The Certificate in Advanced English or CAE is an advanced level certification, which is provided by the University of Cambridge and is recognized by many organizations, universities, and governments. CAE is also known as Cambridge English: Advanced and is set at the second-highest level, C1, which is suitable for candidates seeking highly professional and academic positions.
The test itself has five parts, each one of them carrying equal weight – reading, writing, use of English, listening, and speaking. The part with the shortest duration is speaking (15 minutes) and the part with the longest duration is writing (90 minutes), and three pass grades are awarded to the candidates that successfully pass the test – A, B, and C. Grade C is awarded to candidates that have passed with 60% to 74%, grade B to candidates that have achieved 75% to 79%, and the highest, grade A is awarded for 80% and above.
The test is developed by Cambridge ESOL and is ideal for prospects that wish to pursue academic courses at universities, apply for managerial positions, or are involved in research. Amongst the academic institutions that recognize the Certificate in Advanced English are the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, California Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, University of Toronto, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Some of the large business organizations that use CAE are Bosh, DHL, IBM, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Sony.
The majority of the candidates prepare for the test by attending various courses, offered by certain schools in the UK and in various other countries, but preparing on one’s own is perfectly acceptable as well. The official website contains invaluable information, resources, and offers free handbook and sample papers for download. Purchasing course books and passing test papers directly from the Cambridge ESOL‘s website or a local bookstore, borrowing such books from a local library, is an excellent way to start, and so is getting online and visiting some of the Cambridge exam preparation websites.