There are several benefits in taking such an internationally recognised examination. Firstly, you’ll find that preparing for an exam increases your motivation for studying and you are forced to improve your accuracy in the language and get rid of your basic errors.

Another thing you’ll find is that your vocabulary increases dramatically as you are expected to be able to deal with a wide range of different topics in English. You will also be able to develop your reading and writing skills to a higher level. Last but not least, you receive an international certificate which officially recognises your current level of English. You can feel really proud of your achievement, and more importantly add this qualification to your CV so that future employers have direct proof of your abilities in English. If you wish to work abroad or with colleagues from other countries this is a good examination for you. You will be able to use all the English language you learned especially for the exam in a wide variety of situations after you sit the exam.

Should I prepare for FCE on my own or with a teacher?

You can prepare for the First Certificate on your own with one of the many self-study courses available, see our Learning Centre for FCE study tips and exercises. But studying with a teacher in a small group is much more efficient and fun. It is also more motivating to study with other people, you are less likely to give up if you have other students who can discuss the exam with. Your teacher can advise and support you in all areas of the exam as well as correcting your mistakes and extending your language appropriately. On your own it can be difficult to know exactly what to study and why you make the mistakes you do.

What is the level and format of the FCE exam?

The Cambridge First Certificate examination format consists of 5 papers: Reading, Writing, Use of English, Listening and Speaking.

The level of the FCE examination is B2 on the CEFR framework (or upper-intermediate). Students who have a reasonable foundation in English will benefit from an intensive preparation course for the First Certificate exam.

Where can I find an FCE preparation course?

There are many courses available all over the world. The best way to prepare is to do an intensive FCE preparation course in an English speaking country where you are surrounded by English every day. ECS Scotland’s First Certificate course helps students to achieve success in the examination by combining development in overall general English as well as focusing specifically on skills and strategies for the examination.