How to Pass the Cambridge B2 First (and C1) – Part 1

Cambridge Exams Tips

How to Pass the Cambridge B2 First (and C1) – Part 1

Cambridge B2 First and C1 Advanced Exams – Exam Day Tips

Gill Brownlow from The Cambridge Exam Centre ACEIPA

Cambridge Exams

Cambridge exams started in 1913 with the proficiency exam and now there are the following levels:

  • A1 Young Learners Exams
  • A2 Key (also for schools)
  • B1 Preliminary (also for schools)
  • B2 First (also for schools)
  • C1 Advanced
  • C2 Proficiency

For schools exams are the same level as the normal exams and the certificate is the same.

Parts of the Exam

There are 4 papers in the exam.

  • Paper 1: Use of English and Reading 1hour 15minutes

10 minute break

  • Paper 2: Writing 1hour 20 minutes

30 minute break

  • Paper 3: Listening 40 minutes
  • Paper 4: Speaking 15 minutes   –  Another time, maybe on the same day in the afternoon, maybe in another place

Usually the exams start at 9.30am and finish at 1.30pm and then the speaking exam may be on the same day in the afternoon or another day and , maybe in another place

Computer-based Exam or Paper-based Exam

Computer-based exams are on different dates to the paper based exams.  The format, the structure, the timing are exactly the same in the two types of exam.  In the computer exam you use headphones in the listening and you can control the volume.  The results from the computer-based are ready within 2 weeks and it takes 6 weeks for the results of the paper-based exams to come back.


You can register in language schools.  In Asturias you can register at the ACEIPA offices or online (links) or with Expert English.  In 2018 it costs 189€. We advise people to take the exam when your teacher believes you’re ready.  It is important to do exam preparation to make sure you’re ready for the exam.

Quiz – What can you take into the exam?

Listen and tick the things you can take into the exam room.

  • A pen
  • Coloured pencils (and highlighters)
  • A phone
  • Statement of Entry
  • A dictionary
  • A banana
  • A pencil sharpener
  • A lucky statue of a monkey eating a banana
  • Your mum to hold your hand
  • School bag
  • A bottle of water
  • Photo ID
  • Birthday cake wrapped in a tissue
  • A native friend
  • Glasses
  • Calculator
  • Jacket
  • Medicine
  • Tissues

Exam Day Tips

  1. Take some food.
  2. Check the exam date and the address.
  3. Take valid photo ID (passport or DNI).
  4. Listen carefully to the instructions.
  5. If you have a problem raise your hand and an invigilator will help you.
  6. You can write on the question paper but remember to transfer answer to the answer paper.

More information and sample exams

More tips for Cambridge Exams

ACEIPA Exam Centre Website