Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 9

CA MBRI D GE

EXAMI N ATI O N S, CERTI FI CATES & DI PLO MAS


English as a
Foreign Language
CPE
CERTI FI CATE OF
PROFI CI ENCY I N ENGLI SH
Revised CPE Specifications
and Sample Papers
F
I
R
S
T

A
D
M
I
N
I
S
T
R
A
T
I
O
N
D
E
C
E
M
B
E
R

2
0
0
2
PREFACE
This booklet contains Specifications and Sample Papers for
the revised CPEexamination, which is to be introduced for
the first time in December 2002.
Further information on the revised examination will be
issued in the form of:
an informational video which will be available late in
the year 2000
regular up-date bulletins
a comprehensive CPE examination handbook
containing an additional set of sample papers
an extensive programme of seminars and conference
presentations
If you require a cassette instead of a CD, additional CDs or
further copies of this booklet, please contact:
email: efl@ucles.org.uk
(or see page 82 for further details)
UCLES 2000
Page 1
CONTENTS
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
The Aims of the Revision of CPE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
The Process of the Revision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Background to the Revised CPE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
The Level of the Revised CPE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Recognition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
The CPE Candidature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
General Information on Examination Content and Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Factors Affecting the Design of the Revised Examination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Topics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Marks and Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Administrative Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Revised CPE Content: An Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
UCLES 2000
I NTRODUCTI ON
The Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) was originally
offered in 1913. Regular updating has allowed the
examination to keep pace with changes in language teaching
and testing. The last major revision of CPE took place in
1984 at the same time as FCE was revised. Following the
successful introduction of CAE in 1991 and the revised FCE
in 1996, and in the light of feedback received, it was
decided to proceed with the revision of CPE.
This booklet gives information on the outcome of the
revision project. The revised exam will be introduced from
December 2002.
The Aims of the Revision of CPE
CPE has been revised in order to:
reflect developments in the field of language teaching
and learning
reflect developments in UCLES main suite, e.g. the
introduction of CAE and the revision of FCE
take account of information about candidates gained
through the Candidate Information Sheets completed
by all candidates at each administration of the
examination
ensure a thoroughly validated examination
define specific test focus for each part of each paper
The Process of the Revision
The CPE revision has included the following main stages:
1. Data collection, e.g. market information including
survey questionnaires sent to candidates, teachers, oral
examiners and examination administrators; information
on candidates collected on Candidate Information
Sheets.
2. The development of examination specifications,
including the development of the test construct, test
content and the definition of the test foci; the
production, editing and trialling of draft task types and
materials; the development and trialling of assessment
criteria and research into the validity and reliability of
the material and assessment procedures.
3. The production of examination support materials,
including public specifications, training materials for
writers of examination materials and examiners and
seminars for teachers.
Throughout the project, UCLES has gathered feedback on its
proposals for the examination by holding meetings with
representatives of key EFL organisations and English
language specialists and by holding consultative seminars
with teachers and Directors of Studies. During trialling,
teachers and students have been asked to complete
questionnaires on trial materials.
BACKGROUND TO THE REVI SED CPE
The Level of the Revised CPE
The revised CPE will measure the same level of general
language ability as the current CPE and to the same
standards.
The CPE examination contains some tasks which are likely to
be more suitable in content for candidates who have
achieved a certain degree of maturity in their handling of
abstract ideas and concepts.
As well as being at Cambridge Level Five, CPE has also been
placed at Level Five on the Association of Language Testers
in Europe (ALTE) Framework. The ALTE Framework is one
example of the way in which the Council of Europe
Common European Framework has been put into practice
and ALTE Level Five can be seen as corresponding to
Mastery in the Council of Europe Framework. A brief
description of ALTE Level Five is given below. This
description is not a specification for the examination
content, but refers to language activities in real-world, non-
examination contexts.
ALTE Level Five
At this level the learner is approaching the linguistic
competence of an educated native speaker, and is able to
use the language in a wide range of culturally appropriate
ways. Users at this level are able to improve their use of the
language by extending their vocabulary and refining their
usage and command of style and register rather than by
learning about new areas of grammar. Their level of
competence gives them access to the press and other media,
and to areas of the culture such as drama, film and literature.
Success in examinations at this level may be seen as proof
that the learner is able to cope with high level academic
work.
The ALTE Can Do Project
ALTE is producing a series of Can Do statements which
describe what language users are actually able to do in a
particular language. These statements are going through a
thorough validation process, in order to place them correctly
on the five levels of the ALTE Framework.
There are approximately four hundred statements, which are
divided into three main subject areas: Social & Tourist, Work
and Study. Within each subject area there are sets of
statements relating to separate skills: Listening & Speaking,
Reading and Writing. It is proposed to publish full sets of the
Can Do statements in 2001.
Page 2 UCLES 2000
Recognition
CPE is recognised by the majority of British universities for
English language entrance requirements. These are listed in a
leaflet Universities and Colleges in Britain available from
UCLES. It is also widely recognised throughout the world by
universities, institutes of higher education, professional
bodies and in commerce and industry as an indication of a
very high level of competence in English. More information
about recognition of the examination is available at
www.cambridge-efl.org/recog or from UCLES and
examination centres.
The CPE Candidature
Information is collected about CPE candidates at each
session, when candidates fill in a Candidate Information
Sheet. The candidates for CPE come from a wide range of
backgrounds and take the examination for a number of
different reasons. The following points summarise the
characteristics of the current CPE candidature.
Nationality Candidates from about 90 countries are
represented in the CPE population. The majority of candidates
who enter for the examination are European. Germany,
Greece, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK account for
almost 85% of all candidates. Brazil and Argentina are other
leading countries. Not all candidates take CPE in their own
country. Many take it in Britain, so the UK population is made
up of a considerable number of nationalities.
Age and Gender Approximately 70% of the total candidate
population is female. Most CPE candidates are in their late
teenage years or early 20s. Almost 75% of all candidates are
25 years of age or under. Only around 5% of the
candidature is 31 years of age or over. Some countries have
a narrow age range. Greece and Portugal, for example, have
a younger CPE population than most countries with almost
60% of candidates between 16 and 20 years of age.
Education Most CPE candidates have studied English for at
least 5 years, with approximately 40% of the candidature
indicating that they have studied the language for 9 years or
more. Over half of all candidates are educated to secondary
level up to the age of 19 and another quarter have
completed further education to degree level or equivalent.
The most frequent reason for candidates wanting an English
language qualification is for work in their own country.
Other reasons include work in another country and further
study.
Preparation Around 85% of all candidates undertake
preparatory courses before the exam. Many candidates have
taken other Cambridge examinations before. The most
popular is FCE followed by CAE.
Page 3
Listening/Speaking Reading Writing
Level summary CAN advise on or talk about CAN understand documents, CAN write letters on any
complex or sensitive issues, correspondence and reports, subject and full notes of
understanding colloquial including the finer points of meetings or seminars with
references and dealing complex texts. good expression and
confidently with hostile accuracy.
questions.
Social & Tourist CAN talk about complex or CAN (for example when looking CAN write letters on any
statements summary sensitive issues without for accommodation) understand subject with good
awkwardness. a tenancy agreement in detail, expression and accuracy.
including its main implications.
Work statements CAN advise on/handle complex, CAN understand reports and CAN make full and
summary delicate or contentious issues, articles likely to be encountered accurate notes and
such as legal or financial during his/her work, including continue to participate
matters, to the extent that he/she complex ideas expressed in in a meeting or seminar.
has the necessary specialist complex language.
knowledge.
Study statements CAN understand colloquial CAN access all sources of CAN make accurate and
summary asides and cultural allusions. information quickly and complete notes during
reliably. the course of a lecture,
seminar or tutorial.
A summary of the draft statements for Level Five appears below:
UCLES 2000
GENERAL I NFORMATI ON ON EXAMI NATI ON
CONTENT AND PROCESSI NG
Factors Affecting the Design of the Revised Examination
Analysis of CPE Candidate Information Sheets and CPE
market survey questionnaires, completed by candidates,
teachers and oral examiners, showed consistent agreement
on the kind of candidate taking CPE, on how the
examination should reflect candidates needs and interests,
and on administrative aspects of the examination.
The design of the revised examination has incorporated the
insights provided by this information and aims to provide:
coverage of candidates needs and interests
coverage of language abilities underlying these needs
and interests (in reading, writing, language systems,
listening and speaking)
reliable assessment
positive educational impact
ease of examination administration
Topics
The topics in the examination include:
Work
Lifestyles
Social development
The media
Relationships
Education / study / learning
Social and national customs
Entertainment / leisure
Travel / tourism
Health / fitness
Science and technology
People
Archaeology
History
Business / commerce / industry
The natural world / environment / ecology
The arts
Biology / the body
Architecture
Language
Psychology
Society
Marks and Results
In the revised examination:
All the papers are equally weighted, each contributing
40 marks to the examinations overall total number of
200 marks.
Paper 1 (Reading) and parts of Paper 4 (Listening) are
marked by computer scanning of the answer sheets.
Paper 3 (Use of English) Parts 14 and parts of Paper 4
(Listening) are marked with an answer key by a team of
markers who have followed standardised co-ordination
procedures, supervised by a co-ordinating examiner.
Papers 2 (Writing), 5 (Speaking) and Part 5 of Paper 3
(Use of English) are marked by examiners who have
followed standardised induction, training and co-
ordination procedures, making use of the criterion-
referenced assessment scales outlined in the sections
about each paper.
Candidates are given statements of results which, in
addition to their grades, show a graphical profile of
their performance on each paper.
Certificates are issued to candidates gaining a passing
grade: A, B or C.
Certificates are not issued to candidates awarded the
failing grades: D and E.
The minimum successful performance which a candidate
typically requires in order to achieve a Grade C corresponds
to about 60% of the total marks.
Administrative Information
The revised CPE examination will be introduced in all
centres in December 2002. Like the current CPE
examination, it will be offered twice yearly in June and
December.
Page 4
UCLES 2000
Page 5
Paper Name Timing Content Test Focus
1 Reading 1 hour Part 1 three short texts with six four- Assessment of candidates ability to
30 mins option multiple choice cloze questions understand the meaning of written
on each English at word, phrase, sentence,
Part 2 four short texts with two four- paragraph and whole text level.
option multiple choice questions on each
Part 3 gapped text with seven questions
Part 4 long text with seven four-option
multiple choice questions
2 Writing 2 hours Part 1 one compulsory question Assessment of candidates ability
Part 2 candidates answer one question to write specified text types with a
from a choice of four questions (including range of functions.
the set book option)
3 Use of 1 hour Part 1 modified open cloze with fifteen Assessment of candidates ability to
English 30 mins questions demonstrate knowledge and control
Part 2 one short text with ten word of the language system by completing
formation questions various tasks at text and sentence level.
Part 3 six sets of three gapped sentences
Part 4 eight key word transformations
Part 5 two texts with four questions and
a summary writing task
4 Listening 40 mins Part 1 four short extracts with two three- Assessment of candidates ability to
(approx.) option multiple choice questions on each understand the meaning of spoken
Part 2 one long text with nine sentence English, to extract information from a
completion questions text and to understand speakers
Part 3 one long text with five four-option attitudes and opinions.
multiple choice questions
Part 4 one long text with six matching
questions
5 Speaking 19 mins Part 1 interview Assessment of candidates ability to
Part 2 collaborative task produce spoken English using a range
Part 3 individual long turns and of functions in a variety of tasks.
follow-up discussion
REVI SED CPE CONTENT: AN OVERVI EW
UCLES 2000
PAPER 1 READI NG
General Description
Paper Format
The paper contains four parts.
Length of Texts
Approximately 3000 words in total, excluding items and
rubrics.
Number of Questions
40.
Task Types
Lexical cloze, gapped text, multiple choice.
Sources
Books (fiction and non-fiction), non-specialist articles from
journals, magazines and newspapers, promotional and
informational materials (e.g. advertisements, guide books,
manuals).
Answering
Candidates indicate answers by shading lozenges on a
machine markable answer sheet.
Timing
1 hour 30 minutes.
Marks
One mark is given for each correct answer in Part 1; two
marks are given for each correct answer in Parts 24.
Content
Major points: Letter should cover the points raised in the
newspaper article, i.e. that national and cultural identity is
being lost and that countries are becoming more and more
alike. Candidates should address the question at the end of
the input.
Further points: Candidates could expand on the nature of
national and cultural identity and whether it is, in fact,
desirable to maintain ones own national and cultural
identity. Additional ideas of the candidates own.
Range
Language for expressing and supporting opinions and
making recommendations. Candidates may also attack the
argument in the article or defend it depending on the point
of view they hold.
Appropriacy of Register and Format
Formal letter, with appropriate register, bearing in mind the
writers role as the reader of a newspaper writing in to give
his/her opinion(s).
Organisation and Cohesion
Formal letter format, with early reference to why the person
is writing. Clear organisation of points and adequate
paragraphing.
Target Reader
Would understand the writers point of view.
Content
Review should inform the reader about the film and evaluate
the film version of the novel. It should also discuss the
problems of making films based on books.
Range
Language of narration, description and evaluation.
Vocabulary connected with films and literature.
Appropriacy of Register and Format
Register should be appropriate for a review in a media arts
magazine. It could range from formal to informal depending
on the nature of the publication, but must be consistent
throughout.
Organisation and Cohesion
Clear development with appropriate paragraphing and
linking of content. There should be evidence of cohesion in
moving from the specific review to the general question of
problems of making films based on books.
Target Reader
Would be informed about the film and be able to decide
whether they would be interested in seeing it or not. Would
also be informed about the problems of making films based
on books.
Page 6
UCLES 2000
Page 7
FURTHER I NFORMATI ON
For further information on any of the Cambridge EFL
examinations, please contact:
EFL Information
University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate
1 Hills Road
Cambridge
CB1 2EU
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1223 553355
Fax: +44 1223 460278
email: efl@ucles.org.uk
www.cambridge-efl.org.uk