Exam

preparation

C1

Business

Higher

Exam preparation

C1 Business Higher

Exam preparation

C1 Business Higher

Information for candidates

A guide to the exam, with advice on preparing for the exam, tips for exam day and useful links.

Download C1 Business Higher information for candidates

Exam format

C1 Business Higher is made up of four papers developed to test your English skills:

1 hour

The C1 Business Higher Reading paper has six parts. There are different types of texts and questions. This paper accounts for 25% of the total mark.

Part 1 (Matching):
  • Either a single text which is divided into sections or five short, related texts and a series of statements. You have to match each statement to the section or text where you can find the information.
  • 8 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer
Part 2 (Matching):
  • A text with six numbered gaps, each of which represents a missing sentence, followed by some sentences (A–H). You have to read the text and the sentences and decide which sentence best fits each gap.
  • 6 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer
Part 3 (Multiple choice):
  • A text followed by some multiple-choice questions. These may be either whole questions or incomplete sentences. For each one, there are four options and you have to choose A, B, C or D.
  • 6 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer
Part 4 (Multiple-choice cloze):
  • A text with some numbered gaps, each of which represents a missing word. You have to choose the right word for each gap from four options (A, B, C or D).
  • 10 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer
Part 5 (Open cloze):
  • A text with some numbered gaps, each of which represents a missing word. You have to identify the right word for each gap.
  • 10 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer
Part 6 (Proofreading):
  • A text in which some lines are correct and some lines have an extra, unnecessary word. If the line is correct, you write ‘CORRECT’ on your answer sheet. If the line is not correct, you have to write the extra word down.
  • 12 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer

1 hour 10 minutes

The C1 Business Higher Writing paper has two parts and requires the candidate to show that you can write different types of text in English. This paper accounts for 25% of the total mark.

Part 1 (Writing Part 1):
  • A guided writing task. You have to write a short report (memo or email) based on some input in the form of graphs, bar charts or pie charts.
  • 1 compulsory question
  • 120-140 words
  • This question has a total of 10 marks
Part 2 (Writing Part 2):
  • A choice of three questions: a piece of business correspondence (letter, fax or email), a report (memo or email), or a proposal (memo or email). For the question you choose, you have to read some input material which describes a situation and write the specified response.
  • 1 question from a choice of three
  • 200-250 words
  • This question has a total of 20 marks

About 40 minutes (including 10 minutes to transfer your answers onto the answer sheet)

The C1 Business Higher Listening paper has three parts. For each part, you have to listen to a recorded text or texts on business-related topics and answer some questions. You hear each recording twice. This paper accounts for 25% of the total mark.

Part 1 (Note completion):
  • A monologue of 2–3 minutes which contains some information. To answer the questions, you have to take notes or complete sentences using a word or a short phrase (up to three words).
  • 12 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer.
Part 2 (Matching):
  • Five short monologues linked by theme or topic, by five different speakers, followed by two tasks which relate to the content and purpose of the monologues. You listen to the recordings and you then have to match each speaker to one of the items (A–H) in Task 1 and one of the items (A–H) in Task 2.
  • 10 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer
Part 3 (Multiple choice):
  • A conversation/interview/discussion between two or more people and some multiple-choice questions. You listen to the recording and then choose the correct answer from three options (A, B or C).
  • 8 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer.

16 minutes per pair of candidates

The C1 Business Higher Speaking test has three parts and is taken with another candidate. Exceptionally the test may be taken with 3 candidates. There are two examiners. One examiner talks to you and the other examiner listens. Both examiners give marks for your performance. This paper accounts for 25% of the total mark.

Part 1 (Interview):
  • Conversation with the interlocutor. The interlocutor asks you questions on a number of personal or work-related subjects.
  • About 3 minutes
Part 2 (Long turn):
  • A ‘mini-presentation’ on a business theme. The examiner gives you a choice of three topics (A, B or C). You have 1 minute to prepare to give a speech lasting approximately 1 minute. Listen carefully when your partner speaks as you have to ask a question when they have finished.
  • About 6 minutes
Part 3 (Collaborative task):
  • A discussion with the other candidate. The examiner gives you a business-related situation with two discussion points to talk about. You have to talk to the other candidate about the situation and decide together what to do. The examiner will then extend the discussion.
  • About 7 minutes

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.

Frequently asked questions and exam day tips

A guide to the exam, with advice on preparing for the exam, tips for exam day and useful links.

C1 Business Higher FAQs

Exam day tips:

 

Sample tests

Computer based

You will need to use the Firefox browser to access these sample tests. You can download Firefox for free here.

Watch this tutorial before you start to help you understand what you need to do.

Use the answer keys below

There is no answer key for the Writing paper, but there are sample answers and examiner comments in the relevant pages of the Business handbook.

Vocabulary list

To access vocabulary at C1 level that could be used in C1 Business Higher, please refer to the English vocabulary profile

Speaking test information

Download a sample Speaking test worksheet for students from the C1 Business Higher Speaking test preparation pack.

You can also watch a 360⁰ of a full C1 Business Higher speaking test.

Information for candidates

A guide to the exam, with advice on preparing for the exam, tips for exam day and useful links.

Download C1 Business Higher information for candidates

Exam format

C1 Business Higher is made up of four papers developed to test your English skills:

1 hour

The C1 Business Higher Reading paper has six parts. There are different types of texts and questions. This paper accounts for 25% of the total mark.

1 (Matching)
  • Either a single text which is divided into sections or five short, related texts and a series of statements. You have to match each statement to the section or text where you can find the information.
  • 8 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer
2 (Matching)
  • A text with six numbered gaps, each of which represents a missing sentence, followed by some sentences (A–H). You have to read the text and the sentences and decide which sentence best fits each gap.
  • 6 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer
3 (Multiple choice)
  • A text followed by some multiple-choice questions. These may be either whole questions or incomplete sentences. For each one, there are four options and you have to choose A, B, C or D.
  • 6 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer
4 (Multiple choice)
  • A text with some numbered gaps, each of which represents a missing word. You have to choose the right word for each gap from four options (A, B, C or D).
  • 10 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer
5 (Open cloze)
  • A text with some numbered gaps, each of which represents a missing word. You have to identify the right word for each gap.
  • 10 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer
6 (Proofreading)
  • A text in which some lines are correct and some lines have an extra, unnecessary word. If the line is correct, you write ‘CORRECT’ on your answer sheet. If the line is not correct, you have to write the extra word down.
  • 12 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer

1 hour 10 minutes

The C1 Business Higher Writing paper has two parts and requires the candidate to show that you can write different types of text in English. This paper accounts for 25% of the total mark.

1 (Writing Part 1)
  • A guided writing task. You have to write a short report (memo or email) based on some input in the form of graphs, bar charts or pie charts.
  • 1 compulsory question
  • 120-140 words
  • This question has a total of 10 marks
2 (Writing Part 2)
  • A choice of three questions: a piece of business correspondence (letter, fax or email), a report (memo or email), or a proposal (memo or email). For the question you choose, you have to read some input material which describes a situation and write the specified response.
  • 1 question from a choice of three
  • 200-250 words
  • This question has a total of 20 marks

About 40 minutes (including 10 minutes to transfer your answers onto the answer sheet)

The C1 Business Higher Listening paper has three parts. For each part, you have to listen to a recorded text or texts on business-related topics and answer some questions. You hear each recording twice. This paper accounts for 25% of the total mark.

1 (Note completion)
  • A monologue of 2–3 minutes which contains some information. To answer the questions, you have to take notes or complete sentences using a word or a short phrase (up to three words).
  • 12 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer.
2 (Matching)
  • Five short monologues linked by theme or topic, by five different speakers, followed by two tasks which relate to the content and purpose of the monologues. You listen to the recordings and you then have to match each speaker to one of the items (A–H) in Task 1 and one of the items (A–H) in Task 2.
  • 10 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer
3 (Multiple choice)
  • A conversation/interview/discussion between two or more people and some multiple-choice questions. You listen to the recording and then choose the correct answer from three options (A, B or C).
  • 8 questions
  • 1 mark for each correct answer.

16 minutes per pair of candidates

The C1 Business Higher Speaking test has three parts and is taken with another candidate. Exceptionally the test may be taken with 3 candidates. There are two examiners. One examiner talks to you and the other examiner listens. Both examiners give marks for your performance. This paper accounts for 25% of the total mark.

1 (Interview)
  • Conversation with the interlocutor. The interlocutor asks you questions on a number of personal or work-related subjects.
  • About 3 minutes
2 (Long turn)
  • A ‘mini-presentation’ on a business theme. The examiner gives you a choice of three topics (A, B or C). You have 1 minute to prepare to give a speech lasting approximately 1 minute. Listen carefully when your partner speaks as you have to ask a question when they have finished.
  • About 6 minutes
3 (Collaborative task)
  • A discussion with the other candidate. The examiner gives you a business-related situation with two discussion points to talk about. You have to talk to the other candidate about the situation and decide together what to do. The examiner will then extend the discussion.
  • About 7 minutes

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.

Frequently asked questions and exam day tips

Sample tests

Paper-based sample tests
Computer-based sample tests

You will need to use the Firefox browser to access these sample tests. You can download Firefox for free here.

Watch this tutorial before you start to help you understand what you need to do.

Use the answer keys below:

There is no answer key for the Writing paper, but there are sample answers and examiner comments in the relevant pages of the Business handbook.

Vocabulary list

To access vocabulary at C1 level that could be used in C1 Business Higher, please refer to the English vocabulary profile

Speaking test information

Download a sample Speaking test worksheet for students from the C1 Business Higher Speaking test preparation pack.

You can also watch a 360⁰ of a full C1 Business Higher speaking test.