5 Business English speaking activities
- Tips & Strategies
C2 Proficiency is the highest-level language exam from Cambridge. This certificate will confirm your C2 level if you gain the minimum score or higher. It may be a tough nut to crack, but it’s definitely a valuable qualification for any ESL teacher!
The CPE format is very similar to C1 Advanced (CAE), so if you’ve got experience taking CAE, the preparation for CPE won’t be very challenging. Yet, don’t worry if it’s your first Cambridge exam: much like in others, your English level matters more. But it’s always a good idea to be aware of the format and exam strategies, which will significantly increase your chances of getting the desired certificate.
This will be the introduction to the structure of CPE as well as useful tips and strategies you may want to try out in order to ace the exam.
Time: 90 mins
This paper, so similar to CAE, however, consists of 7 parts (not 8):
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The difference from CAE is that there is no Cross Text Multiple Matching (Part 6 in CAE).
Time: 90 mins
Similarly to CAE, Writing consists of two parts, one of which is a compulsory essay (Part 1). However, in CPE essay the candidates are expected to summarise and evaluate the key points from two short texts as well as include their own views on the topic. Also, the word limit for the essay is increased: 240 — 280 words.
Part 2 provides four tasks to choose from, which could be: an article, a letter, a report, and a review. The word limit is extended to 280 — 320 words.
There is also a new task in CPE Paper 2 based on the set reading texts. This part is also divided into two parts (5a and 5b) and could be one of these formats: an article, an essay, a report, or a review. Mind that if you’re going for task 5, you’re expected to demonstrate good knowledge of the chosen text, its themes, characters, and relationships, so it will be a good idea to either read it in advance or watch its film version before the exam.
The texts for the period from January 2022 to December 2023 are Northanger Abbey by J. Austen and Us by D. Nicholls.
Yet, it’s worth mentioning that according to Cambridge, set texts will be removed from the exam starting from January 2024.
Time: 40 mins
Like CAE Paper 3, it consists of four parts:
Time: 16 mins
Like all the Cambridge language exams, it is done with two or three candidates and two examiners. There are three parts:
More information about C2 Proficiency can be found here.
I also highly recommend doing more research on exam format and strategies, which can be found in the Cambridge handbook for teachers alongside exam samples:
Keep practising and believe in yourself. Good luck!
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