Explore Courses

Cambridge English Test: Complete Guide

Updated on 12 September, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

The importance and prestige of the Cambridge English test can be evaluated by the fact that over 25000 universities, governments, and employers recognize this test for study, work, and migration purposes. The Cambridge English Test is an in-depth examination conducted to assess people's English proficiency. By this test, you can certify the level of your skills in the English language.

Either to move to a new country or get into a foreign university, having a Cambridge English test certificate in your hand is a bonus point. There are different exams curated for people of all age groups. The test assesses the top 4 skills - reading, writing, listening, and speaking. 

Using this suite of exams, you can achieve your English certification, each of which is accompanied by a test-specific certificate that is valid for life. Different English levels are tested in each Cambridge exam, so you must select the one that matches your proficiency level first. 

Cambridge exams are frequently offered at every grade level, then at a higher level a few years later, and finally at an even higher level near graduation. A student is building a portfolio of certifications by signing up for Cambridge English exams. The test duration is between 1 hour and 49 minutes to 3 hours and 56 minutes, depending upon the test level. Schools and other institutions especially appreciate the Cambridge exam suite of certifications because of its design. 

Cambridge English Test Latest News

The exam dates for the Cambridge English Test 2023 vary according to the level. For the Young English Learner (YLE), the written exam date is between 25 February 2023 to 17 June 2023. And for the A2 level, the exam dates are between 15 October 2023 to 25 November 2023.

Types of Cambridge English Test 

To further grasp the concept of the Cambridge English Tests, you need to be fully aware of its levels. Following is a list of the types of Cambridge English Tests:

  • Young Learners (YLE): Pre A1 starters, A1 Movers and A2 flyers 

This three-fold test is curated for children between the ages of 7-12 and is the best way for them to gain more confidence and proficiency in the English Language. The Pre A1 starter is the first of the YLE tests. This test applies to those who have 100 hours of English lessons. The second test, A1 Movers, applies to those with 175 hours of English lessons, allowing the students to communicate in English daily. The A2 FLyers level is the highest category; they can communicate in basic English. 

  • A2 Key for schools 

This level qualifies you to communicate in basic English in your day-to-day situations. And it further prepares you for appearing in the higher levels of the Cambridge English test. If you have done 250 hours of study and can read and understand basic English, then you can appear for this level. 

  • B1 Preliminary (PET) for schools 

This level qualifies you to communicate while traveling and talking in English. It is for 2 hours, in which 1 hour and 30 minutes are dedicated to Reading and writing, 30 minutes to Listening, and 10 minutes to Speaking. 

  • B2 First (FCE)

This level proves your qualification that you can work and study in an English-speaking environment. This level is mandatory if you want to work in an English-speaking country or take a course. 

  • C1 (Advanced)

This level qualifies you in having a high standard of English, that of a professional. With this level, you can prove that you can confidently communicate in English at a high academic level. 

  • C2 (Proficiency)

By earning this qualification, you demonstrate a high level of English proficiency and can efficiently use it in a range of academic, professional, and research contexts. In Cambridge English, this qualification is at the top of the range.

Tips for Effective Cambridge Exam Preparation

To ace your Cambridge English Test and prove your English efficiency, the following are a few tips that you can follow:

  • Practicing your English is the first and foremost thing you should consider. You can take up online activities for reading and writing that will help you enhance your vocabulary and grammar. 
  • You can also use flow charts and diagrams to get in-depth knowledge.
  • Taking the help of the previous year's papers and exam questions is also advisable. 

Cambridge English Test Books

  • A1 Movers 3 Student's Book 
  • C1 Advanced: CAE Cambridge English Exam 
  • C1 Advances Practice tests 
  • Cambridge English Qualifications: B2 First Volume 1 Practice Tests Plus 
  • Cambridge English Qualifications: B1 Preliminary Practice Tests Plus 
  • Cambridge English Qualifications: A2 Key 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Cambridge English exam hard?

Due to being a compilation of several tests at different levels, the Cambridge English test is considered as the most difficult test. However, with proper preparation, one can achieve a good score. 

What are the passing marks for the A2 level in Cambridge English Test?

For the A2 level in Cambridge English Test, the minimum score is between the range of 120 and 139

Is the Cambridge certificate useful?

Yes, the Cambridge certificate is useful. You can take this test to get admission to renowned universities like Harvard and MIT and showcase your language aptitude. 

Who accepts Cambridge exams?

The Cambridge exam is recognized in over 25000 educational institutions, governments and employers for education, work, and migration purposes, including in all major economies such as the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, Europe, and others.

Is there negative marking in Cambridge?

No, there is no negative marking in the Cambridge English Test. You get marks for the right answers and no marks for the wrong answers. It is thus recommended that you attempt all answers as there is no negative marking.

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

See More

Important Exams To Study Abroad

IELTS ExamGRE ExamGMAT ExamTOEFL ExamSAT ExamDuolingo ExamACT ExamUSMLE Exam

Talk To Our Counsellor


Refer Your Friend & Earn upto ₹15000

Help your friend upgrade to a Global Career and earn rewards together.



IELTS Sample Essay

IELTS Cue Card

IELTS Reading Answer



The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.