The Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English is the certificate for really advanced English speakers and it is also the most difficult examination of the University of Cambridge. The aim group of the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English is for those persons, who are not native speakers but need a certificate that proves that they are able to communicate stylistically in almost every situation without making mistakes. The CPE is accepted by some universities but not by all, that is why we recommend you to ask at the organization where you want to study if it is accepted. The CPE corresponds to the level C2.
The Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency CPE is divided into five parts: *** The first part (90 minutes) is a reading comprehension: it would be examined if the candidate is able to understand literary writings and specialized texts from books, magazines, newspapers, etc. The candidate must understand the general content of the text as well as the details (vocabulary, idioms, the structure of the phrases). He should understand and interpret the implicit statements and the intention of the author. Moreover, the candidate has to comprehend the structure of the text, as well as the development of ideas, opinions, and arguments.*** In the second part of the CPE (writing 120 minutes) the candidate will have to write two texts (300 to 250 words per text) about two general themes. These texts can be letters, essays, reports, articles, etc. *** In the third part of the CPE (structures and vocabulary, 90 minutes) the candidate has to show his mastery of the language system on the basis of vocabulary, content, and syntax. Some examples of possible exercises are cloze tests, word formation, comprehension questions and the production of summaries. *** In the fourth part (listening comprehension, 40 minutes) you will listen to a text, an interview, a discussion, lectures, etc and you have to demonstrate that you can understand the content of the listening and also recognize certain information and the intention of the author. *** The last part of the CPE is an oral examination (5 to 20 minutes) divided into three parts: an interview and an exercise that you have to do with another candidate, and a speech with subsequent questions. We recommend only really advanced English speakers to take the CPE. It is really advisable to take a preparatory course before taking the exam. Throughout the year there are several dates for taking this exam so that you can choose the duration of the course.