A guide to the exam, with advice on preparing for the exam, tips for exam day and useful links.
Download C1 Advanced information for candidates
C1 Advanced is a thorough test of all areas of language ability. The exam is made up of four papers developed to test your English language skills.
The C1 Advanced Reading and Use of English paper is in eight parts and has a mix of text types and questions. This paper accounts for 40% of the total mark.
In the two parts of the C1 Advanced Writing paper, you have to show that you can write different types of text in English. This paper accounts for 20% of the total mark.
The C1 Advanced Listening paper has four parts. For each part you have to listen to a recorded text or texts and answer some questions. You hear each recording twice. This paper accounts for 20% of the total mark.
The C1 Advanced Speaking test has four parts and you take it together with another candidate. There are two examiners. One of the examiners conducts the test (asks you questions, gives you the paper with things to talk about, and so on). The other examiner listens to what you say and takes notes. Both examiners give marks for your performance. This paper accounts for 20% of the total mark.
Choosing your Speaking Test partner
If you would like to be paired together with a friend/classmate, you can request this when you register for the exam. Please note however that research has shown that there are both advantages and disadvantages in taking the test with someone you know and that in the end it doesn’t matter. What is important is that the test judges you on your own performance.
Groups of three candidates
Almost all C1 Advanced Speaking Tests are conducted in groups of two candidates. However, if there is an uneven number of candidates at an exam session there will be one test with a group of three candidates, normally at the end of the day or before a long break. The test format is exactly the same but will last a little longer. Please note that you cannot request to take your test in a group of three.
C1 Advanced FAQs
Exam day tips – paper-based exams
Exam day tips – computer-based exams
Exam day tips – Speaking test
C1 Advanced paper-based sample tests
Watch this tutorial before you start to help you understand what you need to do.
Reading and Use of English sample test
Writing sample test
Listening sample test
Reading & Use of English answer key
Listening answer key
There is no answer key for the Writing paper, but there are sample answers and examiner comments in the relevant pages of the C1 Advanced handbook.
Use this checklist to improve your written English and practise for your exam.
Download the Level C1 writing checklist