B2 First (FCE)

About B2 First (FCE)

B2 First, formerly known as Cambridge English: First (FCE), is one of our Cambridge English Qualifications. It is our most popular exam, accepted by thousands of businesses and educational institutions worldwide.

A B2 First qualification proves you have the language skills to live and work independently in an English-speaking country or study on courses taught in English.

This exam is the logical step in your language learning journey between B1 Preliminary and C1 Advanced.

B2 First including B2 First (FCE) or B2 First for Schools (FCEfS). The two tests share the same format and measure the same language level. B2 First for Schools has content and topics relevant to the interests and knowledge of students at school. Therefore, B2 First for Schools is suitable for students of school age.

B2 First (FCE) exam format

B2 First is a test of all areas of language ability.

The updated exam (for exam sessions from January 2015) is made up of four papers developed to test your English language skills. You can see exactly what’s in each paper below.

The Speaking test is taken face to face, with two candidates and two examiners. This creates a more realistic and reliable measure of your ability to use English to communicate.

Paper Content Purpose
Reading and Use of English (1 hour 15 minutes)
See sample paper
7 parts/52 questions Shows you can deal confidently with different types of text, such as fiction, newspapers and magazines. Tests your use of English with tasks that show how well you can control your grammar and vocabulary.
(1 hour 20 minutes)
See sample paper
2 parts Requires you to be able to produce two different pieces of writing, such as letters, reports, reviews and essays.
(about 40 minutes)
See sample paper
4 parts/30 questions Requires you to be able to follow and understand a range of spoken materials, such as news programmes, presentations and everyday conversations.
(14 minutes per pair of candidates)
See sample paper
4 parts Tests your ability to communicate effectively in face to face situations. You will take the Speaking test with one or two other candidates.

Reading and Use of English

The B2 First Reading and Use of English paper is in seven parts and has a mix of text types and questions.

For Parts 1 to 4, you read a range of texts and do grammar and vocabulary tasks.

For Parts 5 to 7, you read a series of texts and answer questions that test your reading ability and show that you can deal with a variety of different types of texts.

Time allowed: 1 hour 15 minutes
Number of parts: 7
Number of questions: 52
Length of texts: About 2,200 words to read in total.
Texts may be from: Newspapers and magazines, journals, books (fiction and non-fiction), promotional and informational material.


Section What’s in the part? What do I have to practise? How many questions are there? How many marks are there?
Part 1 (Multiple-choice cloze)


A text with some multiple-choice questions. Each question has four options (A, B, C or D) – you have to decide which is the correct answer. Vocabulary – idioms, collocations, shades of meaning, phrasal verbs, fixed phrases etc. 8 1 mark for each correct answer.
Part 2

(Open cloze)


A text in which there are some gaps, each of which represents one missing word. You have to think of the correct word for each gap. Grammar and vocabulary. 8 1 mark for each correct answer.
Part 3

(Word formation)


A text containing eight gaps. Each gap represents a word. At the end of the line is a ‘prompt’ word which you have to change in some way to complete the sentence correctly. Vocabulary. 8 1 mark for each correct answer.
Part 4

(Key word transformations)

Each question consists of a sentence followed by a ‘key’ word and a second sentence with a gap in the middle. You have to use this key word to complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence. Grammar and vocabulary. 6 Up to 2 marks for each correct answer.
Part 5

(Multiple choice)


A text with some multiple-choice questions. For each question, there are four options and you have to choose A, B, C or D. Reading for detail, opinion, tone, purpose, main idea, implication, attitude. 6 2 marks for each correct answer.
Part 6

(Gapped text)

A single page of text with some numbered gaps which represent missing sentences. After the text there are some sentences which are not in the right order. You have to read the text and the sentences and decide which sentence best fits each gap. How to understand the structure and development of a text. 6 2 marks for each correct answer.
Part 7

(Multiple matching)


A series of statements followed by a text divided into sections or several short texts. You have to match each statement to the section or text in which you can find the information. Reading for specific information, detail, opinion and attitude. 10 1 mark for each correct answer.


In the two parts of the B2 First Writing paper, you have to show that you can write different types of text in English.

Time allowed: 1 hour 20 minutes
Number of parts: 2
Number of questions: Part 1: one compulsory question, Part 2: one question from a choice of three
Types of task: Articles, email, essay, letter, report, review.


Section What’s in the Part? What do I have to practise? How many questions are there? How much do I have to write?
Part 1 (Compulsory question)


You’re given an essay title and two ideas clearly linked to the title. You write an essay giving your opinions about the title, using the ideas given. You must also add a third, different idea of your own linked to the title. The title will be a subject of general interest – you won’t need any specialised knowledge. Using language functions, such as evaluating, expressing opinions, hypothesising, justifying, persuading. One compulsory question. 140–190 words
Part 2 (Situationally based writing task)


You write a text from a choice of text types – article, email/letter, report or review. To guide your writing, you’ll be given information about context, topic purpose and target reader. Writing different types of text that could be included in the exam. One task to be selected from a choice of three. 140–190 words


The B2 First Listening paper has four parts. For each part you have to listen to a recorded text or texts and answer some questions. You hear each recording twice.

Time allowed: About 40 minutes
Number of parts: 4
Number of questions: 30
Recordings may be from: Monologues: answer phone messages, radio broadcasts and features, news, public announcements, stories and anecdotes, lectures and talks; or interacting speakers: conversations, interviews, discussions, radio plays.


Section What’s in the part? What do I have to practise? How many questions are there? How many marks are there?
Part 1 (Multiple choice) Eight short extracts from monologues or conversations between interacting speakers. There is one multiple-choice question for each extract, and you have to choose A, B or C. Listening for feeling, attitude, opinion, purpose, function, agreement, gist and detail. 8 1 mark for each correct answer.
Part 2 (Sentence completion)


A monologue (which may be introduced by a presenter) lasting approximately 3 minutes. You have to complete the sentences on the question paper with the missing information which you hear on the recording. Listening for specific information, stated opinion. 10 1 mark for each correct answer.
Part 3 (Multiple matching)


A series of five themed monologues of approximately 30 seconds each. On the question paper, you have to select five correct options from a list of eight possible answers. Listening for gist, attitude, opinion, purpose, feeling, main points and detail. 5 1 mark for each correct answer.
Part 4 (Multiple choice)



A conversation between two or more speakers of approximately 3–4 minutes. You have to answer some multiple-choice questions by choosing the correct answer from three options (A, B or C). Listening for attitude, opinion, detail, gist, main idea and specific information. 7 1 mark for each correct answer.


The B2 First Speaking test has four parts and you take it together with another candidate.

There are two examiners. One of the examiners asks you questions and gives you the booklet with things to talk about. The other examiner listens to what you say.

Time allowed: 14 minutes per pair of candidates
Number of parts: 4
You have to talk: with the examiner
with the other candidate
on your own


Section What’s in the part? What do I have to practise? How long do I have to speak?
Part 1 (Interview)


Conversation with the examiner. The examiner asks questions and you may have to give information about your interests, studies, career, etc. Giving information about yourself and expressing your opinion about various topics. 2 minutes
Part 2 (Long turn)


The examiner gives you two photographs and asks you to talk about them. You have to speak for 1 minute without interruption and the interlocutor then asks the other candidate to comment on your photographs for about 30 seconds.
The other candidate receives a different set of photographs and you have to listen and comment when they have finished speaking. The question you have to answer about your photographs is written at the top of the page to remind you what you should talk about.
Talking on your own about something: comparing, describing, expressing opinions, speculating. 1 minute per candidate
Part 3 (Collaborative task)


Conversation with the other candidate. The examiner gives you some material and a task to do. You have to talk with the other candidate and make a decision. Exchanging ideas, expressing and justifying opinions, agreeing and/or disagreeing, suggesting, speculating, evaluating, reaching a decision through negotiation, etc. 3 minutes (a 2-minute discussion followed by a 1-minute decision-making task)
Part 4 (Discussion)


Further discussion with the other candidate, guided by questions from the examiner, about the topics or issues raised in the task in Part 3. Expressing and justifying opinions, agreeing and/or disagreeing. 4 minutes

B2 First (FCE) resutls

Cambridge English Scale Score/CEFR CEFR Levels
180–190 Grade A C1
173–179 Grade B B2
160–172 Grade C B2
140–159 Level B1 B1

The test measures level B2 according to the CEFR Framework. The test is reliable at the upper level B2 (Level C1) and the lower level (Level B1).

Scores between 122 and 139 are also reported at the B2 First level. Candidates will not receive a certificate, but the Cambridge English Scale is shown on the Test Results Report.

Chứng chỉ mẫu B2 First

B2 First (FCE) sample test

B2 First (FCE) sample test


B2 First for Schools (FCEfS) sample test


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