Cambridge CPE - Certificate of Proficiency in English

What is CPE?

Cambridge English: Proficiency, commonly known as Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) is the most advanced exam, and is for learners who have achieved an extremely high level of skill in the English language.

The Cambridge English: Proficiency exam uses real-life situations that are especially designed to help you communicate more effectively and learn the language skills you need.

Who is CPE for?

Cambridge English: Proficiency is set at Level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. C2 is the level of English needed to

It shows that you are highly fluent in English.

For example, at C2 level typical users can be expected to

Why choose CPE?

Cambridge English: Proficiency is a truly international exam, recognised by thousands of employers globally as a qualification demonstrating an exceptional level of English.

Companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Siemens and Bosch all recognise the value of Cambridge English: Proficiency in their overseas offices.

It is also accepted by a wide range of educational institutions for study purposes. The UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) now allows students applying to UK universities for 2011 to gain UCAS Tariff points by achieving certain grades in Cambridge English: Proficiency. For more information visit

The exam

1. Reading - 1 hour 30 minutes

You will need to demonstrate ability to read and understand the meaning of written English at word, sentence, paragraph and whole text level.

2. Writing - 2 hours

You will have to produce a number of different pieces of writing such as a short story, a letter, an article, a report, a review or an essay, each of about 300-350 words.

3. Use of English - 1 hour 30 minutes

You will be tested on how well you control your grammar and vocabulary, and how well you can summarise information.

4. Listening - 40 minutes (approx)

You will need to show you can understand the meaning of a range of spoken material, including lectures, news programmes and public announcements.

5. Speaking - 19 minutes

You will take the Speaking test with one or two other candidates, and you will be required to demonstrate different types of speaking, including by yourself and in discussion with the examiner and other candidates.

How to proceed further?

When you contact ILSF you will be given sound advice. Our expert team can also give you information about dates and locations of future tests.

Most participants take preparation courses, before they apply for the test, but this is not mandatory.