New Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE) as of March 2013: specifications and handbook for teachers are now available!


In 2013 Cambridge ESOL will be introducing a new revised version of the Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE) exam. This new version is the result of a comprehensive review of the exam completed over a number of years.

Exam content and processing
The updated exam is comprised of four papers: Reading and Use of English, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

It is shorter than the previous examination by approximately 2 hours. Each of the four papers carries 25% of the total marks. The overall focus of each paper is as follows.

  • Reading and Use of English: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Candidates need to be able to understand texts from publications such as fiction and non-fiction books, journals, newspapers and magazines.

  • Writing: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Candidates have to show that they can produce two different pieces of writing: a compulsory one in Part 1, and one from a choice of five in Part 2.

  • Listening: 40 minutes
    Candidates need to show they can understand the meaning of a range of spoken material, including conversations, lectures, seminars, broadcasts and talks.

  • Speaking: 16 minutes
    Candidates take the Speaking Test with another candidate or in a group of three, and are tested on their ability to take part in different types of interaction: with the examiner, with the other candidate and by themselves.

To see the new specifications for the exam, sample papers and sample listening materials, follow the links below:

   New test specifications and sample papers

   Listening test sample materials (MP3 38.29Mb)

   CPE handbook for teachers

Source: Cambridge ESOL UK


Key changes at a glance:

These are the key changes to the Cambridge English Proficiency examination that will be introduced in March 2013:

  • Cambridge English: Proficiency will have four papers instead of five. While the knowledge assessed in the current Use of English paper is assessed across all four papers in the new exam, many of the tasks have been retained in modified formats in the Reading and Use of English paper.

  • The new Cambridge English: Proficiency exam will be shorter than the previous examination by approximately 2 hours. However, careful exam design means that Cambridge English: Proficiency still assesses at exactly the same high level, retains all of the language and skills coverage as the current exam, and introduces new tasks and testing focuses in each of the written papers.

  • From 2013 candidates will be able to choose to take Cambridge English Proficiency as either a paper-based or computer-based exam. This will offer candidates more choice about how they take their exam and introduce more exam dates.

webdesign winterthur: indyaner media gmbh