CAE Cambridge English Exam - All you need to know


Hello, everyone. I'm Jade. What we're talking about today is the CAE test. This is a Cambridge

exam, and it tests the advanced level of English. So, we're going to generally look at the parts

of the test, and then in the next part of the video, we'll look at the test in more

detail, so you'll know exactly what to expect if you're going to take this exam.

So, who takes this test? This is a test that people choose to take because they want to

go to university in an English-speaking country, or you want to do a course in English at a

university. You might also be taking this because you need it as part of your visa requirements.

Or you might be doing it because you just want to take the test. Not so many people

do that, but I've met some.

What's in the test? There are five parts at the moment; a reading part, a writing part,

a listening part, a speaking part, and also this use of English, which is a vocabulary

and grammar combined test that's seeing where you are with that. Importantly, though, in

2015, the reading test and the use of English will be together in one part. So, that means

there'll just be fourThere'll be four parts 2015 onwards.

ThisI should also say about this test that it's a Secure English Language Test.

That means that you do it in a test center and you have to prove your identity. It's

a formal test, and it's one of the reasons why this test is well-respected, and you can

use it to enter university and things like that, because the results that you get are


You can do this test on paper or computer; you have a choice. And it tests fromAt

the lower end, you could be intermediate, and the top end proficiency which is very,

very, very, very high. So, that's a broad survey of what's in the test. Now we're going

to look at the parts in more detail.

So, we haveLet's start with the reading test. The reading test is one hour and 15

minutes. There are four parts. This will be 20% of your overall mark, and you'll be expected

to read 3,000 words. What kinds of text will you be reading? Well, you'll be reading newspapers,

fiction, non-fiction, and promotional copy. So it could be a variety of texts that you

might just encounter in life in an English-speaking country.

The skills that it's looking for isIt will be looking for your ability to read for

gist, which is like the general meaning, but also detail. These are different reading skills.

When you're reading for detail, you'll have to find a specific part of the text and read

very closely for your answer, whereas gist relates to the general meaning.

And when you're answering the questions, sometimes it will be multiple choice. So, you know,

A), B), C), and sometimes you'll need to fill in a gap. So, you need to go back to the test

To the text, read closely, and find your answer so you can fill in the gap.

It's also testing you on your ability to interpret tone in a text. So, perhaps not just the literal

words written there on the page, but when we understand tone, we get an extra sense

of what it really means. And also opinion, so you're reading something, and then you're

makingWhen you're reading it for opinion, you get a sense of what is actually meant,

and you'll need to express what is meant through opinion, through people's opinion. And you'll

be expected to understand the main ideas of the text as well. When we come back, we're

going to look at the other parts of the test in closer detail.

Let's have a look at the writing part of the exam in closer detail-this is a magnifying

glass-and the use of English part of the exam. So, the writing part of the test is two questions.

It's going to be 20% of your overall mark. And it's one hour, 30 minutes. Now, what you

need to do in the writing test isQuestion one is compulsory, that means you have to

answer it; you don't have a choice. In this question, first of all, you need to read an

extract, so there'll be a short text, up to 150 words, that you need to read before you

write your own answer.

And you'll be expected to write a report, a proposal, or a letter. So, it's a variety

of different texts. And for each of those, you'll need to use the appropriate vocabulary,

so formal language or informal language, and the right kind of style because, you know,

a report has a different tone and different conventions to writing a letter, for example,

a letter to a friend. So, you need to prepare and do writing practice on these different

areas before you're ready to take the test. And your answer for this part will need to

be between 180 and 220 words.

Once you're done with the first part of the writing test, part two, you've got some choice,

here. You can see which question suits you. There are four questions. First of all, you

read a short extract. Again, similar to part one, but it's much shorter this time; it's

just 80 words. Then-I need to stand on this side-you use this to then write an article,

or a competition entry, an essay, a report, a proposal, or information sheet. So, exactly

like in the first part. It's testing your ability to write in different styles of English;

something that you haven't seen before and haven't been able to prepare.

So, you can doYou can do two similar questions, or your choice is another option, which is:

answering a question on a set text. So, this is something that happens in the CAE exam.

There'll be set texts, which basically means like a novel or some literature that you can

read before, and get to know that text before. And then in the exam, you can answer a question

on that. So, this is the kind of question that we get in English schools more, like

in an English English exam. So, you could choose to do that. But you only have the choice

to do that up until the exam change in 2015, because after that, they're not going to do

that anymore. They'll stop it, and then you'll just have to make a choice for this part where

it's article or competition entry, something like that.

And, yeah, moving on from that now, talking about the use of English paper. This is the

paper thatLooking at your grammar, and also your vocabulary in detail. So, you have

a one hour test, there are five parts, and this would also be 20% of your textExam

result? 20% of your result. Remember that this also changes in 2015, so you won't have

this part as a standaloneI want a… I want a red pen, but I don't have that in my

pocket. So, after the exam change, you cannot do the use of English as an individual test

within CAE. This part of the test will join the reading test, and you'll be assessed generally.

The questions that you'll encounter in this part of the test are going to be multiple

choice; gap fill questions; word formation, which means this is looking at your vocabulary

and the ability to change an adjective to an adverb, and this kind of thing; and also

key word transformation, which is looking at your grammar. Do you know the structures

to change one sentence to a different sentence, using a different kind of grammar? That's

what that's looking at. So, what we're going to look at next is the final parts of the CAE exam.

Let's have a look at the listening test, and lastly, the speaking test. So, the listening

test. You listen to audio recordings, a variety of different accents, but maybeNot maybe.

But mostly British English accents. It's 30 minutes long, four parts of this test, and

20% of your overall mark.

What you'll be listening to is a variety of different extracts that you'd encounter in

an English-speaking country. So, it could be monologues, that means one person just

talking by themselves. Announcements, so some kind of information that you need to listen

out for in a public space. Could be interviews. Might be a speech, somebody giving a speech.

That's a different kind ofA specific kind of monologue. It could be a lecture, a university

lecture, you have to listen andAs if you're at university. Could be a talk, which could

be about any subject. Or it might be a discussion where people are expressing opinions, and

possibly disagreeing with each other.

So, let's have a look at the parts now in more detail, in closer detail. Part one is

some short conversations, and it's going to be a multiple choice answer. Short conversations,

so there'll be more than one speaker. That's part one.

Part two, three minute monologue. So it will be one person speaking for three minutes,

and you have to listen closely. Just based on what you hear that person say. You need

to complete the sentence. So, as you listen, listen out, complete the sentence.

Part three is a conversation between two or more speakers. This will be a multiple choice.

In this section, you'll particularly be listening for opinion, the opinion of the different speakers.

And the last part of the listening test, there will be five themed monologues. Okay? So five

different people speaking about something separately, but it will have the same theme,

the same general subject. They're short, they're just 30 seconds long. And to give your answers,

you need to match the person to the right answer, so that one's a matching task.

Moving on now to the speaking test. People usually get really, really worried about the

speaking test in exams. I think if you understand what to expect and you prepare, then that

way you can do your best in the day and not worry so much about nerves. So it will be

up to 15 minutes long, and it's you doing the test, it's an examiner, and you also have

a partner who goes in the test with you. You don't choose your partner before. The test

center decides who your partner will be. So it's not like you go and do the test with

your friend.

There are four parts to the speaking test. And again, it's 20% of the overall mark. So,

you add up all of those 20%'s, because there are five parts of the test, and you get 100%.

But, yeah, these gradeThese allocations of how much this part of the test is worth,

blah, blah, blah, that will change in 2015 when the test is updated when use of English

and reading test go together as one.

So, in the speaking test, there are four parts. Part one is an interview. This is where the

examiner will take turns to ask you a question, and then your partner a question, then you

a question. And it's general topics. You'll need to just give your opinions and give short

answers on some different things. Not too hard.

Part two of the speaking test is the long-turn. This is where you need to speak for one minute-yeah,

one minute-just by yourself. So, you're given a question by the examiner and you need to

speak for one minute continuously. If you just stop speaking, there'll be silence for

one minute. Sometimes people find this really hard because they're not used to just speaking

by themselves for an extended period of time. One minute sounds short, but if you haven't

practiced it, sometimes it's quite hard to do. So, I really advise you to practice a

little bit by yourself speaking for one minute, just so you get used to it, you get a feel

of how long one minute actually is.

To do this, you're given some photographs. There's two to five photographs, and there's

a question based on those photographs. So, you have something visual. You also get some

timeA short amount of time to prepare before you have to speak.

Part three of the speaking test is the collaborative task. You and your partner do this part of

the test together because the exam is looking at your ability to not just speak English,

but your ability as a communicator in English; someone who can ask questions to other people

and receive information. So, someone who can exchange and interact with other speakers

as well. Again, you get some photographs. And here, you need to speak to your partner

and propose a solution to a problem. So, you haveYou have to have a little talk, and

at the end, you have to say: "Oh, that's a great idea. Let's do whatever", blah, blah,

blah. You need to compromise or reach a decision together. That's the whole point of this part

of the speaking test.

And then in part four, you have a discussion. It's you, and your partner, and the examiner.

The examiner asks you questions. And in this part, the questions are related to what you've

already been talking about, except that nowNow is the time for you to express your opinions

more. Okay? So you need to be more forthright. And yeah, you can have a little discussion

all together. And this part of the test will be around four minutes long. And all together,

that makes it nearly 15 minutes.

So, there is a detailed survey of all the parts of the test. Remember: there are five

parts of the test now, but there will be four parts 2015 onwards. Yes, so make sure you

prepare for your exam, like all exams.

And if you want to take this a little bit further, go to the engVid website and do the

quiz, so you can make sure that you really know what to expect on the exam. And, what

else do I say? Oh, yes, please subscribe. If you want to learn English with me in the

future, please subscribe. And yeah, I'm finished. So, good luck on your test. See ya later.