Cambridge English

Exam Overview

First for Schools, also known as First Certificate in English (FCE) for Schools, shows that a student is becoming skilled in English and can use it at upper-intermediate level for work or study purposes.

Cambridge English: First for Schools follows exactly the same format as Cambridge English: First and the level of the question papers is identical. The only difference is that the content and treatment of topics in Cambridge English: First for Schools have been particularly targeted at the interests and experience of school pupils.

What's in the exam?

Paper Content Marks (% of Total) Purpose
Reading and Writing (1 hour) 3 parts/30 questions 20% Students need to be able to understand a range of texts, including how they are organised and the opinions and attitudes expressed in them. The texts will be from sources familiar to school-aged learners such as magazines, articles, fiction and advertisements, but targeted at the interests of students.
Writing (1 hour 20 minutes) 2 parts 20% Students are required to produce two pieces of writing. The first piece is compulsory and will be a letter or email of between 120–150 words. For the second, they may choose from an article, essay, letter, report, review or short story of between 120–180 words.
Use of English (45 minutes) 4 parts/42 questions 20% Students’ use of English will be tested by tasks which show how well they can control their grammar and vocabulary.
Listening (about 40 minutes) 4 parts/30 questions 20% Requires being able to follow and understand a range of familiar spoken materials such as news programmes, public announcements and other sources but targeted at the interests of school-aged learners.
Speaking (14 minutes per pair of candidates) 4 parts 20% A face-to-face test taken with one or two other candidates and an examiner. Students have to show how well they can produce spontaneous spoken language, talking with either the examiner, the other candidate(s), or by themselves.

How much does the exam cost?

Success stories

Contact your exam preparation centre (CSE English School-Negombo) to find out how much the exam costs, available exam dates and how to register.

‘This exam is really useful for me. My English improved a lot. Since that time daily life is much easier for me as I am living in a country where the daily language mostly English and my mother tongue.’
Sineth Kusal- Cambridge English: First for Schools candidate