions and ideas of their partner. in this part of the test. Make students aware that. does not take any part in the interaction but focuses solely on listening to. e. disagreeing politely justifying and negotiating. or ‘holding the floor’ in a classroom situation so that they can organise their thoughts and ideas during this long turn. then candidates ask one another questions about themselves using prompts given by the Interlocutor. and making an assessment of. showing sensitivity to turn-taking and responding appropriately to their partners. it is essential not to interrupt while their partners are speaking.. hypothesising. Part 4 In Part 4. Part 2 In this part of the test. Students need to be clear about what is considered an inadequate response. as they are asked to comment briefly (for about 20 seconds) after their partner has spoken. compare. Part 3 In Part 3. Each candidate is asked to comment on and/or react to a different set of pictures or photographs. contrast. Candidates may be asked to describe. show their ability to organise their thoughts and ideas. identify. but are given no indication of the level of their achievement.g. At the end of the Speaking Test. One examiner. Pair and group activities should be a regular feature of classroom learning. the candidate’s oral proficiency. Students should be given extensive practice in listening carefully to instructions and remembering what they are asked to do. each candidate is given the opportunity to speak for a longer period of time (one minute) without interruption. speculating. receives different visual stimuli. discussing a problem-solving task fully. the Interlocutor.. Tasks may be completely different for each candidate or they may be ‘shared’. Students should be familiar with the timing and the focus of each part of the test. The test is divided into four parts and each part sets candidates a different task. Candidates are expected to respond to their partner’s and to the Interlocutor’s questions. They can. rather than merely describe them. e.
The range and appropriate use of vocabulary are assessed here. e. connected speech. and the use of stress and intonation to convey the intended meaning.. examiners are looking for evidence of the candidate’s ability to express ideas and opinions in coherent. Pronunciation (Individual Sounds and Prosodic Features) Part 4 Students should be encouraged to talk about current events and express an opinion about them so that they can participate fully in the last part of the test. Candidates should be able to maintain the coherence of the discussion and may. in conversational turn-taking. Initiating and Responding) This refers to the candidate’s ability to interact with the Interlocutor and the other candidate by initiating and responding appropriately and at the required speed and rhythm to fulfil the task requirements. Encourage students to make use of conversation ‘fillers’. which they can call upon (sparingly) to give themselves time to think. candidates are awarded marks for the accurate and appropriate use of syntactic forms and vocabulary in order to meet the task requirements. It is recognised that at CAE level. The Assessor applies detailed. These criteria should be interpreted within the overall context of the Cambridge Common Scale for Speaking (page 53). The CAE tasks require candidates to construct sentences and produce utterances (extended as appropriate) in order to convey information and to express or justify opinions. where CAE is at Level 4.. ASSESSMENT AND MARKING Throughout the test. Analytical Scales. the appropriate linking of words.. This refers to the candidate’s ability to produce comprehensible utterances to fulfil the CAE task requirements. instead of.. provided communication is not impeded. e. Both examiners assess the candidates. candidates’ pronunciation will be influenced by features of their first language. which is a less detailed scale based on the Analytical Scales.. but the older scene suggests that there was more traffic on the river at the time. now. Interactive Communication (Turn-taking. but examiners can only assess candidates on the language they produce and those candidates who fail to make a contribution will not do well. and Interactive Communication. However. candidates are assessed not in relation to each other but according to the following criteria: Grammar and Vocabulary. in the other it looks old-fashioned’. First language accents are acceptable. This gives candidates a final opportunity to show examiners what they are capable of.g. The candidate’s ability to maintain a coherent flow of language with an appropriate range of linguistic resources over several utterances is assessed here. Pronounciation. candidates are expected to know enough grammar and vocabulary to produce accurate and appropriate language without continual pauses to search for words or structures. ask the Interlocutor or the other candidate for clarification.. At CAE level. e.. both candidates and the Interlocutor can interact more freely. Discourse Management On this scale. it refers to the production of individual sounds. if necessary.’.g. Simply agreeing or disagreeing with or echoing what their partner has said will not enable them to do this. it should be noted that only the accuracy of the grammar is assessed here as the range of grammatical structures is assessed under Discourse Management. Page 22 . whereas .g. Expose students to as great a variety of visual stimuli as possible and invite their reactions to it. Students should be aware that they are not being assessed on their ideas. ‘Both pictures of the building portray a calm and peaceful setting. Although the completion of the task is not essential.’ Students should realise that their responses need to go beyond the level of pure description and contain a speculative element. It includes the ability to use functional language and strategies to maintain or repair interaction.e. the Interlocutor applies a Global Scale. Discourse Management. At this stage of the test. and a willingness to develop the conversation and move the task towards a conclusion. They are asked questions by the Interlocutor and they are expected to develop the discussion.modern. ‘Well. let me see . i. Grammar and Vocabulary (Accuracy and Appropriacy) On this scale. Students should attempt to demonstrate their command of a wide range of linguistic resources and communication strategies.. it is advisable for students to attempt to reach the specified outcome within the time allotted. Part 3 For this part of the test. Each student should make a positive contribution to the task in question. candidates need to be able to interact and carry out the task while keeping the conversation going. rather than simply give one-word answers. even in the top assessment band. Students who listen carefully to their instructions and follow them will do well.
Senior Team Leaders are appointed by UCLES and attend an annual co-ordination and development session in the U. The Assessor awards marks for each of the four criteria listed above. and then conduct practice tests with volunteer ‘candidates’ in order to establish a common standard of assessment. examiners watch and discuss sample Paper 5 Speaking Tests recorded on video. and are pre-marked by a team of experienced examiners. Page 23 . In many countries. The Team Leaders are responsible to a Senior Team Leader who is the professional representative of UCLES for the oral examinations. The Interlocutor awards each candidate one global mark. Candidates are assessed on their own individual performance according to the established criteria and are not assessed in relation to each other. as required. each of which is led by a Team Leader who may be responsible for approximately fifteen Oral Examiners. Oral Examiners are assigned to teams. During the co-ordination sessions. Assessment is based on performance in the whole test. The sample tests on video are selected to demonstrate a range of task types and different levels of competence.Typical Minimum Adequate Performance A typical minimum adequate performance at CAE level can be summarised as follows: Develops the interaction with contributions which are mostly coherent and extended when dealing with the CAE level tasks.K. standardisation of marking is maintained by both bi-annual examiner co-ordination sessions and by monitoring visits to centres by Team Leaders. Utterances are understood with very little strain on the listener. After initial training of examiners. Team Leaders are appointed by the Senior Team Leader in consultation with the local administration. and is not related to performance in particular parts of the test. Grammar is mostly accurate and vocabulary appropriate. Team Leaders give advice and support to Oral Examiners.
including pausing and hesitation. Able to convey basic meaning in very familiar or highly predictable situations. are ‘native-like’. Produces utterances which tend to be very short . including unfamiliar or unexpected ones. Maintains a flow of language. Does not require major assistance or prompting by an interlocutor. CAMBRIDGE LEVEL 4 Good operational command of the spoken language. Has some ability to compensate for communication difficulties using repair strategies but may require prompting and assistance by an interlocutor. Pronunciation is heavily influenced by L1 features and may at times be difficult to understand. although hesitation may occur whilst searching for language resources. Requires prompting and assistance by an interlocutor to prevent communication from breaking down. many features. Able to handle communication in most situations. Dependent on rehearsed or formulaic phrases with limited generative capacity. Able to handle communication in most familiar situations. Able to construct longer utterances but is not able to use complex language except in well-rehearsed utterances. L1 features may be intrusive. Occasionally produces inaccuracies and inappropriacies. CAMBRIDGE LEVEL 1 (Waystage) Basic command of the spoken language. Able to use accurate and appropriate linguistic resources to express complex ideas and concepts and produce extended discourse that is coherent and always easy to follow.Cambridge Main Suite Cambridge Common Scale for Speaking CPE CAMBRIDGE LEVEL 5 Fully operational command of the spoken language. Only able to produce limited extended discourse.words or phrases . Maintains a flow of language with only natural hesitation resulting from considerations of appropriacy or expression. Able to use accurate and appropriate linguistic resources to express ideas and produce discourse that is generally coherent. L1 accent may be evident but does not affect the clarity of the message. Has problems searching for language resources to express ideas and concepts resulting in pauses and hesitation. Rarely produces inaccuracies and inappropriacies. CAMBRIDGE LEVEL 2 (Threshold) Limited but effective command of the spoken language.with frequent hesitations and pauses. Pronunciation is easily understood and prosodic features are used effectively. CAMBRIDGE LEVEL 3 Generally effective command of the spoken language. Pre-Waystage Level Zero CAE FCE PET KET Page 24 . Although pronunciation is easily understood. Able to organise extended discourse but occasionally produces utterances that lack coherence and some inaccuracies and inappropriate usage occur. Able to handle communication in most situations. Pronunciation is generally intelligle. Able to handle communication in familiar situations. but L1 features may put a strain on the listener.
Occasionally the instructions may ask for addresses. but their notes won’t be marked. Must candidates achieve a pass on each paper to pass the examination? No. will they be penalised? Candidates do not need to include addresses. but they will not be penalised if they do. The candidate’s grade is based on their total score from all five papers. How can I get hold of CAE past papers? CAE past papers. for example. are published by UCLES after each administration of the examination. this may have a knock-on effect on at least one other question? The statistical analysis produced when material is pretested shows whether candidates are choosing wrong answers. Candidates cannot pass or fail any individual paper.1 mark for each correct answer Parts 2&3 -2 marks each for each correct answer Paper 2 Each of the 2 questions is marked out of 5 Paper 3 1 mark for each correct answer Paper 4 1 mark for each correct answer Paper 5 Each candidate is assessed out of 30 The total for each paper is weighted to 40. Normally 50% of the marks are allocated to the two multiple matching tasks (First and Fourth texts) while the other two tasks (multiple choice and gapped text) account for the remaining 50%. that if a candidate makes one mistake. the computer rejects it. Page 25 . What is the pass mark? To pass the examination with Grade C it is necessary to achieve approximately 60% of the total marks available (200). GENERAL What is the mark allocation for each paper? Each paper is equally weighted at 40 marks. Can candidates make notes on the question paper? Yes. A candidate achieving 60% is likely to pass the paper.COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Do I need to take a course if I want to take the CAE examination? No. One mark is given for each correct answer to the multiple matching tasks. If candidates do include the address when writing a letter. If they fill in more than one lozenge for a question. bringing the maximum total to 200. There are no ‘hurdles’ or minimum levels of achievement required. The total score is then weighted out of a maximum 40 marks for the whole paper. the computer accepts the answer sheet. it is not necessary. and those for other EFL main suite examinations. What about the danger in Part 2. so this potential problem can be spotted in advance. is this picked up by the computer? If they omit a question. If candidates make a mistake in filling in their answer sheets. but it is worth bearing in mind how the tasks are weighted (see above). with global questions at the end. what would be the recommended timing for each Part? This very much depends on candidates’ own strengths and preferred way of working. As the Paper is 1 hour 15 minutes long. These can be ordered through the UCLES publications department. An overview of the marks allocation: PA P E R 1 R E A D I N G What is the mark allocation? Paper 1 Parts 1&4 . two marks are given for each correct answer to the multiple choice and gapped text tasks. although most candidates take a preparatory course before they take the examination. Do questions in the multiple choice task follow the order of the text? Yes. Is each Part worth equal marks? Yes. PA P E R 2 W R I T I N G Is the use of dictionaries allowed? No.
Regional accents are also acceptable so long as they are used consistently. no marks are awarded. Some candidates feel relaxed and confident when paired with someone they know. In some centres candidates from the same school are paired together. This task requires candidates to find a new way of expressing the information from the first text. where candidates from a number of different schools are entered at the same centre. However. Very subdued audience reaction may be heard when a speaker is giving a talk. PA P E R 3 E N G L I S H I N U S E What is the mark allocation overall? There is one mark for each question. as answers in pencil may not always be legible. there are several versions of the Listening Test in use at each session. the examiners are trained to provide equal opportunities for all candidates to perform to the best of their ability. If candidates write two possible answers to a question. if one is incorrect. Page 26 . the material for the Listening Tests is pretested in advance. Are candidates from the same school paired together? In Part 5. As for the other papers. At centres where there is an uneven number of candidates. but this is never intrusive. wherever possible. (This is also the same for Paper 4. In both cases. this will be the form which the Speaking Test will take. In exceptional circumstances and emergencies only a 1:1 format will be allowed. the last candidate will form a group of three with the previous pair of candidates. the Listening Test results are analysed and the average marks gained by candidates in each test are compared. What happens if a candidate writes more than two words as an answer in Part 5? No marks will be awarded for an answer of more than two words.Should candidates write their answers in pen or pencil? Pen should always be used. or the punctuation mark together with the word which precedes or follows it.) PA P E R 5 S P E A K I N G Is Part 1 assessed? The examiners assess performance throughout the whole test. How do you guarantee that the different versions are all equal in difficulty? For security purposes. but are not used while there is speech. some candidates may find that they are paired with a candidate from another school. the candidate is awarded the mark(s). After the examination has been taken. Is 2:2 the only possible format? The standard format is 2:2 and. Candidates should check with the centre through which they are entering for the local procedure. Does spelling have to be correct? Common words and those which are easy to spell are expected to be correct. but a candidate has misspelt it? All spellings must be correct in Paper 3. How should answers for the ‘punctuation/spelling’ type task in Part 3 be recorded? The correct spelling of the incorrect word. others may feel inhibited. PA P E R 4 L I S T E N I N G Is there any background noise on the tape? Sound effects may be used to ‘set the scene’. how are they marked? If both are correct. can a cognate of one of the words used in the first text be used in the answer? No. Does knowing your partner make it easier or harder to do well? There is no evidence to suggest that candidates perform better when examined with someone they know or vice versa. before grading takes place. in order to check that it is suitable in terms of content as well as levels of difficulty. What if the answer is right. should be written on the answer sheet. Does it matter if a candidate uses slang or speaks with a regional accent? The use of slang is acceptable provided that it is appropriate.
How do I get my results? Results are issued to Local Secretaries approximately six weeks after the examination has been taken.g.. Everyone has the chance to show what they can do. it is vital that they make the best use of the time available to show off their language skills. Where can candidates enrol? The UCLES Local Secretary or British Council Office can give you information about centres where the examination is taken. in June and in December. a shy person with an extrovert? Examiners are trained to deal with this kind of situation and ensure no-one is disadvantaged. e. You do not need to apply to UCLES directly. What about the mis-matching of candidates. Page 27 . The dates are published in the Examination Regulations. candidates must remember that while it is important not to dominate a weaker candidate. and will vary slightly from place to place.May candidates interrupt or ask questions during their partner’s ‘long turn’ in Part 2? No. Listening candidates should allow their partner to speak without interruption in this part of the test. Fees are payable to the local centre. Certificates are issued about a month after that. E N T R I E S & R E S U LT S What is the date of the CAE examination? The CAE examination can be taken twice a year. Check with your UCLES Local Secretary or British Council Office. However.