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How does the old CAE exam compare to the new revised CAE exam format - 2015 ?

What follows is a brief summary of the differences between the Writing sections of the old and the new exams. Suitable for both teachers of English and future CAE exam takers (after January 2015).

New revised CAE exam format 2015 Writing paper


In both exams the Writing Paper lasts 1h 30 minutes and consists of two parts.There are, however, significant differences.



In Part 1 condidates had input information of about 150 words. They were supposed to write a letter, report, proposal or article. Required number of words : 180 - 220.


There is only one type of task. Candidates have to write an ESSAY with a discursive focus. It is based on two points from the input text. They have to explain which of them is more important and give reasons for their opinion.
Unlike in the old format, the number of words is the same for both tasks: 220 - 260 words.



In the old exam candidates had to select a task from a choice of five, which could include an article, competition entry, essay, letter, proposal, report, review, information sheet or a contribution to a longer piece. Question 5 was based on set texts.


The new Part 2 consists of three tasks, from which the candidates must choose one. It may include any of the following: a letter / e-mail, proposal, report or review. The number of words is 220 – 260.
Each question of the writing paper carries equal marks.

NOTE!!! As you can see, the emphasis in the new format is on writing an ESSAY. On our site you can find numerous examples of high-grade essays on all sorts of topics. Stay tuned and look forward to our special tips on how to write a good essay (FCE and CAE).

Dear friends, we are looking forward to your comments below!

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