Full name: Certificate of Proficiency in English
Exam Board: Cambridge ESOL British English
CEF Level: C2


CPE is the highest level of Cambridge ESOL exam. Its high standard recognises an extremely advanced grasp of English.



Paper 1
1hr 30 mins

Part 1 3 short texts with 6 multiple-choice cloze questions on each
Part 2 4 short texts with 2 multiple-choice questions on each
Part 3 Gapped text with 7 questions
Part 4 Long text with 7 multiple-matching questions
Paper 2
2 hrs

Part 1 One compulsory question
Part 2 One question out of a choice of four (including set text option)
Candidates are expected to write texts such as an article, an essay, an email, a report, a review or a short story. The writing may refer to one of the two set texts.
Paper 3
Use of English
1 hr 30 mins

Part 1 Modified open cloze with 15 questions
Part 2 One short text with 10 word formation questions
Part 3 6 sets of 3 gapped sentences
Part 4 8 word key transformations
Part 5 2 texts with 4 questions and a summery writing task
Paper 4
40 mins

Part 1 4 short extracts with 2 multiple-choice question on each
Part 2 1 long text with 9 sentence completion  questions
Part 3 1 long text with 5 multiple-choice questions
Part 4 1 long text with 6 matching questions
Paper 5
19 mins per pair of candidates

3 parts Interview, collaborative task, individual long turns and follow-up discussion


  • •    All papers are equally weighted and the total score is 200.
  • •    Results are given as A, B or C for a pass, and D or E for a fail. These grades are set according to statistics of candidature, success rates, examiner advice/recommendations, and comparison with the previous year.

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