About CPE or Cambridge English: Proficiency or Certificate of Proficiency in English


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CPE by Cambridge English Language Assessment


The test is offered by more than 2700 centres in 130 countries.


CPE is recognised by various universities and employers world over.

What is CPE?

Cambridge English: Proficiency or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) is the highest level exam offered by Cambridge English Language Assessment. The test is both paper and computer based. The test is at level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

The test acknowledges a person’s high level of skill in the English language. CPE is recognised by various universities and employers world over. The test is offered by more than 2700 centres in 130 countries.

What is C2 level?

There are various levels for examinations under CPE. The levels are decided by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) which is an international standard of describing language ability. It is used around the world to describe learner’s language skills.

What is the cost of CPE?

The cost for CPE test varies from centre to centre. It is advised to check it from a CPE centre near to you.

What will I be tested on?

CPE tests a student’s reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in English. The details are given below:


Paper Details

What will it include?

What skills will the paper assess?

Reading and Use of English


1 hour 30 minutes


40% of total marks


Parts 1-4 (Use of English Component)


Parts 5-7 Reading component

First there are three short Use of English texts, each with a different task, such as supplying a missing word or forming a new word.


Part 4 is not text based and involves rewriting a sentence another way.


Then there are three longer Reading texts: multiple choice, gapped paragraphs and multiple matching.

Parts 1-4 test your underlying knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.


Part 1 is mainly lexical, Part 2 is mainly grammatical, and Part 3 is all about how affixes affect words. There are lots of other sub-skills involved such as your ability to paraphrase and workout meaning form context.


The reading skills you will need to include very detailed reading, following an argument, coherence and linking, looking for specific information and skim reading.



1 hours 30 minutes


20% of total marks

First a compulsory essay where you summarise the main ideas from two short texts. Then a choice from various tasks, such as an article, letter, report or review-including a choice on a set text.

You will be tested on how well you can put together and develop ideas on a topic, the impression you can make on the reader, your use of language, and how well you achieve the purpose of writing.



40 minutes


20% of total marks

There are four parts, covering short extracts; a long speech or lecture where you complete sentences; a long discussion with multiple-choice questions; and two simultaneous matching tasks.


You’ll have to deal with the language you might meet in a work situation, at university or indeed on the street.

This will test your ability to listen for a wide variety of real-life purposes. Within that, you might be listening for the gist of a whole extract, for a particular detail or the speaker’s opinion.



16 minutes


Paired: two candidates together


20% of total marks

After brief introductory exchanges, you work together with another candidate on a picture-related task. Then you move on a card, and finally a three-way discussion on related themes in the real world.

You will be tested on many things, including your pronunciation, intonation, speed of delivery as well as your ability to organize your thoughts, negotiate and sustain a discussion.


















































How to register for CPE?

You can visit the centre in your city and get registered with them directly. 


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