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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
English as a
Foreign Language


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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. It is hoped that this will be of interest both to those
who are familiar with the Cambridge EFL examinations, and
to those who are coming to them for the first time.
For further information on any of the Cambridge EFL
examinations, please contact:
EFL Information
University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate
1 Hills Road
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1223 553355
Fax: +44 1223 460278
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This booklet provides the following information about CAE:
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Background to CAE


CAE Content: An Overview

.................................................................................................................................................................. 6
Grading and Results


CAE Administration


CAE Support


A Detailed Guide to CAE

Paper 1 Reading


Paper 2 Writing .............................................................................................................................................

....................................... 18
Paper 3 English in Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Paper 4 Listening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Paper 5 Speaking

........ 49
Common Questions and Answers ..............................................................................................................

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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. The Cambridge examinations cover a
wide range of academic and vocational subjects and include
examinations specially designed for the international market.
Examinations in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) were
started at UCLES in 1913, with the Certificate of Proficiency
in English (CPE). The First Certificate in English (FCE) was
introduced in 1939. Other EFL examinations and schemes
for Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) have
been added periodically since then, so that UCLES now
offers the most comprehensive range of EFL examinations
and TEFL schemes with a total annual candidature of over
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. The EFL team is made up of staff with
qualifications mainly in the area of applied linguistics and
TEFL, and with considerable experience in overseas teaching
The work of UCLES EFL covers four main areas:
• question paper production;
• support for the administration of the examinations
(particularly the Speaking Tests);
• processing of examinations (marking, etc.);
• user service.
The core of the EFL system is the question paper production
process. This is described in detail on page 5. There is a
programme of ongoing validation, and specialist staff work
on analysis and evaluation in the production and review of
examinations. 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.
UCLES EFL is responsible for ensuring that various
professional requirements are met. This includes, for
example, the development and implementation of training
and monitoring procedures which are required for carrying
out the assessment of spoken and written language by
examiners. UCLES EFL is also responsible for the
administration and processing of examinations.
For UCLES EFL, user service concerns professional matters
such as the production of information for test users, e.g.
specifications, handbooks, sample materials, examination
reports, etc. It is also the responsibility of EFL staff to ensure
that obligations to test users are met, and that in this context
UCLES EFL examinations fulfil the Code of Practice
established by the Association of Language Testers in Europe
(see below). This Code of Practice focuses on the
responsibilities of both examination providers and
examination users and covers four main areas:
• developing examinations;
• interpreting examination results;
• striving for fairness;
• informing examination takers.
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. The members are
all providers of language examinations and certificates from
countries within the European Union.
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, especially in Europe;
• to establish common standards for all stages of the
language testing process: i.e., for test development,
question and materials writing, test administration,
marking and grading, reporting of test results, test
analysis and reporting of findings;
• to collaborate on joint projects and in the exchange
of ideas and know-how.
At the present stage of development of the framework,
considerable agreement has been reached on the content
definition of all five levels of proficiency. Further empirical
research is taking place.
More information about ALTE and copies of ALTE documents
can be obtained from the ALTE Secretariat at UCLES.
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Cambridge Level Five
Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
Cambridge Level One
Key English Test (KET)
Cambridge Level Two
Preliminary English Test (PET)
Cambridge Level Three
First Certificate in English (FCE)
Cambridge Level Four
Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
The Production Cycle for Pretested Question Papers
UCLES employs a team of Item Writers to produce
examination material, and throughout the writing and editing
process strict guidelines are followed in order to ensure that
the materials conform to the test specifications. Topics or
contexts of language use which might introduce a bias
against any group of candidates of a particular background
(i.e. on the basis of sex, ethnic origin, etc.) are avoided.
After selection and editing, the items are compiled into
pretest papers. 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. The
pretesting process helps to ensure that all versions conform
to the test requirements in terms of content and level of
Each pretest paper contains anchor items or is supplied to
candidates with an additional anchor test. 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.
Pretest papers are despatched to a wide variety of EFL
schools and colleges, which have offered to administer the
pretests to candidates of a suitable level. After the completed
pretests are returned to the Pretesting Section of UCLES EFL,
a score for each student is provided to the centre within two
weeks of receiving the completed scripts. The items are
marked and analysed, and those which are found to be
suitable are banked.
Material for the productive components of the examinations
is trialled with candidates to assess its suitability for
inclusion in the Materials Bank.
The UCLES Main Suite: A Five-Level System
UCLES has developed a series of examinations with similar
characteristics, spanning five levels. Within the series of five
levels, the Certificate in Advanced English is at Cambridge
Level Four.
The annual candidature for the CAE examination is in excess
of 50,000 worldwide.
Pre-editing and editing
of material
Question paper
*electronic bank for pretested materials
Commissioning of material
for question papers
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.
For the majority of EFL question papers there are five main
stages in the production process:
• commissioning;
• editing;
• pretesting/trialling;
• analysis and banking of material;
• question paper construction.
This process can be represented in the diagram below.
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CAE was introduced in December 1991. It is designed to
offer a high-level qualification in the language to those
wishing to use English for professional or study purposes.
It is also designed to encourage the development of the skills
required by students progressing towards CPE, with emphasis
very much on real-world tasks.
The Level of CAE
As well as being at Cambridge Level Four, CAE also falls
within Level Four of the ALTE framework, and a brief
description of this level is given below. This description is
not a specification for the examination content but refers to
language activities in real-world, non-examination contexts.
ALTE Level Four – Competent User
At this level, learners are expected to be able to use the
structures of a language with ease and fluency. They are
aware of the relationship between the language and the
culture it exists in, and of the significance of register. This
means that to some extent they are able to adapt their
language use to a variety of social situations, and express
opinions and take part in discussions and arguments in a
culturally acceptable way. Learners at this level can develop
their own interests in reading both factual and fictional texts.
They can also produce a variety of types of texts and
utterances, such as letters of varying degrees of formality.
They can use language in a creative and flexible way, with
the ability to respond appropriately to unforeseen as well as
predictable situations, producing quite long and complex
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, but certain more difficult
situations, e.g. discussing abstract or cultural topics with a
good degree of fluency, demand this level of language. Users
at this level can enjoy a wide range of social contacts.
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.
Varieties of English
Candidates’ responses to tasks in the Cambridge EFL
examinations are acceptable in varieties of English which
would enable candidates to function in the widest range of
international contexts. Candidates are expected to use a
particular variety with some degree of consistency in areas
such as spelling, and not for example switch from using a
British spelling of a word to an American spelling of the
same word in the same written response to a given task.
CAE Candidature
Information is collected about the CAE candidates at each
session, when candidates fill in a Candidate Information
Sheet. 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.
Nationality – CAE is taken by candidates throughout the
world in about 67 countries, although the total number of
nationalities represented in the candidature is over 175. The
majority of these candidates enter for CAE in European and
South American countries. Many candidates also take the
examination in the UK.
Age – Nearly 80% of candidates are under 25, with the
average age being about 23. In some countries the average
age is lower (e.g. in Greece it is about 17).
Gender – About 70% of candidates are female.
Employment – Most candidates are students, although there
are considerable differences in the proportion of students in
different countries.
Exam Preparation – A large proportion of candidates (about
80%) undertake a preparatory course before taking the
Reasons for taking CAE – Candidates’ reasons for wanting an
English language qualification are roughly distributed as
• for study (44%)
• for work (41%)
• other (15%)
The examination consists of five papers:
CAE is recognised by the majority of British universities for
English language entrance requirements. These are listed in a
leaflet ‘Universities and Colleges in Britain’ available from
UCLES. More information about university or corporate
recognition is also available from the UCLES website.
Reading 1 hour 15 minutes
Writing 2 hours
English in Use 1 hour 30 minutes
Listening 45 minutes (approximately)
Speaking 15 minutes (approximately)
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There are four compulsory texts, giving a total of about
3,000 words. There are forty to fifty questions. The three task
types are: multiple matching, multiple choice and gapped
Candidates are expected to complete writing tasks in
response to the stimuli provided (input text and task
instructions). The input texts are taken from articles, leaflets,
notices, formal and informal letters, etc. Both audience and
purpose are made clear in the task instructions.
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 second part
involves choosing one of four tasks from a range of writing
activities (letters, articles, instructions, messages, reports,
etc.). Responses should be about 250 words in length.
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. They must complete six tasks
with a total of eighty items. The tasks include the following
types: cloze exercises, a proof-reading exercise, word
formation exercises and text completion.
Candidates are expected to understand each text as a whole,
gain detailed understanding and appreciate gist and the
attitude of the speaker. They must also be able to identify
and interpret the context. Texts take the form of
announcements, speeches, radio broadcasts, etc.
There are four parts lasting approximately forty-five minutes
in all, with a total of thirty to forty questions. The first two
parts consist of two short monologues, the third of a longer
dialogue/interview and the fourth of themed monologues.
The tasks candidates are asked to perform include the
following: multiple choice, multiple matching and note or
sentence completion.
The Speaking paper is conducted by two examiners with a
pair of candidates. They must be able to demonstrate a range
of oral skills: interactional, social, transactional, negotiation
and collaboration. The test lasts for about fifteen minutes.
The candidates first respond to one another’s and the
interlocutor’s questions about their interests, careers, etc.
Each candidate is then given a set of visual stimuli which
serves to encourage a ‘long turn’ from each candidate.
The final two parts are linked. The candidates first complete
a collaborative task. This is followed by further discussion
between candidates and the interlocutor on points which
have arisen from the collaborative task.
The five CAE papers total 200 marks, after weighting. Each
paper is weighted to 40 marks.
A candidate’s overall CAE grade is based on the total score
gained by the candidate in all five papers. It is not necessary
to achieve a satisfactory level in all five papers in order to
pass the examination.
The overall grade boundaries (A, B, C, D and E) are set
according to the following information:
• statistics on the candidature;
• statistics on overall candidate performance;
• statistics on individual items, for those parts of the
examination for which this is appropriate (Papers 1,
3 and 4);
• advice, based on the performance of candidates,
and recommendations of examiners where this is
relevant (Papers 2 and 5);
• comparison with statistics from previous years’
examination performance and candidature.
Results are reported as three passing grades (A, B and C) and
two failing grades (D and E). The minimum successful
performance which a candidate typically requires in order to
achieve a Grade C corresponds to about 60% of the total
marks. Statements of results are sent out to all candidates
and include a graphical display of the candidate’s
performance in each paper. These are shown against the
scale, Exceptional – Good – Borderline – Weak and indicate
the candidate’s relative performance in each paper.
The Awarding Committee meets after the grade boundaries
have been confirmed. It deals with all cases presented for
special consideration, e.g. temporary disability,
unsatisfactory examination conditions, suspected collusion,
etc. The committee can decide to ask for scripts to be remarked,
to check results, to change grades, to withhold
results, etc. Results may be withheld because of infringement
of regulations or because further investigation is needed.
Centres are notified if a candidate’s results have been
scrutinised by the Awarding Committee.
Candidates are expected to be able to read and understand
texts taken from magazines, newspapers, leaflets, etc. They
should demonstrate a variety of reading skills including
skimming, scanning, deduction of meaning from context and
selection of relevant information to complete the given task.
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Course Materials
A number of coursebooks and practice materials are
available from publishers. A comprehensive list of those
published by UK Publishers is available from UCLES and is
on the UCLES website. CAE requires an all-round language
ability and this should be borne in mind when selecting
course materials. Most coursebooks will need to be
supplemented; care should be taken to ensure that course
books and practice materials selected accurately reflect the
content and format of the examination.
N.B. UCLES does not undertake to advise on textbooks or
courses of study.
Past Papers & Examination Reports
Past examination papers, which can be used for practice, are
available from Local Secretaries and from the Publications
Department at UCLES. The sample question papers included
in this Handbook (in reduced format) are taken from
previous CAE examinations and trialled materials.
Examination Reports are also available from Local
Secretaries or from the UCLES website. However, 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.
Seminars for Teachers
UCLES offers a wide range of seminars designed for teachers
concerned with the EFL examinations; some are also suitable
as introductions for administrators, school directors, etc.
Some seminars are intended to provide information and
support for teachers who are familiar with the examinations,
and others can be used to introduce teachers to established
examinations and also to new or revised UCLES
examinations. Contact EFL Information for further details.
Notification of Results
Statements of results are issued through centres
approximately two months after the examination has been
Certificates are issued about six weeks after the issue of
statements of results. Enquiries about results may be made
through Local Secretaries, within a month of the issue of
statements of results.
CAE is held each year in June and December in about 1,000
centres worldwide. Candidates must enter through a
recognised centre.
Special Arrangements
Special arrangements are available for disabled candidates.
These may include extra time, separate accommodation or
equipment, Braille transcription, etc. Consult the UCLES
Local Secretary in your area for more details.
Further Information
Copies of the Regulations and details of entry procedure,
current fees and further information about this and other
Cambridge examinations can be obtained from the Local
Secretary for UCLES examinations in your area, or from the
address on page 1. In some areas this information can also
be obtained from the British Council.

Paper 1 sample papers


General Description
Paper Format
The paper contains four parts. Each part contains a text and
corresponding comprehension tasks. A text may consist of
several short pieces.
Number of Questions
Approximately 45.
Length of Texts
3,000 words approximately overall; 450 – 1,200 words
approximately per text.
Text Types
From the following: newspapers, magazines, journals, nonliterary
books, leaflets, brochures, etc.
From the following: informational, descriptive, narrative,
persuasive, opinion/comment, advice/instructional,
Task Types
Multiple matching, multiple choice, gapped text.
Task Focus
Understanding gist, main points, detail, text structure or
specific information, deducing meaning or recognising
For all parts of this paper, candidates indicate their answers
by shading the correct lozenges on an answer sheet.
1 hour 15 minutes.
One mark is given for each correct answer to the multiplematching
tasks; two marks are given for each correct answer
to the multiple-choice and gapped-text tasks.
Task Type
and Focus
Multiple matching
Main focus: specific
Gapped text
Main focus: text structure
Multiple choice
Main focus: detail, gist,
Multiple matching
Main focus: specific
6 or 7
A text preceded by multiple-matching questions.
Candidates must match a prompt from one list to a
prompt in another list, or match prompts to sections in
the text.
A text followed by four-option multiple-choice
A text from which paragraphs have been removed and
placed in jumbled order after the text. Candidates must
decide from where in the text the paragraphs have been
As Part 1.
Number of
Task Format
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Students should practise skimming and scanning texts,
looking for sections of the text which are close in meaning to
the wording of the questions. They should be discouraged
from selecting an answer solely on the basis of lexical
proximity, however, since careful reading of a particular part
of the text is required to ensure an accurate match in terms
of meaning. Candidates need practice in doing multiplematching
tasks within a certain time-limit and without
recourse to a dictionary.
Part 2, the gapped-text task, tests understanding of how texts
are structured and the ability to predict text development.
The task requires candidates to select from a number of
choices the paragraphs which fit the gaps in a text; only one
answer is correct in each case. The task consists of a singlepage
gapped text followed by the extracts from the text and
one extra paragraph which does not fit in any of the gaps.
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, and to notice carefully the information
and ideas before and after each gap as well as throughout
the whole of the gapped text. The way in which a text has
been gapped may require the reader to consider large
sections of the text, including more than one gap, in order to
reconstitute a particular part of the text. Candidates should
be trained to consider the development of the text as a
whole, and not to focus on each gap separately. 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. Practice is needed in a wide range of
linguistic devices which mark the logical and cohesive
development of a text, e.g. words and phrases indicating
time, cause and effect, contrasting arguments, pronouns,
repetition, use of verb tenses.
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, including names and dates; the task is designed to
test understanding of the development of ideas, opinions,
events rather than the superficial recognition of individual
Part 3, the multiple-choice task, tests detailed understanding
of a text, including opinions and attitudes expressed in it.
Candidates need to read the text closely in order to
distinguish between, for example, apparently similar
viewpoints, outcomes, reasons. The task consists of a singlepage
text followed by a number of questions; the questions
are presented in the same order as the information in the text
so that candidates can follow the development of the text.
The final question may depend on interpretation of the text
as a whole, e.g. the writer’s purpose, attitude or opinion.
Candidates should read each question very carefully, as well
as the four possible answers. The questions can be answered
correctly only by close reference to the text.
The Reading paper consists of four parts, tested by means of
different types of task. 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, written for
different purposes and presented in different formats. The
Reading paper aims to test skills which reflect the real-world
needs of learners/users of English at an advanced level, i.e.
the ability to process large quantities of text in real time.
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. Students should also be
encouraged to read widely outside the classroom, for their
own needs and interests.
Task Focus and Format
The task formats included on the Reading paper indicate the
main purposes for reading.
Part 1 of the paper, the first multiple-matching task, tests the
ability to locate particular information, including opinion or
attitude, by skimming and scanning a text. The task consists
of one or two sets of questions followed by a single page of
text; the text may be continuous, or consist of a group of
short texts or of a text divided into sections. Candidates are
required to match the questions with the relevant
information from the text. Some of the options will be
correct for more than one question, and there may be more
than one correct answer to some questions; if so, the
instructions to candidates will indicate this. The range of
possible answers may be presented in the form of a list of,
for example, names of people or places, titles of books or
films or types of occupation. The questions for the multiplematching
task are printed before the text so that the
candidate knows what to look for in the text. Where the text
is made up of several sections or shorter texts, it can be
helpful to skim the whole text before scanning it for the
specific information required. Candidates should notice the
particular wording of questions since these are intended to
lead the reader to specific information and to disregard
irrelevant information. Candidates should practise scanning
texts for particular information required and not feel that
they must read every word in the text.
In preparing for Part 1 of the CAE Reading paper, candidates
should practise reading the instructions carefully and
noticing the information provided in the instructions
regarding the type of text, its content and the precise nature
of the multiple-matching task. 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
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Candidates should be encouraged to read the text before
reading the multiple-choice questions.
Preparation for the multiple-choice task should include
practice in reading a text quickly for a first overall
impression, followed by close reading of the text in order to
prevent any misunderstandings which may lead candidates
to choose an answer subsequently proved wrong.
Part 4 of the Reading paper complements Part 1; both are
multiple-matching tasks, testing candidates’ ability to locate
specific information in a text. The task usually requires
candidates to scan a two-page text; this may be continuous
or made up of a group of shorter texts or sections of text. The
advice on preparation for Part 1 also applies to
Part 4; in addition, candidates should be reminded to fold
out the second page of the text so that all the information is
available to them simultaneously.
When preparing for the examination, it is helpful for
candidates to spend time going through past papers. The
Reading paper has a standard structure and format so that
candidates will know, in general terms, what to expect in
each part of the paper. The number of questions within a
task may vary for different Reading tests.
It is important to familiarise candidates with the instructions
on the front page of the question paper, and for each part of
the test; 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. Some
candidates prefer to transfer their answers at the end of each
task rather than wait until the end of the examination, in
case they do not finish the paper.
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I have this problem with
guide books. I read too
many hurriedly (usually on
a plane) and then forget
them and my debt to them.
When I’m travelling, I soon learn
which to reach for first (perhaps
the safest indicator of which is
best). But a few countries later I
have forgotten perhaps not which I
chose, but almost certainly why.
Good ones are the kick-start for
the experience, rather than the
experience itself.
So, drawing up a shortlist of
the best guide book series seemed
a touch high-handed – especially
when you add the vagaries of the
series to the equation, for even
the best produces its share of
hopeless volumes.
What turned it into the confident
work of minutes rather than days
of agonising was a simple and,
once I had thought of it, obvious
test. All that was necessary was
to imagine I was going somewhere
I knew absolutely nothing
about and ask myself what guide
books I would look at first. The
efficacy of this ploy was such
that, when I asked a few other
people to do the same, it came as
no surprise to find that we were
in almost total agreement.
The first two were the easiest.
Without any question my first
stop would be the Lonely Planet
and the Rough Guide series. I
couldn’t, and wouldn’t, choose
between them in advance. There
is more between titles within the
series than there is between the
series themselves. If both
covered my destinations (as they
usually do), I would want them
both in my hand luggage.
Both are practical and tell you
the things you really want to
know (such as where to get a
good cheap meal, and the bus to
your next destination). Both
started with the young backpacker
in mind, and both are now
broadening their target readership
to include the more affluent 30-
plus reader.
The Rough Guides, perhaps
the more even of the two series,
tend to be stronger on Europe and
the cultural background, and the
more obsessed with what is now
termed political correctness (yet
they rarely have anything to do
with politics).
The Lonely Planets are
usually stronger east of Suez, and
capture the sheer joy of travelling
somewhat better. Neither objects
to the generalisation that the
Rough Guides are travels by
writers, whereas their Australian
rivals are written by travellers.
To complain, as critics
occasionally have, that these
guides are guilty of attracting too
many people to unspoiled spots,
is to miss the point. It proves that
both series are good guide books.
The Rough Guide empire
emerged from unpromising beginnings.
The very first one,
written 10 years ago, was the
book on Greece its young authors
wanted, but couldn’t find. It had
many defects not worth dwelling
on now (the current edition is
excellent), but for similar reasons
I was slow to appreciate the value
of the Cadogan series. Its Greek
volume, by its most prolific
author, is widely admired. But I
have rarely found it worth
It was not until a recent trawl
of Caribbean islands that I found
the Cadogan volume was the one
I was reaching for first. It was the
one which really captured the
‘feel’of the islands. It also had
reliable recommendations.
Further investigation revealed
the series to be the best-written of
all, with a record of bringing on
promising young writers, as well
as capturing such established
stars as Michael Haag, whose
Egypt it has just published.
Prague, New York, Portugal and
Morocco are particularly good
The best book for a
destination depends on the
destination and you, as well as on
the book itself. For instance, the
Caribbean Islands Handbook
from the dourly named Trade
and Travel Publications had also
accompanied me around the
Caribbean. This comes from the
same stable as the South
American Handbook, now in its
70th edition, and widely held to
be the greatest guide book of all
For erudition and encyclopedic
scope, the South American
volume is without equal. But,
though not without a certain wry
humour (and on occasions
a barely suppressed joy at
unearthing arcane information),
one wishes it would allow itself
to be outrageously subjective
once in a while. This probably
explains why it was rarely the
first I reached for. The Caribbean
is a place for colour and gut
reactions, rather than deadpan
The Michelin green guides are
good value and manage the
balancing act between opinion
and solid information to perfection.
Michelin’s star system
(from three for ‘worth the
journey’ downwards) tells the
newcomer to a region exactly
what and where its priorities are,
and is the best aid to planning an
itinerary from scratch that I
know. There is nothing on
restaurants and hotels, of course,
and the red guides with which the
green mesh ingeniously, though
excellent works of reference in
their way, do not entirely fill
the gap. Michelin is no good
on atmosphere – or people.
Personally, they interest me more
than buildings and museums.
The future almost certainly
lies with more graphically
adventurous guides. Among
those warranting honourable
mention are the Access series on
American and European cities,
with its user-friendly layout, and
the stunning artwork of the new,
and few, Everyman guides,
which are literally a joy to hold.
In this video age, it will no longer
be enough to tell people how to
use the buses. You need to show
them the ticket machines, too.
Travel Companions
Mark Ottaway looks at the best
travel guide books available
[Turn over
Part 1
Indicate your answers on the separate answer sheet.
Page 13
A He actually started toying with the team and
trying to gain attention. He would increase
his heart rate and show distress so a team
member had to quickly suit up to check him
over. But as the person entered the pool,
his heart rate returned to normal.
B It is large but has only a small opening so,
once in, getting out isn't easy. The boats at
the event would have panicked the creature
and it ended up beached, battered and
drained of energy.
C The story actually appeared in several
national newspapers as well as the local
press. Publicity is very important for
charities like the Marine Life Rescue,
providing precious exposure which pleases
the sponsor companies and highlights the
team's work.
D Luck then seemed to be on the team's side
when a double-glazing van-driver stopped to
investigate. The driver offered his services
to transport the dolphin back to the Sea Life
Centre and a lady spectator gave the team a
brand new cooler box to store valuable
water to keep the dolphin moist.
E However, by the time they arrived, the
dolphin had started to swim unsupported.
The press picked up on the story and
descended on the Sea Life Centre wanting
stories, pictures and any information they
could get hold of. And they wanted a name.
Mark and the other team members had a
hasty think and came up with 'Muddy' – after
all, it was found at Mudeford.
F Now the battle to save its life could begin,
but a transportation problem arose. How do
you get a grown dolphin back to the Sea Life
Centre without a vehicle big enough?
G The creature was so weakened by the
ordeal that it could not even keep itself afloat
and had to be walked in the tank to stop it
from just sinking to the bottom and
drowning. Most people can only walk a
dolphin for around 20 minutes to half an
hour. Holding a 150 kg animal away from
your body and walking through water at sea
temperature saps your strength.
0150/1 W96 [Turn over
Remember to put your answers on the separate answer sheet.
Part 2
For questions 18–23, choose which of the paragraphs A–G on page 5 fit into the
numbered gaps in the
following magazine article. There is one extra paragraph which does not fit in any of the
gaps. Indicate
your answers on the separate answer sheet.
[Turn over
Page 14
24 Why were there sometimes problems between Mackintosh and his clients?
A Mackintosh resented interference from his clients.
B Clients refused to pay him in full for his work.
C Mackintosh did not pay enough attention to detail.
D Clients did not like the changes Mackintosh made.
25 According to the writer, Mackintosh decided to enter the competition because
A not many drawings had to be submitted.
B no designs were required for furniture.
C there was no need to worry about cost.
D he had designed similar buildings before.
26 What was significant about Mackintosh's entry for the competition?
A It was considered to be ahead of its time.
B It was based on architecture from Austria and Germany.
C It changed the opinion of him in his own country.
D It was the most attractive building he had designed.
27 Mackintosh's original designs for the Art Lover's House
A included areas intended for commercial use.
B gave full information about the interior.
C concentrated on external features.
D were incomplete in certain respects.
28 If Mackintosh could see the Art Lover's House now, the writer feels he would
A think that it had cost too much.
B wish he had completed his designs.
C think it was an improvement on his design.
D approve of Roxburgh's approach to building it.
Remember to put your answers on the separate answer sheet.
0151/1 W96 [Turn over
Part 3
On your answer
Page 15
Part 4
For questions 29 – 46, answer by choosing from the list of races (A – G).
Some of the choices may be required more than once.
Note: When more then one answer is required, these may be given In any order.
Indicate your answers on the separate answer sheet.
Page 16
Qualifying for Boston has become a goal for
runners everywhere. Arguably the world’s most
famous marathon (now over 100 years old),
Boston was known to sports fans decades
before there was any such thing as a running
boom. While the event has been modernised to
accommodate the financial realities of big-time
marathoning, Boston retains many of its charms
and traditions from the old days. One is
the Monday noon start (Patriots Day in
Massachusetts) at Hopkinton's village green.
The Boston experience includes Hopkinton’s
crowded and frantic start, the deafening cheers
from the women of Wellesley College, the reality
test of the Newton Hills (including, at 17 miles,
the infamous Heartbreak Hill) and a downtown
Boston finish in front of thousands of spectators.
Runners take over the city the weekend before,
with exhibitions, warm-up runs along the Charles
River and famous-runner sightings among
the leading activities. Moderately demanding
qualifying standards limit the field to about 7,000
and add prestige to the event.
The ‘big daddy’ of the modern big-city
megamarathon, the New York traces its humble
origins to a four-lap run around Central Park
which took place in 1970, with 55 finishers.
When the race went citywide in 1976, the world
took notice, and the field has now ballooned to
nearly 30,000. Apply early for entry – more
runners are rejected than accepted through New
York's lottery system.
The race starts at the world’s largest
suspension bridge, the Verrazano Narrows,
and finishes among falling autumn leaves in
stately Central Park. The meandering point-topoint
course (with some hills) passes through
all five New York boroughs, giving runners
a rich sampling of the city's many ethnic
neighbourhoods and subcultures and weaving
them through crowds of enthusiastic spectators.
The race-support covers every imaginable
runner need, from foreign-language translation
to psychological trauma counselling.
This is as beautiful – and tortuous – as it sounds:
the Swiss Alpine races take runners through
verdant upland meadows and deep woods on
primitive running trails. Runners travel through
tunnels, over high wooden bridges, up flights of
steps and through mountain villages, with only
yodelling spectators to break the silence.
Two of the three races (the 28-kilometre
Landwasserlauf and the 67-kilometre ‘marathon’)
begin benignly enough on a stadium track in
Davos (at 5,000m), a centre for high-altitude
sports training in Europe. The mid-distance
Sertiglauf covers the last 39 kilometres of the
marathon course, providing runners with the
challenge of crossing the 3,000 m Sertig Pass.
Founded as recently as 1986, the races
already attract more than 2,000 runners from
over 20 countries to the south-eastern, Germanspeaking
quadrant of Switzerland. A training
camp, held the week before the race, includes
alpine running and hiking in the mountains to
help runners to acclimatise to the altitude.
Italy’s electrifying Stramilano breaks the pattern
for road races by holding separate events in four
classes of running. On the Saturday, thousands
of spectators jam the streets at the heart of the
city of 1.7 million people to watch 200 élite men
run a four-lap half-marathon. The next day's
citizens’ 15-kilometre race draws a field of
around 50,000 from 50 countries to trek from the
Piazza Duomo (the square in front of Milan's
massive white marble cathedral, which dates
from 1386) to Arena Stadium. About 2,500 nonélite
runners opt for a half-marathon that begins
and ends in the stadium. Finally, there’s a
6-kilometre junior fun run from the Piazza
Duomo to the stadium.
Founded in 1972, Stramilano is one of the
best deals in international road racing. For the
equivalent of £5, runners receive a programme,
medal and T-shirt. Until recently, the race has
been largely unknown outside Italy, even though
Milan has long been Italy's centre for finance, sport
and some of the greatest northern Italian cuisine.
We’ve scoured the globe to find the world's best distance events – and we’ve
found them, 7 races which you simply must run if you get the chance.
0150/1 S97
It may not be the ideal race to set a world best in,
but if it’s fun and frivolity you want throughout
your 42 kilometres, then Médoc has it in
abundance. It features an extraordinary party in
the grounds of an ancient château, a route that
cuts through the cloistered, manicured private
vineyards of the region, and the kind of
hospitality and atmosphere that no other event
can match.
Fancy dress is the order of the day, with
wide-eyed villagers turning out to cheer on
hordes of runners as they make their slow
progress from the wine parishes of Pauillac,
St Estèphe, St Julien and Margaux. Finishers
get an open-air supper and take home a
wooden-cased bottle of claret, a pendant cast as
a bunch of grapes and a knapsack to carry the
goodies in. Understandably, the French make up
the lion’s share of the field, but although large
tour groups are discouraged, single competitors
or small independent groups are welcomed with
open arms. Apply early – it’s the most popular
marathon in France and always heavily oversubscribed.
But with all that for under a fiver, it’s
not hard to understand why.
Set in the Rocky Mountain foothills and with the
presence of a core of élite athletes and a fitnessmad
population, one of America’s largest 10-
kilometre races is a natural outgrowth of the
Boulder Community. Few cities do a better job of
giving 30,000 runners a memorable day without
losing them in the masses. Some 40 wave
starts, in which runners are grouped with those
of similar ability, ensure a smooth, uncrowded
course. The ‘citizen’ divisions begin first, so that
later everybody gets to watch separate fields of
élite men and women sprint to the tape in the
51,000-seat Folsom Field stadium.
To take your mind off the gruelling nature of
this hilly, mile-high course, there are entertainers
performing along the way, including belly
dancers, gymnasts and rock bands. There are
10 prizes for each age group, and all finishers
receive a certificate with their official time and
placing. The race has gone from strength to
strength since 1979, when local banker Steve
Bosley and Olympic gold medallist Frank Shorter
created the event.
0150/1 S97
Inspired by Chris Brasher’s trip to New York in
1980, the race has now surpassed its older
American cousin in numbers of applicants,
entrants and finishers. In 1994, with the finish
moved from Westminster Bridge back down the
Mall to the steps of Buckingham Palace, the
number of finishers reached a historic high of
The now familiar flat-to-downhill course,
starting at Greenwich Park and on Blackheath
Common and passing the Cutty Sark, the Tower
of London and the Houses of Parliament along
the way, packs in more history than a
secondary-school textbook.
Competition for places is intense, with the
lottery for ‘open’ spots denting more than a few
British club runners’ ambitions. Not only is the
race the world’s biggest in numerical terms, it
also raises the most money for charity. Cartoon
characters, charging rhinos and Zulu warriors all
find their way onto the start line, with thousands
of pounds riding on their successful finish.
Page 17
Part 1
4/5 A/B
6/7 F/G
10 A
11 G
12/13 A/B
14 E
15 C
16 E
17 C
Part 2
18 D
19 G
20 E
21 C
22 B
23 A
Part 3
24 A
25 C
26 A
27 D
28 D
Part 4
29 B
30 G
31 C
32 B
33 C
34 D
35 A
36 D
37 C
38/39 D/G
40 C
41/42 B/E
43 C
44 A
45 D
46 F
Questions 1–17 and 29–46 are given one mark each.
Questions 18–28 are given two marks each.
The total score is adjusted to give a mark out of 40.

Paper 2 sample papers

Page 18
General Description
Paper Format
The paper contains two parts.
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.
Task Types
From the following: newspaper and magazine articles,
contributions to leaflets and brochures, notices,
announcements, personal notes and messages, formal and
informal letters, reports, proposals, reviews, instructions,
directions, competition entries, information sheets, memos,
written for a given purpose and target reader.
Candidates write their answers on separate answer paper.
2 hours.
Each question in the paper carries equal marks.
Task Type and Focus
Applying information
contained in the input,
selecting & summarising
input, comparing items of
information; task types from
the following: newspaper
and magazine articles,
contributions to leaflets and
brochures, notices,
announcements, personal
notes and messages, formal
and informal letters, reports,
proposals, reviews,
instructions, directions,
competition entries,
information sheets, memos.
Task types as for Part 1.
One or more
compulsory tasks.
Approx. 250 words
in total.
Four questions from
which candidates
choose one.
Approx. 250 words.
A contextualised writing task giving
candidates guidance to the content through
instructions and one or more texts and/or
visual prompts.
A contextualised writing task specified in no
more than 80 words
Number of Tasks
and Length
Task Format Part
Page 19
Part 1
Part 1 is compulsory and requires candidates to process
about 400 words of input material, and use the information
appropriately to perform the task required. Candidates must
read all the input material carefully, selecting that which is
important. Input material may consist of varied combinations
of text and notes, sometimes supported by illustrations or
diagrams. The task is often divided into more than one
section. Task types will vary in Part 1, and may include
formal letters, informal letters, reports, articles, notes or any
combination of these. (See page 18 for full list.)
Part 2
In Part 2, candidates have to choose one of four tasks. This
part covers a range of task types, such as articles, reports and
leaflets, and includes a work-orientated task as the last of the
four questions.
Students must become aware of the need to adopt an
appropriate style, 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. Teachers need
to spend time focusing on the key elements of the task type
and draw attention to the differences and constraints
involved. Notes, for example, need to be concise, while a
report should not look like a discursive composition or a
letter. 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, candidates with no relevant
business or work experience are not advised to choose the
work question. During the preparation stage, students can
learn to write in a variety of styles and registers and identify
which tasks are best suited to their interests and experience.
Examiners are looking for an appropriate selection and
expansion of the key points. Paragraphs should be well
organised and points need to be appropriately linked.
Therefore, answers need to be planned carefully and
students may need help in this respect. They also need to
practise checking their work for errors and inaccuracies. To
get them into the habit, teachers can encourage students to
give homework a final check, in class, before handing it in.
Answers which suffer from irrelevance, repetition, deviation,
needless repetition of rubric, illegibility, misinterpretation or
omission are likely to be penalised. In assessing written
work, teachers should become familiar with the assessment
criteria and try to apply them. Examiners will consider a
number of factors, such as: content, organisation, cohesion,
range and accuracy of structure and vocabulary, register and
effect on target reader. 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.
Some students fail to do as well as they might otherwise due
to their poor grammar. To help rectify this, teachers should
encourage students to spend time looking carefully at their
corrected written work. Serious, numerous and/or repetitive
errors may need to be dealt with systematically. There are
various ways in which this might be done. Some students
may benefit from re-writing their work, in whole or in part,
leaving gaps where grammatical errors occur. They can then
go back to the gapped version later and try to fill the gaps.
Further remedial action may be taken where errors persist.
Model answers which incorporate typical student errors,
such as spelling, unnecessary and omitted words can also
help students to identify and correct common grammatical
Well-written model answers can also provide students with
good examples of natural language appropriate to the task.
However, care should be taken. Students do not need to
write ‘perfect’ answers; model answers which are beyond the
level to which students might reasonably aspire might be
de-motivating and therefore should be avoided.
To become more effective at written communication,
students often need to improve the range and extent of their
productive vocabulary. Word lists, recycling activities,
vocabulary games and exercises, as well as extensive and
intensive reading practice will serve to achieve this aim.
Page 20
An impression mark is awarded to each piece of writing; all
tasks carry the same maximum mark.
The general impression mark scheme is used in conjunction
with a task-specific mark scheme, which focuses on criteria
specific to each particular task. This summarises the content,
organisation and cohesion, range of structures and
vocabulary, register and format, and target reader indicated
in the task which need to be included to achieve band 3 or
Acceptable performance at CAE is represented by a band of
3. A piece of writing which fails to meet the criteria
described in the task-specific mark scheme for that task
cannot achieve more than band 2. The accuracy of
language, including spelling and punctuation, is assessed on
the general impression scale for all tasks.
General Impression Mark Scheme
This mark scheme is interpreted at CAE level.
Band 5 Minimal errors: resourceful, controlled and natural use of language, showing good
range of
vocabulary and structure. Task fully completed, with good use of cohesive devices,
appropriate register. No relevant omissions.
N.B. Not necessarily a flawless performance.
Very positive effect on target reader.
Sufficiently natural, errors only when more complex language attempted. Some evidence of
range of vocabulary and structure. Good realisation of task, only minor omissions. Attention
paid to organisation and cohesion; register usually appropriate. Positive effect on target reader
(a) Fewer than 50 words per question.
or (b) Totally illegible work.
or (c) Total irrelevance (often a previously prepared answer to a different question).
Band 4
Band 3
Band 2
Band 1
Band 0
Either (a) task reasonably achieved, accuracy of language satisfactory and adequate range of
vocabulary and range of structures or (b) an ambitious attempt at the task, causing a number
non-impeding errors, but a good range of vocabulary and structure demonstrated. There may
minor omissions, but content clearly organised.
Would achieve the required effect on target reader.
Some attempt at task but lack of expansion and/or notable omissions/irrelevancies. Noticeable
lifting of language from the input, often inappropriately. Errors sometimes obscure
communication and/or language is too elementary for this level. Content not clearly organised.
Would have a negative effect on target reader.
Serious lack of control and/or frequent basic errors. Narrow range of language. Inadequate
at task. Very negative effect on target reader.
Page 21
During marking, 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. Each script is marked twice by different
examiners, and where there is significant disagreement in the
marks allocated, the script is marked a third time.
The specific number of words used is not taken into account
(except in band 0), as length is an integral part of task
achievement. Significantly fewer words are likely to mean
that the task has not been completed, whereas over-long
pieces of writing may involve irrelevance or have a negative
effect on the target reader. If this is the case, over-length will
be penalised.
Work which is difficult to read is penalised by a one or
possibly two-band reduction depending on the degree of
American spelling is acceptable, but there should be
consistency. Poor spelling is penalised by a one-band
reduction if it interferes with communication.
The examiners’ first priority is to give credit for the
candidates’ efforts at communication, but candidates are
penalised for content irrelevant to the task set.
Following the conventions of the various task types (writing
letters, reports, instructions, etc.) is part of task achievement.
Any acceptable modern layout for a formal letter may be
used. Paragraphs should be clearly laid out either by
indenting or by leaving a space between each paragraph.
The panel of examiners is divided into small teams, each
with a very experienced examiner as Team Leader. A
Principal Examiner guides and monitors the marking process,
beginning with a meeting of the Principal Examiner for the
paper and the Team Leaders. 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. These are chosen to
demonstrate the range of responses and different levels of
competence, and a task-specific mark scheme is finalised for
each individual task on the paper.
Examiners discuss these task-specific and general mark
schemes and refer to them regularly while they are working.
A rigorous process of co-ordination and checking is carried
out before and throughout the marking process.
Page 22
Part 1
You do not need to include
postal addresses.
You should use your own words as far as possible.
Page 23
Part 2
Page 24
The accuracy of language, including spelling and punctuation, is assessed on the general
impression scale for all tasks. Criteria for
assessing specific range of language and task achievement are outlined below.
Content (points covered)
To obtain a band 3 or above, both tasks must be attempted
and use made of the information in the poster and the
memo across the two tasks. N.B. It is not necessary to
include all the handwritten notes on the memo, even for
a 5.
Article: must inform students of Principal’s intentions and
encourage them to oppose these plans.
Letter: must state students’ /committee’s opposition to the
Principal’s plans.
Organisation and Cohesion
Article: early mention of the issue. Clearly organised with
suitable paragraphing. Better candidates will attempt to
engage the reader’s attention.
Part 1
The testing focus of Part 1 is on content, effective organisation of the input, appropriacy of the
piece(s) of writing to the intended
audience, and on accuracy. Some use of key words from the input is acceptable, but
candidates should have re-worded phrases
appropriately. The range of vocabulary, functions and structures will be defined by the task.
Letter: formal letter layout with appropriate opening and
closing formulae (addresses not needed). Suitable linking of
ideas and clear paragraphing.
Article: language of giving information, opinion and
Letter: language of disagreement and opinion.
Article: consistently informal or neutral, with rallying tone
that will encourage students to take action.
Letter: formal with polite opposition.
Target Reader
Article: will be clearly informed and prepared to take action.
Letter: will understand the students’ position.
Save Our Sports
Our College wants to sell off sports facilities.
The student welfare committee has recently been confronted by a memo from
our Principle, in which he showed his intention to hire the sports hall to the
public and to sell the football field.
Principal Baton backed his decision by saying the college had to save – a fact
we had never heard of – and that the sports facilities are under-used. The
committee has conducted a survey to prove that this is not the case. Over sixty
percent of the students use the sports hall more than three times a week. And
though there are only two football matches a month the field is used for
We need your help! Support the committee that we can use our sports facilities
further on and don’t have to pay membership for our own sports centre. Show
the Principal your enthusiasm and interest. I am sure that, if we stand together,
we will get our sports back.
Page 25
Article: Fully completed.
Letter: Fully completed and particularly resourceful.
Organisation and Cohesion
Article: A well thought out approach to organisation. Three
logical paragraphs which define the context, set out the facts,
and call for action.
Letter: Well organised. Links the committee’s opposition and
a positive suggestion for future discussion.
Article: Good evidence of range e.g. conducted a survey; if
we stand together.
Letter: Good range e.g. proved the contrary; decided to
oppose; at least in this form. Extremely diplomatic - But I am
sure we can talk about this matter...
Article: Could perhaps have adopted a more rallying tone
from the outset, though this comes through at the end of the
article e.g. We need your help! Support the committee...
Letter: very controlled indignation e.g. to express the
committee’s concern. Good formal language throughout.
Target Reader
Article: Would be informed.
Letter: Might be prepared to negotiate.
Article: Not a flawless performance e.g. we can use our
sports facilities further on...
Letter: Generally accurate but one or two slips e.g. besides
the high school fees.
Band 5
The Student Welfare
Christopher Halle
Einstein College 12 June 1997
E.G. Baton, Principle
Dear Mr Baton,
I am writing to you to express the committee’s concern about your plans for the sports
facilities. You asserted a lack of student interest. So we conducted a survey which
proved the contrary. Sixty percent of the students use the sports hall more than three
times a week and the football ground is also used for training between the matches.
Therefore the committee decided to oppose your intention, at least in this form. Students
would not be able to practise if the hall were open for public all day and it is certainly
not fair that they should pay besides the high school fees. The committee also had not
heared that the college had to cut costs.
But I am sure we can talk about this matter and would be glad if we could arrange a
meeting between you and the committee.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,
Christopher Halle
(Student Welfare Committee)
Page 26
Part 2
In Part 2, there is more latitude in the interpretation of the task. The task assessment focus is
mainly on content, range and
style/register, with attention paid to how successfully the candidate has produced the task
type required.
Content (points covered)
For a band 3 or above, the competition entry must address
both parts of the question:
• state what appeals to the candidate about Australia;
• explain how the candidate will benefit from studying
Organisation and Cohesion
The piece of writing should be clearly organised with
suitable paragraphing. N.B. It is acceptable to open and
close the competition entry in letter format to the school.
Language of description, opinion and explanation.
Must be consistent, but could range from fairly informal to
fairly formal. Should have enthusiastic tone.
Target Reader
Would be informed and would consider shortlisting the entry
for competition.
Australia, a different way of life
First of all Australia seems to be one of the ideal place to live on earth.
This country offers a huge varieties of wild and weird animals such as the Kangourou and the
Who has never dreamt to study in a country with a warm and welcoming climate.
Farthermore the Australia has been choose to be the next olympic country. It shows, beyond
shadow of a doubt that Australia is a fair country
But, above all, what can lead to believe that studying in such a country is benefit is the
and the good spirit state of the people.
All this point make me want to study in Australia.
At 112 words the task is inadequately covered. If each of the
points made had been expanded and explored, the content
might have been adequate for the task set.
Organisation and Cohesion
The candidate has written sentence paragraphs. These read
more like the sub-headings of a longer article.
Some range has been demonstrated by the candidate e.g.
beyond the shadow of a doubt.
The register is appropriate for an article.
Target Reader
Would not consider shortlisting the entry.
Frequent basic errors e.g. one of the ideal place; a huge
varieties; the Australia has been choose; All this point.
Band 1
Page 27
Content (points covered)
For a band 3 or above, the article must:
• name the winner and runner-up;
• give details of the hobby or pastime of each;
• say why they have won (this may be implicit).
Organisation and Cohesion
Early reference to the competition. The article should be
clearly organised with suitable paragraphing.
Language of description, evaluation and opinion. Vocabulary
relating to the hobbies chosen.
Consistently neutral, formal or informal.
Target Reader
Would be informed.
If you are an usual reader of their magazine, maybe you’ll remember our competition ‘The
most interesting
hobby’; the entry forms were included in the last issue and now it is time to reveal the winners.
I’ve chosen two amazing collectors, but who are they? and what do they collect?
Let’s start with the runner-up, Jane Hemsworth, from Bramley: she collects cigarrette’s
packets! She is
always looking for a new brand, a new strange size or shape of these little boxes which hasn’t
any interest
for most of us. ‘Have you ever realised how interesting the design of the letters are?’ she
asked me;
nevertheless she is a Graphic Designer. But you don’t know everything, she is a non-smoker!
And the 1st prize winner, Richard James, from Chelsea: he collects helmets!; every single one
you are able
to name is already in his collection: helmets for bycicles, motorbikes, for jokeys, the different
ones used in
the construction of buildings ... and WAR HELMETS! It was his grandfather who gave him his
first pieces
from the II World War and since then, Richard is specially interested in these sort of helmets.
More than 500 entries were registered in this competition; the selection was hard but, in the
end, I decided
that the two prizewinners mentioned above were the ones with the most amazing and amusing
The task has been completed, even though it is slightly
underlength. The prize winners are named and their hobbies
described in detail. The final sentence gives a clear, if brief,
explanation as to why these two entries won the
Organisation and Cohesion
Good opening and conclusion, which are linked well to the
body of the article. The descriptions of the hobbies are
appropriately paragraphed.
Some good relevant vocabulary relating to magazines and
competitions e.g. in the last issue; to reveal the winners.
Consistently and appropriately informal. The tone is lively
and addresses the reader directly.
Target Reader
Would be informed.
There are some non-impeding errors e.g. cigarrette’s packets;
nevertheless; jokeys; bycicles. There are also several basic
errors e.g. interesting the design of the letters are;
....and since then, Richard is specially interested in....
Band 3
Page 28
Language of description, opinion and possibly comparison
and contrast. Range of tenses. Vocabulary relating to
Neutral to formal. Must be consistent throughout.
Target Reader
Would be clearly informed.
Content (points covered)
For a band 3 or above, the report must describe the current
typical family situation in the candidate’s own country (one
aspect of this is sufficient) and mention how this might
change in the future. N.B. Candidate’s own view of what
should happen is an acceptable interpretation.
Organisation and Cohesion
Clear organisation of main points. Appropriate introduction
and conclusion. N.B. Acceptable to write as a newspaper
The family in France
Nowadays, in France, the average number of children is two per family, whereas elderly people
used to
have five or six sisters and brothers or even more when they were young, at least in my
region: Brittany,
where children were useful in farms as they were growing up.
More and more people divorce, and afterwards remain single, live with someone, or get
another time. If they have children, these live generally with their mother but it occurs more
and more
that they live with their father. That is probably due to this trend that there are less and less
Young people prefer living with a mate without marrying him or her, or if they marry, they do it
than their parents who used to do it around the age of 20. That is why they usually have their
first child
later than their parents.
Grand-parents are still important in French families, but when they get older, they do not
usually come
and live in their children’s place as before. They are healthy enough to live alone or they go to
residences for old people. Children sometimes live in towns further from their parents’ place
before, but their place is still the one where we like to stay at the week-ends or the holidays.
Unfortunately, I think that this trend of living further from their parents than before will get
worse in the
years to come, because of the unemployment rate. Indeed even if young people tend to live
longer in
their parents’ house, they have to search a job not only in their town but sometimes in the
country, and when they find one, they leave, even abroad sometimes, because it is so hard to
I think that the average number of children will remain the same or will decrease, as people
have their
children older and perhaps do not want to give birth to future unemployed people.
Finally, I think that the number of divorces, and people who live together but unmarried, will
Page 29
The task has been fully completed. It is informative, and
deals well with both the current family situation, and how it
might change in future.
Organisation and Cohesion
There is an absence of report features, such as headings, but
the writing is appropriately paragraphed, with an
introduction and conclusion. It is well-organised and on the
whole coherent, though at times the sentences are long and
a little difficult to follow e.g. Indeed, even if young people
...because it is so hard to get something!
There is evidence of range. The language of comparison is
good e.g. whereas; more and more people. A range of
relevant topic vocabulary has also been used e.g. ....the
average number of children is two per family; due to this
Consistently and appropriately neutral.
Target Reader
Would be well informed.
Occasionally awkward e.g. That is probably due to this trend
that there are less and less weddings. A few non-impeding
errors, e.g. search a job.
Band 4
Content (points covered)
For a band 3 or above, the text for the leaflet must address
the three points:
• brief history of the company;
• its main activities;
• its future plans.
Organisation and Cohesion
Clear organisation and layout, with
headings/bullets/numbered points an advantage.
Language of description and giving information. Vocabulary
appropriate for the company chosen. Range of tenses.
As appropriate to the context. Must be consistent throughout.
Target Reader
Would have a clear picture of the company.
Page 30
An attempt at the task has been made, but the text omits to
mention future plans, so it cannot achieve more than
band 2.
Organisation and Cohesion
The candidate has organised the writing e.g. there is a
welcoming introductory sentence, appropriate paragraphing
of the main content points, and a good conclusion to the
There is certainly evidence of range e.g. was founded;
mould; it would have a devestating effect. The language is
ambitious e.g. Since gold is a soft metal, we have to spray it
with a special mixture.
Friendly and welcoming tone.
Target Reader
Would be interested and partially informed.
Mostly spelling errors e.g. milion; luxorious; colourd;
repurtation. Also mistakes in verb agreement e.g. our workers
Band 2

Paper 3 sample paper

Page 31
General Description
Paper Format
The paper contains six parts.
Number of Questions
Task Types
Multiple-choice cloze, open cloze, error correction, word
formation, register transfer, gapped text.
Task Focus
Understanding and control of the formal elements of
language in context.
For all parts of this paper candidates write their answers on
an answer sheet.
1 hour 30 minutes.
One mark is given for each correct answer.
Task Type and Focus
Multiple-choice cloze
An emphasis on lexis
Open cloze
An emphasis on structure
Error correction
An emphasis on structure,
lexis and punctuation
Word formation
An emphasis on lexis
Register transfer
An emphasis on register
Gapped text
An emphasis on cohesion
and coherence
A modified cloze text of approximately 200 words
containing 15 gaps and followed by 15 four-option
multiple-choice questions.
A modified cloze text of approximately 200 words
containing 15 gaps.
A text of approximately 200 words containing errors as
specified in the rubric, e.g., extra words, mis-spellings,
punctuation errors, etc., which must be identified.
Two short texts of up to 130 words each. Candidates
must form an appropriate word to complete each gap
using the given prompt words.
Two texts, each about 150 words in length.
The first may include information in tabular
form, and is followed by an incomplete (gapped) text
providing the same information in a different register
which candidates must complete.
A text of about 300 words with gaps at phrase and/or
sentence level followed by a list of 10 options.
Candidates must select the correct options from the list
to complete the text.
Number of
Task Format
Page 32
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.
In Parts 1, 2 and 6 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. By reading the text through
quickly, ignoring the gaps as much as possible, candidates
will become aware of the general subject of the text and its
style. Consideration of such features may help when
deciding which words are right. When deciding which word
or phrase should go in each gap, candidates must give
careful consideration to the local context and other parts of
the text as well. Clues may lie in a number of features, such
as the grammatical context and/or the punctuation.
The exact nature of the correction task in Part 3 varies from
paper to paper, so candidates must learn to look carefully at
the task instructions and the example answers, and follow
the guidance they offer. The skill of proof-reading can have
obvious benefits for candidates’ own writing. 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.
In Part 4, the word formation task, candidates should look at
the surrounding context to determine the exact form of the
required word. Prefixes, suffixes and plural forms will be
included. Concentrating on the use of prefixes and suffixes to
build words and focusing on how words change word class
will help candidates, not only in this task, but also to further
extend their own lexicons.
To prepare for Part 5, the transfer of information from one
text type to another, candidates will benefit from extensive
work on text comparison. They need to become acquainted
with the relevant grammatical and lexical features of
different styles of writing. This will also have obvious
benefits for candidates’ writing for Paper 2.
Apart from in the spelling/punctuation error task, the
absence or misuse of capital letters in answers is ignored.
However, incorrect spelling is penalised.
The English in Use paper is divided into six parts, each part
being defined in terms of its task type and language focus.
In Part 1, candidates must choose one word from a set of
four (A, B, C, D) to fill a gap in a text. 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 part of the paper tests phrases and
collocations, as well as idioms, phrasal verbs and linkers.
Part 2 is an open modified cloze containing fifteen gaps,
testing awareness and control of structural items. Answers
must be correct both syntactically and semantically. A single
word is needed to fill each gap but there may be more than
one word which is acceptable for each gap.
Part 3 consists of a correction exercise of which there are
two types. In the first, candidates have to identify additional
words which are incorporated into the text. In the second
type, errors of spelling and punctuation have to be
identified. There are 16 lines to be corrected and candidates
should not expect more than five lines to be correct.
Part 4 is designed to test awareness of word formation. The
task requires candidates to form an appropriate word, using
the given prompt words, to fill each of the gaps in the two
short texts.
Part 5 is designed to test awareness and control of features
of style and appropriateness. The task requires candidates to
transfer information given in one text into another. The two
texts are different from each other in terms of register,
writer’s purpose and/or style. The grammar and items of
vocabulary given in one text need to be transformed into
suitable expressions in order to complete the second text.
The answers must be grammatically accurate as well as
stylistically appropriate in terms of both the text’s audience
and the writer’s purpose. Content words, i.e. nouns, verbs,
adjectives and adverbs, contained in the first text may not be
used in the second. However, structural words, i.e.
conjunctions, prepositions, articles, etc may be used.
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.
Candidates need to select the appropriate phrase/short
sentence for each gap in the text. This task is devised to test
an awareness of discourse features which operate within and
across a text, particularly features of cohesion and
To develop their grammatical awareness, candidates will
need plenty of controlled practice. They should also become
familiar with grammatical terminology, such as adjective,
conjunction, preposition, etc. Knowing grammatical patterns
Page 33
Section A Part 1
Page 34
Section B
Part 2 Part 3
Page 35
Part 4
For questions 47-61, read the two texts on pages 6 and 7. Use the words in the boxes to the
right of the two texts to form one word that fits in the same numbered space in the text. Write
the new word in the correct box on your answer sheet. The exercise begins with an example (0).
With this letter you will find your (0) ... to attend the
Annual General Meeting of the Society. Please note
that it will take place on 10 September (the last
newsletter (47) ... stated that the meeting would be
on 9 September). The meeting will begin at 8pm but
(48) ... will be available from 7pm. You will therefore
have time to chat (49) ... with committee members
and (50) ... of the Society before the meeting
At 8pm, the Chairman will make a brief (51) ...
speech and then put forward some proposals for
your (52) ... There will also be elections to fill the two
(53) ... on the committee. The enclosed agenda
gives a full description of the business to be
conducted at the meeting.
0 0 Example: invitation
The first study of what goes on in our heads during
dreaming has been completed, casting light on an
activity that humans have always found (54) .... . The
research, reported in the journal Nature, opens up a
(55) .... new chapter in efforts to understand what we
do with a (56) .... of our lives. It supports the (57) ....
that dreams are formed by calling up images from a
store of emotional memories. Scientists find
dreaming an enormous puzzle. The reason for their
(58) .... lies in the (59) .... complicated design of the
brain which contains as many nerve cells as there
are stars in the universe. Each of the nerve cells
communicates with thousands of its neighbours,
producing an (60) .... amount of chatter. Now ,
however, it seems scientists are beginning to make
sense of the brain’s (61) .... activity.
Page 36
Part 6
complex rules (80) .... The monstrous infant becomes the caring, responsible adult whose
life experiences revolve around both the joys and pains, and the giving and receiving, of
friendships and other relationships. It is this remarkable transformation which is the central
characteristic of being human.
For questions 75–80, read the following text and then choose from the list A–J given below the best
phrase to fill each of the spaces. Write one letter (A–J) in the correct box on your answer sheet.
Each correct phrase may only be used once. Some of the suggested answers do not fit at all.
The exercise begins with an example (0).
(79) .... on being able to form reciprocal bonds with others and to follow
Part 5
For questions 62–74, read the following notes made by a club secretary. Use the information in
the notes to complete the numbered gaps in the letter to club members which follows. Then write
the new words in the correct spaces on your answer sheet. The words you need do not occur in
the notes. Use no more than two words for each gap. The exercise begins with an example (0).
Write to all club members to make them feel at home and to give them the latest details about all the
activities coming up soon.
• Party on 18th - mainly to say hello to new members. If old members bring along 2 new members,
they get in without paying for ticket. Otherwise £2 (this includes disco, snacks, coffee).
• Talk by James Dixon ‘Sailing Round the World’. (M. told S. that he’s got some fantastic video
film as well as loads of interesting anecdotes about his adventures.) Push for a good turnout,
otherwise it looks bad - he’s put off a meeting with another group to speak to us.
• Excursion to London (end Dec?) - to museum, restaurant and theatre but only if enough members
are interested. People must let us know now if they think they might come along. Ask members to
give us ideas on particular museums, restaurants and theatres they’d like to go to.
Dear Club Members,
We have an exciting few months ahead of us. The purpose of this letter is to (0) ... you on our plans for (62) ...
First of all, there is a party to (63) ... new members. It costs £2 to come unless you (64) ... by two new members,
in which case you get in (65) ... The price of the ticket includes entertainment and (66) ...
On the 31st, there is going to be talk by James Dixon about (67) ... round the world. He (68) ... to be a very
entertaining speaker and to have some interesting films of his journey. We are hoping very much that a (69) ... of
members will be able to attend this meeting. Mr Dixon was kind enough (70) ... a meeting (71) ... in order to be
with us.
Finally, can I remind you about our (72) ... visit to London. If there is enough interest we shall organise a visit to
the capital towards the end of December. Please (73) ... us as soon as possible if you think you might be interested
so that we can decide whether to go ahead with plans. We should also be grateful for (74) ... specific places to
visit or shows to see in the evening.
Looking forward to seeing you soon,
John Smith
0 0 Example: update
0 J 0 0 Example: J
Page 37
Part 1
10 A
11 D
12 B
13 A
14 D
15 C
Part 2
16 every/each
17 as
18 in
19 but/though/although/yet
20 to
21 by
22 are
23 for/at
24 all
25 by
26 them
27 needs/requires
28 where
29 What
30 own/personal
Part 3
31 a
32 ✎
33 had
34 really
35 all
36 ✎
37 on
38 these
39 ✎
40 all
41 been
42 which
43 ✎
44 quite
45 warm
46 very
Part 4
47 incorrectly
48 refreshments
49 informally
50 officers/officials
51 introductory
52 approval
53 vacancies
54 mysterious
55 significant
56 third
57 supposition
58 ignorance
59 astonishingly
60 unbelievable
61 nightly/night-time
Part 5
62 the future/future events
63 welcome/introduce (the/our)
64 are accompanied
65 free/for nothing
66 refreshments
67 his journey(s)/trip(s)
68 is said/supposed/known/considered
69 large/great number
70 to postpone
71 somewhere else/previously arranged
72 proposed/planned/possible
73 inform/tell/contact
74 suggestions/recommendations about/concerning
Part 6
75 F
76 I
77 C
78 A
79 B
80 H
Page 38
Paper 4 sample papers

Page 39
General Description
Paper Format
The paper contains four parts. Each part contains a recorded
text or texts and corresponding comprehension tasks.
Number of Questions
Text Types
From the following:
Monologues: announcements, radio broadcasts, telephone
messages, speeches, talks, lectures.
Conversations between 2 or 3 speakers: interviews,
Recording Information
The texts in Parts 1, 3 & 4 are heard twice; the text in Part 2
is heard once only.
Recordings will contain a variety of accents corresponding to
standard variants of English native speaker accent, and to
English non-native speaker accents that approximate to the
norms of native speaker accents.
Background sounds may be included before speaking begins,
to provide contextual information. Subdued reaction from an
audience to talks, speeches, etc., may also be included.
Task Types
From the following: note taking, sentence completion,
multiple choice, multiple matching.
Task Focus
Understanding specific information, gist, attitude, opinion,
main points and detail.
For all parts of the paper candidates write their answers on
an answer sheet.
Approximately 45 minutes.
Each question in the paper carries one mark.
Task Type and Focus
Sentence completion,
note taking
Understanding specific
Sentence completion,
note taking
Understanding specific
Sentence completion,
multiple choice
Understanding specific
information, gist and attitude
Multiple matching,
multiple choice
Identifying speakers and
topics, interpreting context,
recognising function and
A monologue of approximately 2 minutes, heard twice,
from the following range of text types: announcements,
radio broadcasts, telephone messages, speeches, talks,
lectures, etc.
A monologue of approximately 2 minutes, heard once
only, from the range of text types above.
A conversation between 2 or 3 speakers, of
approximately 4 minutes, heard twice, from the
following text types; interviews, discussions.
A series of five themed monologues, of approximately 30
seconds each; the whole sequence is heard twice.
In the multiple-matching format there are two tasks; the
questions require selection of the correct option from a
list of eight. In the multiple-choice format there are ten
questions with two questions for each speaker. The
questions require selection of the correct option from a
choice of three.
Number of
Text type Part
Page 40
may represent an authentic response to a text, for example,
where a listener takes notes in a talk or lecture. Others are
more abstract, testing areas of understanding in situations
where the listener in the real world makes no direct
response, for example, multiple-choice questions.
The main task types can be divided into those which are
productive, where the candidates give a written response to
some kind of prompt, and objective, where the candidates
choose from a number of alternatives.
Productive Tasks
There are two main types of productive task, each of which
requires quite a different kind of response from the
Note Taking (Parts 1 & 2)
Candidates are asked to note down points of information
from the text in response to given prompts. These prompts
may take the form of questions to be answered, lists of points
under headings to be completed, or the notes made by an
imagined listener with certain sections gapped out.
Candidates are required to write a word or short phrase in
response to prompts which focus on the main points of
information presented in the text. Such tasks test listening for
detail and the ability to follow the structure of the text and
locate relevant information. Most answers will be short,
often single words or noun groups. Candidates will not be
asked to produce or interpret any particular system of note
taking and will not be penalised for the omission of articles,
prepositions, etc., except where they are essential for
Sentence Completion (Parts 1, 2 & 3)
Candidates are asked to complete gaps in sentences with
information from the text. The sentences provide a kind of
summary of the main ideas presented in the text and may
focus on abstract ideas and feelings expressed by speakers as
well as points of information. Such tasks test a wide range of
listening skills, therefore, in addition to those tested by note
taking, including the attitudes and opinions of speakers, both
stated and implied. Most answers are short, again generally
in the form of single words or noun groups, and must fit into
the grammatical structure of the sentence. Candidates need
to check carefully, therefore, that their answers produce a
final completed sentence which is both coherent and
grammatically correct, as well as including the relevant
information. Candidates should be discouraged from
attempting to write long or complicated answers, the size of
the boxes on the question paper and answer sheet serving as
a guide to the length of expected responses.
In productive tasks, the questions generally follow the order
of information found in the text, and candidates will often
write down actual words that are heard on the tape. They
should not automatically assume that there is a need to find
This paper comprises four recordings each with a separate
task. On any one version of the paper there is a range of task
and text types, reflecting the variety of real-world listening
situations which candidates at this level need to be able to
cope with. Candidates should be familiar with the text and
task types and prepared in terms of the listening skills tested
by each task type.
In preparing for this part of the examination, candidates
should be made aware that understanding spoken English
involves extracting the main points of information and does
not necessarily depend on understanding every word that is
spoken. Candidates need to have an opportunity to hear as
wide a variety as possible of unsimplified English spoken at
natural speed. Classroom practice using task-based exercises
is recommended. Exercises which encourage learners to
listen with a specific focus, for example, understanding the
main points of what they hear, note-taking exercises,
inferring attitude, etc., will help candidates.
The instructions on the tape are followed by a pause for the
candidates to study the task for that section. Candidates
should use this time to study the questions on the page to
help them predict what they will hear. This mirrors what
happens in real-life listening situations when we all bring a
variety of extra areas of knowledge to what we hear, such as
knowledge of the context, the speaker and/or the subject.
The use of pre-listening tasks in classwork will be of great
benefit in raising awareness of this and candidates should be
given practice in anticipating what they will hear and/or the
kind of information they will need to grasp. For example,
candidates should look at the words before and after each
gap in a sentence completion task and think about what kind
of information is missing. Helping learners to develop
strategies to prepare for listening is important for candidates’
confidence and is an essential element in reducing feelings
of anxiety which may beset them if they feel they have
‘missed’ an answer or lost their place.
Text Types
Texts are adapted from authentic sources and recorded in a
studio to ensure the required level of sound quality. Texts
may take the form of monologues, dialogues, three-way
interviews or include contributions from a number of
speakers. They have their origin in a range of authentic
sources, including broadcast interviews and documentary
features, talks and lectures, public announcements and more
informal conversations.
Task Types
Each text is accompanied by a task that aims to test the
communicative point of what is said. Some of these tasks
Page 41
synonyms or to paraphrase ideas, but should aim to
complete the task with the information given in the manner
most appropriate to the task. Although candidates are never
asked to spell words which fall outside the CAE level, it is
important to train students to be as accurate as possible and
to check spelling carefully.
Objective Tasks
The most familiar objective task type is multiple choice
which is regularly used on the paper. It is especially suitable
for testing the understanding of texts that include both
concrete information and more abstract ideas. It is often used
to test understanding of the attitudes and opinions of
speakers, both stated and implied, as well as the ability to
distinguish what was said from what was not said.
In the Part 3 multiple choice task, the questions generally
follow the order of information found in the text, but the
final question may test global understanding of the text as a
In the Part 4 multiple choice task, candidates are tested on
any combination of the following skills dependent on the
content and purpose of the extracts:
identifying speakers, topics, and speakers’ opinions;
interpreting context; recognising the function of what is said;
understanding speakers’ attitudes.
The other objective task in Part 4 is multiple matching. The
focus of the task is the same as for the multiple choice task.
N.B. In the sample paper there is an example of each of the
two tasks for Part 4. Please note that the CAE listening test
consists of four parts, not five. The inclusion of both tasks is
for information only.
Page 42
Section A
Section B Part 2
Part 1
Page 43
Section C
Section D Part 4 (multiple matching task)
Part 3
Page 44
Alternative task
Part 4 (multiple-choice task)
You will hear five short extracts in which different people are talking about
performances that they have been to. For questions 26–35, choose the correct
option A, B or C.
You will hear the recording twice.
26 The concert was unusual because the musicians didn’t use
A microphones.
B instruments.
C a stage.
27 In talking about the concert, the speaker says she
A hadn’t heard that kind of music before.
B hadn’t really liked the music.
C hadn’t understood the music very well.
28 What does the speaker say about the concert?
A The musicians were very old.
B The songs were too unfamiliar.
C The sound quality was poor.
29 The audience were
A appreciative.
B dissatisfied.
C inattentive.
30 What does the speaker say about the theatre?
A It had recently moved.
B It was overcrowded.
C It was unusually small.
31 The play was spoilt because the actors
A forgot their lines.
B were unenthusiastic.
C had too much make-up on.
32 At the start of the concert, the speaker was surprised by the number of
A people who arrived late.
B people he recognised.
C female performers.
33 What section of the orchestra did the speaker find disappointing?
A the violins
B the brass
C the drums
34 The acrobatic acts were
A impressive.
B alarming.
C repetitive.
35 How did the speaker feel at the end of the performance?
A She didn’t realise it was so late.
B She felt it should have ended earlier.
C She would have preferred an evening ticket.
Page 45
Part 1
Presenter: Sharks have had a bad press but, even though
some of them do possess rows of razor sharp
teeth, some of them aren’t dangerous at all.
This afternoon Paul Barker, author of the bestselling
novel Monsters, which was later made
into a film, explains how he feels about them.
Paul Barker: When I wrote Monsters more than twenty
years ago, I knew it was doomed to fail. For
one thing, it was a first novel, and everyone
knows that no-one reads first novels! For
another, it was a first novel about fish – not
exactly a crowd-pleaser. And finally, I knew
for certain no-one could ever turn the book
into a movie: no-one could hope to catch and
train a real great white shark, and the
technology of the day wasn’t advanced
enough to build a replacement. So much for
what I knew! When Monsters, the book and
the movie, became monsters in their own
right, I was left to wonder why. What had
transformed a simple story into a world-wide
success? The answer, of course, was in the
Sharks have been objects of fascination
and hatred for more than 3,000 years; ever
since man first ventured into the sea. They’ve
been villains in literature almost since the
dawn of the language. They’re the masters of
the environment man sprang from and where
he’s always felt like an outsider. And, as such,
they do make convincing villains, huge and
menacing. At least, that’s the traditional image
of the shark, but it’s clear that we’ve
misjudged them. They’re marvellous
examples of evolutionary perfection. They’re
wonderful creatures with extraordinary
sensory powers, and they play an important
part in maintaining the balance of nature. In
fact, they should much more properly be
regarded as victims. Some species, including
the great white, are thought to be in danger of
extinction, thanks to over-fishing.
Fortified with this new knowledge, when I
recently set out to write a new tale of the sea,
I was faced with a problem: what, or who, to
cast as the enemy of my shark-scientist hero? I
could not, in all conscience, choose an
animal. For I believe that evil is non-existent
in the animal world. Aggression, yes.
Violence, of course. But evil? No. So, who’s
the villain? Man! That’s the creature I believe
to be the most vicious and destructive
monster in the sea!
Part 2
Curator: It’s particularly good to welcome you all here
both in your capacity as interested
professionals – your interest is very heartening
– and as the very first group of experts to
come here since the £2.5m refurbishment of
the gallery, which was completed only last
month, as you know.
The whole plan was conceived nearly five
years ago when I first took over as curator
here, but it took three years to raise the two
and a half million pounds we needed, and
work on the project itself lasted some
fourteen months. What has resulted is a
transformation of the main gallery, with far
better natural lighting now in this main
gallery; two new galleries, the Wessex and
Spithead; a passenger lift from street level –
which was a lamentable omission before –
and a comfortable new restaurant, where you
can get meals all day. This has proved a hit
with local people who come here to eat now
in their lunch break, then stroll round looking
at a few pictures before going back to work.
We have also introduced cassettes giving a
commentary in ten languages. As I say, we
have two new galleries, the Wessex, where
we always display the top forty items in the
collection as selected by local citizens every
two months – maybe schoolchildren or art
students, or something like that, and these
‘citizens’ choices’ as we call them are put on
display with their comments and reasons.
Then in the other new gallery, the Spithead,
we try always to have something important
on loan. At the moment we have a loan
exhibition which is from Spain – quite
magnificent. And, of course, in the old Main
Gallery we rotate the best of our own
collection up to 1920 or thereabouts and,
finally, in the Solent Gallery we show modern
art. There is some debate whether we should
continue the division between the
pre-1920 art in the Main Gallery and post-
1920 in the Solent, and I’d welcome your
views on that one.
Now someone asked about funding. We
actually get nothing from government, but
we’re very indebted to local author Jane
Smithson. Jane Smithson was an art lover who
generously endowed the gallery and enabled
us to assemble one of the finest collections
outside London.
That’s all I have to say by way of
introduction, so if you’d like to come with
Page 46
Part 3
Interviewer: Well, I have with me today two people
who’ve written books about the same man,
the novelist Raymond Rennie; his official
biographer, Dorothy Horseman, and his
unofficial biographer, Brian Feltham. Now,
Rennie wrote; ‘If anyone tries to write a
biography of me, how complicated they are
going to find it, how misled they are going to
be.’ Brian, was it complicated?
Brian: Very much so. An unofficial biographer is
especially vulnerable, but part of the fun of
the chase is discovering all the false leads.
Rennie’s trail is superbly difficult to follow.
Here was a man who kept two diaries, either
or both of which might have misled, but who
couldn’t resist salting his fiction with real
names and biographical facts.
Interviewer: Well, Dorothy, you were the official
biographer, your project had Rennie’s official
blessing, what help did you get from him
when he was alive?
Dorothy: Not a great deal. What he did for me was
this, he said, ‘Dorothy, if you want to see me,
you can see me. If you want to see me often,
you can see me often. I will see you when
you want to see me.’ And he also went on
and said that, ‘I will not tell you everything
Dorothy, but if you ask me a question, I will
tell you the truth.’ And I believe he did just
Interviewer: And, of course, you had an enormous amount
of help by having access to his letters.
Dorothy: Help? Since I’ve now got something like two
and a half tons of them, it doesn’t always
seem like help. Sometimes, I feel as though
I’m drowning.
Interviewer: Well, Brian doesn’t have that problem, not
having access to any private papers. You had
to, shall we say, extrapolate from what is in
the fictional and what is in the public
domain. How much of your work in this area,
do you think, is accurate and how much is
your surmise which you would like to be
truthful because it makes good reading?
Brian: No, it’s incorrect to say I haven’t had access
to Rennie’s private papers. In fact, both of
these biographies are based on the same
major collections of papers, most of which
are open to scholars. Over a thousand letters
and a huge collection of various other
documents are available. When I make
allegations, I make them on the basis of many
of the same documents as Dorothy has used,
as well as, of course, interviews with
hundreds of people who knew Rennie,
including his wife, who spoke to me at great
Interviewer: And did you feel that you were getting at one
truth, that there was one Raymond Rennie, or
were you on the track of a number of
Brian: Well, my job was made more difficult by
Dorothy, in fact, it seems to me ethically
wrong to have an official biographer who has
exclusive access to some of the material. I
think that’s a real problem for people who see
biography as history. It’s not one person’s
province to have a culturally important figure
as her sole preserve. It should be open to
other people in order to start a good healthy
debate on the subject. If Rennie’s important
enough, several people should be working on
Interviewer: Umm ... what do you say to that, Dorothy?
Dorothy: The fact remains that this is always done, you
have official biographers and the same rules
have always applied. I see why this should be
changed, but it hasn’t happened yet. Brian’s
book, however, doesn’t tell me anything
about Rennie that I didn’t already know, it’s
just that he’s selected different data on which
to build his biography. It’s a matter of what,
amongst all that material, you regard as
relevant, as adding to our understanding of
the man.
Brian: And that’s exactly my point. That’s why we
shouldn’t have an official biographer, it
shouldn’t just be one person’s view.
Interviewer: And there, I’m afraid, we’ll have to leave it for
the moment. Brian, Dorothy, thank you both
very much indeed.
Part 4 (Multiple-matching task)
1 Well, it was very different when I was at school.
Oh yes. Where I went, we were always taught
to keep ourselves neat and tidy, not like these
youngsters nowadays. I mean, you should see
the riffraff who live in our street walking past
each day. Long greasy hair, shirts hanging out,
kicking tin cans along the pavement... oh dear,
oh dear. More discipline at home and school,
that’s what they need.
2 I tell you, it’s a dog’s life. Up and down to the
boiler room, turning the heating on and off. I
wish they’d make their minds up! And then
it’s time to move a few hundred chairs for
some exam or other. You’d think those young
rascals could move the odd chair themselves,
wouldn’t you? And do I get a word of thanks?
Not likely! Ah well, no rest for the wicked, I
suppose. Just off to replace a broken window.
The little...
3 It’d be all right if we didn’t have so much
extra work. I mean, the lessons are quite
Page 47
couldn’t get enough of it. They shouted their
heads off – cheering and clapping. I was a bit
disappointed though ...
3 This was an interesting experience. For a start,
the theatre was in Pelman Street. Now I’ve
walked up and down that street many times, but
I never realised there was a theatre there. It was
very intimate – it only holds a maximum of forty
people. The show was a big success up in
London last year, huge audiences, but
unfortunately only a handful of people turned up
for the performance here. I’m not surprised
though – it was rather amateurish. They could
have done with using at least a bit of make-up
and learning their parts better. They relied on
covering up their mistakes by really throwing
themselves into their characters.
4 This was one of the few classical concerts that
I decided to go to. As I sat there in the
audience waiting for the performance to begin,
I spotted quite a few of my colleagues who
I hadn’t realised appreciated that type of music.
We sat there for quite a while because the
concert was delayed for some reason. When
the orchestra finally trooped in I noticed that
one of the trumpeters was Mary Brownlow
whom I’d been to school with. I was amazed
because I never realised she was at all musical.
But then I remembered that she did play the
drums when she was younger and I think her
brother played the violin. Unfortunately, Mary
did not play very well and made quite a few
mistakes, especially in the first piece.
5 Well I thought I’d go to the circus. My friend has
a couple of kids who were keen to see it and
they invited me along. I quite enjoyed it really,
even though it tied up the whole afternoon.
There were no animals, just clowns, acrobats,
people throwing burning sticks in the air – you
know the kind of thing. I think the acrobats
made the greatest impact. They must train
incredibly hard to achieve such levels of fitness.
The whole show lasted a couple of hours, which
was about right, but I think we would have gone
to a later show if it hadn’t been for the kids.
interesting. Sometimes. Well, not very boring
anyway. But the assignments and projects just
go on and on. You never seem to get to the end
of them. I think it’s seriously affecting my
4 You see, it all boils down to one thing. These
days, pupils have a choice. All my staff do their
best in the classroom and I have every
confidence in them, but at the end of the day it’s
up to the individual pupil to decide whether he
or she is going to do the homework, or revise for
the exam, or learn anything at all! We can’t force
them. It simply doesn’t work. No, what we have
to do is much more difficult. We have to make
them want to learn. No easy task, believe you
5 I just hope they’re going to push her enough.
You know what I mean, at that age they’re in
a dream half the time, thinking about makeup
or boys or something. At her last school they
said she needed to spend more time on her
homework. What’s more, her report didn’t
look all that good to me. I’ll have to speak to
her form teacher about it next time I see him –
I don’t get the impression he’s particularly
Alternative Part 4 task (Multiple Choice)
1 A friend of mine phoned up at the last minute
and asked me if I wanted to go to this show. It
was being put on by a group of South African
singers who were touring this country for four
weeks. My friend had heard they were brilliant
and this would be the last chance to see them
before they returned home. Well when we
arrived what struck me most was that the
stage was completely bare, apart from a few
microphone stands. And when they started, it
was incredible. I’ve never really heard anything
like it before. They just stood and sang and all
the orchestral noises like drums and violin
sounds they just made with their voices. I was
completely spell-bound from the beginning to
end ...
2 I’d been looking forward to this show for a long
time. I used to be a big fan of James Hopper
many years ago. I was hoping he’d do all the
old familiar songs and I think the rest of the
audience were too. The thing was, the rest of the
band was completely out of time. They just kept
losing the rhythm and some of the old songs
were almost unrecognisable. It didn’t help that
you couldn’t hear his guitar very well and all of
the voices were a bit distorted. But the audience
Page 48
Part 1
1 first/1st novel (about fish)/(about a fish)
2 into a movie/film
as a movie/film
a movie/film
3 caught/captured (and) trained
4 simple story
5 fascination (and) hatred/hate
6 (the) balance of/in (the) nature
7 over-fishing
8 evil
9 man
Part 2
10 £2.5m(illion)
11 14/fourteen months
12 better/improved (natural) lighting
13 (passenger) lift
14 local citizens/people
15 modern art
post-1920 art
16 (a/an/the) local author/art lover
Part 3
17 (very) complicated/complex/intricate
18 (2/two) diaries
19 tell her everything
20 the truth
21 letters/private papers
22 private papers
23 Rennie’s/his wife
24 exclusive access
25 should/could/need/have to be changed
need changing
should/could/need to/have to change
Part 4
Multiple matching
26 B
27 A
28 F
29 E
30 G
31 C
32 G
33 B
34 H
35 E
Part 4
Multiple choice
36 B
37 A
38 C
39 A
40 C
41 A
42 B
43 B
44 A
45 C

Paper 5 sample papers

Page 49
General Description
Paper Format
The paper contains four parts.
The standard format is two candidates and two examiners.
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.
Task Types
Social interaction with the interlocutor and the other
candidate; transactional long and short turns.
Task Focus
Using transactional, interactional and social language.
Approximately 15 minutes.
Candidates are assessed on their performance throughout the
Task Type and Focus
Three-way conversation
between the candidates and
the Interlocutor
Using general interactional
and social language
Individual long turns with
brief responses from second
Using transactional language,
comparing, contrasting and
Two-way interaction between
the candidates
Negotiating and
collaborating; reaching
agreement or ‘agreeing to
Three-way conversation
between the candidates and
the interlocutor
Explaining, summarising,
developing the discussion
3 minutes
4 minutes
4 minutes
4 minutes
The candidates are asked to respond to one another’s
questions about themselves, and respond to the
interlocutor’s questions.
Each candidate in turn is given visual prompts. They
talk about the prompts for about one minute; the
second candidate responds as specified.
The candidates are given visual and/or written
prompts to set up a problem-solving task, involving
sequencing, ranking, comparing & contrasting,
selecting, etc. Based on this output candidates are
asked about their decisions.
The topic area from Part 3 is opened up by discussing
wider issues.
Length Task Format Part
Page 50
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. The test
takes about 15 minutes for a pair of candidates. One
examiner, the interlocutor, conducts the test and gives a
global assessment of each candidate’s performance. The
other, the assessor, does not take any part in the interaction
but focuses solely on listening to, and making an assessment
of, the candidate’s oral proficiency. The test is divided into
four parts and each part sets candidates a different task.
It is essential that students are able to participate in pair and
group activities effectively, showing sensitivity to turn-taking
and responding appropriately to their partners. Pair and
group activities should be a regular feature of classroom
Students should be given extensive practice in listening
carefully to instructions and remembering what they are
asked to do. They should be encouraged to react to pictures
and diagrams, etc., rather than merely describe them, using
speculative or hypothetical language whenever possible.
Students need to be equipped with the right kind of
language for, e.g. exchanging information/opinions, giving
reasons, speculating, hypothesising, agreeing, disagreeing,
politely justifying and negotiating.
During classroom activities, 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. Students should be familiar with the timing and the
focus of each part of the test. They should be able to handle
the whole test confidently, yet ask for clarification/repetition
if needed.
Part 1
This part of the test gives candidates the opportunity to show
their ability to use general interactional and social language.
The interlocutor introduces both examiners to the
candidates, then candidates ask each other questions about
themselves using prompts given by the interlocutor. The
interlocutor may ask the candidates further questions about
themselves as appropriate. Candidates are expected to
respond to their partner’s and to the interlocutor’s questions,
and to listen to what their partner has to say.
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. They should show sensitivity to each
other’s contributions, invite their partners to participate, and
not dominate the interaction.
Part 2
In this part of the test, each candidate is given the
opportunity to speak for a longer period of time (one minute)
without interruption. Each candidate is asked to comment on
and/or react to a different set of pictures or photographs.
Candidates may be asked to describe, compare, contrast,
comment, identify, eliminate and hypothesise or speculate.
Tasks may be completely different for each candidate or they
may be ‘shared’, e.g. when there is a group of three
candidates. Shared tasks set candidates the same task but
each candidate, in turn, receives different visual stimuli.
Candidates are expected to listen carefully to the verbal
instructions they are given, show their ability to organise
their thoughts and ideas, and express themselves coherently
in appropriate language. Candidates should pay attention
while their partner is speaking, as they are asked to
comment briefly (up to 20 seconds) after their partner has
Give students practice in talking for one minute on a set
subject, or ‘holding the floor’ in a classroom situation so that
they can organise their thoughts and ideas during this long
turn. Make students aware that, in this part of the test, it is
essential not to interrupt while their partners are speaking.
Students need to be clear about what is considered an
inadequate response, e.g. ‘In the first picture the scene looks
modern, in the other it looks old-fashioned’, instead of, e.g.
‘Both pictures of the building portray a calm and peaceful
setting, but the older scene suggests that there was more
traffic on the river at the time, whereas ...’ Students should
realise that their responses need to go beyond the level of
pure description and contain a speculative element.
Students who listen carefully to their instructions and follow
them will do well.
Part 3
In Part 3, candidates are expected to negotiate and
collaborate with each other, discussing a problem-solving
task fully, openly and clearly. Candidates may be asked to
discuss, evaluate, speculate and/or select. They are given a
set of visual prompts on which the task is based. 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. There is no right or wrong answer to this task
but candidates are asked to reach a conclusion. They can,
however, agree to differ. At the end of this part they are
asked to report on the outcome of their discussion.
For this part of the test, candidates need to be able to
interact and carry out the task while keeping the
conversation going. Encourage students to make use of
conversation ‘fillers’, e.g. ‘Well, now, let me see ...’, which
Page 51
Grammar and Vocabulary (Accuracy and Appropriacy)
On this scale, candidates are awarded marks for the accurate
and appropriate use of syntactic forms and vocabulary in
order to meet the task requirements. At CAE level,
candidates are expected to know enough grammar and
vocabulary to produce accurate and appropriate language
without continual pauses to search for words or structures.
The range and appropriate use of vocabulary are assessed on
this scale. However, it should be noted that only the
accuracy of the grammar is assessed here as the range of
grammatical structures is assessed under Discourse
Discourse Management
On this scale, examiners are looking for evidence of the
candidate’s ability to express ideas and opinions in coherent,
connected speech.
The CAE speaking tasks require candidates to construct
sentences and produce utterances (extended as appropriate)
in order to convey information and to express or justify
opinions. The candidate’s ability to maintain a coherent flow
of language with an appropriate range of linguistic resources
over several utterances is assessed here.
Pronunciation (Individual Sounds and Prosodic Features)
This refers to the candidate’s ability to produce
comprehensible utterances to fulfil the CAE speaking task
requirements, i.e. it refers to the production of individual
sounds, the appropriate linking of words, and the use of
stress and intonation to convey the intended meaning.
First language accents are acceptable, provided
communication is not impeded. It is recognised that at CAE
level, even in the top assessment band, candidates’
pronunciation will be influenced by features of their first
Interactive Communication (Turn-taking, Initiating and
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. It includes the ability
to use functional language and strategies to maintain or
repair interaction, e.g. in conversational turn-taking, and a
willingness to develop the conversation and move the task
towards a conclusion.
they can call upon (sparingly) to give themselves time to
think. Expose students to as great a variety of visual stimuli
as possible and invite their reactions to them. Students
should attempt to demonstrate their command of a wide
range of linguistic resources and communication strategies.
Simply agreeing or disagreeing with, or echoing, what their
partner has said will not enable them to do this. Each student
should make a positive contribution to the task in question.
Although the completion of the task is not essential, it is
advisable for students to attempt to reach the specified
outcome within the time allotted.
Part 4
In Part 4, candidates participate in a wider discussion of the
issues raised in Part 3. The questions become broader and
often more abstract as the discussion develops. Candidates
may be asked to respond to the same or different questions.
At the end of the Speaking Test, candidates are thanked for
attending, but are given no indication of the level of their
Students should be encouraged to talk about issues of
general interest and express an opinion about them so that
they can participate fully in the last part of the test. They are
asked questions by the interlocutor and they are expected to
develop the discussion, rather than simply give one-word
answers. Students should be aware that they are not being
assessed on their ideas, but examiners can only assess
candidates on the language they produce and those
candidates who fail to make a contribution will not do well.
At this stage of the test, both candidates can interact more
freely, giving them a final opportunity to show examiners
what they are capable of.
Throughout the test, candidates are assessed not in relation
to each other but according to the following criteria:
Grammar and Vocabulary, Discourse Management,
Pronunciation, and Interactive Communication. These
criteria should be interpreted within the overall context of
the Cambridge Common Scale for Speaking (page 53), where
CAE is at Level 4.
Both examiners assess the candidates. The assessor applies
detailed Analytical Scales; the interlocutor applies a Global
Scale, which is a less detailed scale based on the Analytical
Page 52
Candidates should be able to maintain the coherence of the
discussion and may, if necessary, ask the interlocutor or the
other candidate for clarification.
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. Grammar is mostly accurate and vocabulary
appropriate. Utterances are understood with very little
strain on the listener.
Candidates are assessed on their own individual
performance according to the established criteria and are not
assessed in relation to each other.
Assessment is based on performance in the whole test, and is
not related to performance in particular parts of the test. The
assessor awards marks for each of the four criteria listed
above. The interlocutor awards each candidate one global
In many countries, Oral Examiners are assigned to teams,
each of which is led by a Team Leader who may be
responsible for approximately fifteen Oral Examiners. Team
Leaders give advice and support to Oral Examiners, as
The Team Leaders are responsible to a Senior Team Leader
who is the professional representative of UCLES for the oral
examinations. Senior Team Leaders are appointed by UCLES
and attend an annual co-ordination and development session
in the UK. Team Leaders are appointed by the Senior Team
Leader in consultation with the local administration.
After initial training of examiners, standardisation of marking
is maintained by both annual examiner co-ordination
sessions and by monitoring visits to centres by Team Leaders.
During the co-ordination sessions, examiners watch and
discuss sample Speaking Tests recorded on video, and then
conduct practice tests with volunteer ‘candidates’ in order to
establish a common standard of assessment.
The sample tests on video are selected to demonstrate a
range of task types and different levels of competence, and
are pre-marked by a team of experienced examiners.
Page 53
Main Suite
Cambridge Common Scale for Speaking
Fully operational command of the spoken language.
Able to handle communication in most situations, including unfamiliar or unexpected ones.
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.
Rarely produces inaccuracies and inappropriacies.
Pronunciation is easily understood and prosodic features are used effectively; many features,
pausing and hesitation, are ‘native-like’.
Good operational command of the spoken language.
Able to handle communication in most situations.
Able to use accurate and appropriate linguistic resources to express ideas and produce
discourse that is
generally coherent.
Occasionally produces inaccuracies and inappropriacies.
Maintains a flow of language with only natural hesitation resulting from considerations of
or expression.
L1 accent may be evident but does not affect the clarity of the message.
Limited but effective command of the spoken language.
Able to handle communication in most familiar situations.
Able to construct longer utterances but is not able to use complex language except in well-
Has problems searching for language resources to express ideas and concepts resulting in
pauses and
Pronunciation is generally intelligible, but L1 features may put a strain on the listener.
Has some ability to compensate for communication difficulties using repair strategies but may
prompting and assistance by an interlocutor.
Basic command of the spoken language.
Able to convey basic meaning in very familiar or highly predictable situations.
Produces utterances which tend to be very short – words or phrases – with frequent hesitations
pauses. Dependent on rehearsed or formulaic phrases with limited generative capacity.
Only able to produce limited extended discourse.
Pronunciation is heavily influenced by L1 features and may at times be difficult to understand.
Requires prompting and assistance by an interlocutor to prevent communication from breaking
Pre-Waystage Level
Generally effective command of the spoken language.
Able to handle communication in familiar situations.
Able to organise extended discourse but occasionally produces utterances that lack coherence
some inaccuracies and inappropriate usage occur.
Maintains a flow of language, although hesitation may occur whilst searching for language
Although pronunciation is easily understood, L1 features may be intrusive.
Does not require major assistance or prompting by an interlocutor.
Page 54
11. Protective Clothing (Compare, contrast and speculate)
Interlocutor In this part of the test I’m going to give each of you the chance to talk for about a
minute and to comment briefly after your partner has spoken.
First, you will each have the same set of photographs to look at. They show
people wearing protective clothing.
Hand over the same set of photographs to each candidate.
Candidate A, it’s your turn first. I’d like you to compare and contrast two or
three of these photographs, saying what kind of clothing the people are wearing
and why you think the protection might be necessary.
Don’t forget, you have about one minute for this.
All right? So, Candidate A, would you start now, please?
Candidate A Approximately one minute.
Interlocutor Thank you. Now, Candidate B, can you tell us who you think is in the greater
need of protection?
Candidate B Approximately 20 seconds.
Interlocutor Thank you.
12. A Quiet Day on the Coast (Compare, contrast and speculate)
Interlocutor Now, I’m going to give each of you the same pair of cartoons to look at. They
show two images of a day by the sea.
Hand over the same pair of cartoons to each candidate.
Now, Candidate B, it’s your turn. I’d like you to compare and contrast these
pictures, saying how the people might be feeling and what the disadvantages of
each situation might be.
Don’t forget, you have about one minute for this.
All right? So, Candidate B, would you start now, please?
Candidate B Approximately one minute.
Interlocutor Thank you. Now, Candidate A, can you tell us which situation you think is the
more realistic?
Candidate A Approximately 20 seconds.
Interlocutor Thank you.
Interlocutor Good morning (afternoon / evening). My name is ... and this is my colleague ... .
And your names are ....?
Can I have your mark sheets, please? Thank you.
First of all, we’d like to know a little about you.
(Select one or two questions as appropriate.)
Where do you both/all live?
What do you enjoy about living there?
How long have you been studying English?
Have you been studying English together?
Now I’d like you to ask each other something about:
(Select two or three prompts in any order as appropriate.)
• your interests and leisure activities
• your feelings about life in this country
• your reasons for studying English
• places of interest you have visited in this country
(Ask candidate(s) further questions as necessary.)
• What have you both/all enjoyed/disliked most about studying English?
• What interesting things have you done recently?
• How would you feel about going to live abroad permanently?
• Looking back on your life, what do you consider to be the most memorable
• What do you hope to achieve in the future?
Thank you.
(3 minutes) PART 1
PART 2 (4 minutes)
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PARTS 3 and 4
Famous First (Discuss, evaluate and select) Test Material 28
Part 3 (4 minutes)
Interlocutor Now, I’d like you to discuss something between/among yourselves, but please
speak so that we can hear you.
Here are some pictures showing when some famous events first took place.
Place picture sheet 28 in front of the candidates.
Talk to each other about the effect each of these events has had on the world
we live in, and then decide which one has had the greatest influence on people’s
You have about four minutes for this.
Candidates A&B Approximately four minutes.
Interlocutor Thank you.
So, which have you chosen?
Retrieve picture sheet 28.
PART 4 (4 minutes)
Interlocutor Select any of the following questions as appropriate
• Which famous event would you like to have been involved in?
• How important is it to enjoy new experiences in life? (Why?)
• Some people say nothing can be achieved without an effort.
How far do you agree?
• What aspects of life today do you think will be remembered in the future?
• How do you think life will change in this century?
Thank you. That is the end of the test.
Check that all test materials have been replaced in the file.
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What is the mark allocation for each paper?
Each paper is equally weighted at 40 marks.
An overview of the marks allocation:
Paper 1
Parts 1 & 4 – 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, bringing the
maximum total to 200.
What is the pass mark?
To pass the examination with Grade C it is necessary to
achieve approximately 60% of the total marks available
Must candidates achieve a pass on each paper to pass
the examination?
No. Candidates cannot pass or fail any individual paper. The
candidate’s grade is based on their total score from all five
papers. There are no ‘hurdles’ or minimum levels of
achievement required.
Can candidates make notes on the question paper?
Yes, but their notes won’t be marked.
Is the use of dictionaries allowed?
How can I get hold of CAE past papers?
CAE past papers, and those for other EFL main suite
examinations, are published by UCLES after each
administration of the examination. These can be ordered
through the UCLES publications department.
Do I need to take a course if I want to take the CAE
No, it is not necessary, although most candidates take a
preparatory course before they take the examination.
What is the mark allocation?
One mark is given for each correct answer to the multiplematching
tasks; two marks are given for each correct answer
to the multiple-choice and gapped-text tasks. The total score
is then weighted out of a maximum 40 marks for the whole
As the Paper is 1 hour 15 minutes long, what would be
the recommended timing for each Part?
This very much depends on candidates’ own strengths and
preferred way of working, but it is worth bearing in mind
how the tasks are weighted (see above). Normally 50% of
the marks are allocated to the two multiple-matching tasks
(First and Fourth texts) while the other two tasks (multiplechoice
and gapped-text) account for the remaining 50%.
If candidates make a mistake in filling in their answer
sheets, is this picked up by the computer?
If they omit a question, the computer accepts the answer
sheet. If they fill in more than one lozenge for a question,
the computer rejects it.
Do questions in the multiple-choice task follow the
order of the text?
Yes, with global questions at the end.
What about the danger in Part 2, for example, that if a
candidate makes one mistake, 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, so
this potential problem can be spotted in advance.
Is each Part worth equal marks?
If candidates do include the address when writing a
letter, will they be penalised?
Candidates do not need to include addresses, but they will
not be penalised if they do. Occasionally the instructions
may ask for addresses.
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How do you guarantee that the different versions are all
equal in difficulty?
For security purposes, there are several versions of the
Listening Test in use at each session. As for the other papers,
the material for the Listening Tests is pretested in advance, in
order to check that it is suitable in terms of content as well
as levels of difficulty. At the test construction stage, papers
are put together at the same level of difficulty, as shown by
pretesting statistics. After the examination has been taken,
before grading takes place, the Listening Test results are
analysed and the average marks gained by candidates in
each test are compared.
Is Part 1 assessed?
The examiners assess performance throughout the whole
Is 2:2 the only possible format?
The standard format is 2:2 and, wherever possible, this will
be the form which the Speaking Test will take. At centres
where there is an uneven number of candidates, the last
candidate will form a group of three with the previous pair
of candidates. In exceptional circumstances only a 1:1
format will be allowed.
Are candidates from the same school paired together?
In some centres candidates from the same school are paired
together. However, where candidates from a number of
different schools are entered at the same centre, some
candidates may find that they are paired with a candidate
from another school. Candidates should check with the
centre through which they are entering for the local
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. Some candidates feel relaxed and confident when
paired with someone they know; others may feel inhibited.
In both cases, the examiners are trained to provide equal
opportunities for all candidates to perform to the best of their
Does it matter if a candidate uses slang or speaks with a
regional or other accent?
The use of slang is acceptable provided that it is appropriate.
Different varieties of standard English accents, e.g. UK,
North American, Australian, etc. are also acceptable.
Should candidates write their answers in pen or pencil?
Pen should always be used, as answers in pencil may not
always be legible.
What is the mark allocation overall?
There is one mark for each question.
If candidates write two possible answers to a question,
how are they marked?
If both are correct, the candidate is awarded the mark(s); if
one is incorrect, no marks are awarded. (This is also the
same for Paper 4.)
What if the answer is right, but a candidate has misspelt
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, or the
punctuation mark together with the word which precedes or
follows it, should be written on the answer sheet.
In Part 5, can a cognate of one of the words used in the
first text be used in the answer?
No. This task requires candidates to find a new way of
expressing the information from the first text.
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
Is there any background noise on the tape?
No. Sound effects may be used to ‘set the scene’, but are not
used while there is speech. Very subdued audience reaction
may be heard when a speaker is giving a talk, but this is
never intrusive.
Does spelling have to be correct?
Common words and those which are easy to spell are
expected to be correct.
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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.
What about the mis-matching of candidates, e.g. a shy
person with an extrovert?
Examiners are trained to deal with this kind of situation and
ensure no-one is disadvantaged. Everyone has the chance to
show what they can do. However, candidates must
remember that, while it is important not to dominate a
weaker candidate, it is vital that they make the best use of
the time available to show off their language skills.
What is the date of the CAE examination?
The CAE examination can be taken twice a year, in June and
in December. The dates are published in the Examination
Regulations. Check with your UCLES Local Secretary or
British Council Office.
Where can candidates enrol?
The UCLES Local Secretary or British Council Office can
give you information about centres where the examination is
taken. Do not apply to UCLES directly. Fees are payable to
the local centre, and will vary slightly from place to place.
How do I get my results?
Results are issued to Local Secretaries approximately six
weeks after the examination has been taken. Certificates are
issued about a month after that.