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Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) - Examination Guidelines for MS in US

Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) is part of the Cambridge exams that follows the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Under CAE, grades are given from A1 to C2 depending on your level of English language proficiency. When applying to the graduate programs in the US, a minimum of C1 level is required.

Cambridge Advanced English

Typical time required: 2-8 weeks

Test Fee: Around €150 as of February 2020

Before You Start

  • Not all universities in the US accept Cambridge Advanced English exam scores. Make sure that the universities you wish to apply do accept CAE scores as proof of English language skills.
  • Universities that accept CAE scores require you to have a minimum of C1 advanced level English language skills.
  • The CAE exam can be taken on either paper-based or computer-based format.

Required Documents

Step by step guide

  • Visit the official Link for Cambridge Advanced EnglishTest Registration.
  • Choose your country
  • Choose exam format: Advanced paper or computer-based
  • Select your State
  • Choose an exam centre nearest to you.
  • Call on the number that is provided and enquire about the next available exam dates.
  • Once the exam dates are confirmed, they will ask you to send a mail stating your willingness to take the exam on a particular date and time.
  • You will receive a reply email which contains a payment link.
  • Once paid, you will receive confirmation with details of the place and time of your exam.
  • Note: Your exam might take place in a venue different from the address mentioned in the website. You need to stay updated and check your mail frequently as the exam date nears.

After You Register

  • Be sure to check-out the sample papers and audio-scripts and get yourself familiarized with the test pattern.
  • Take at least one mock test in a timed-setting.
Reading & Use of English56 questions under 8 parts1 hour 30 minutes
Writing2 parts1 hour 30 minutes
Listening30 questions under 4 parts40 minutes
Speaking4 parts15 minutes

On the Test Day

  • Be at the test center at least 15-20 minutes before the stipulated time.
  • Do not forget to carry your proof of identity. Preferably your passport. Make sure you use the name as specified in your passport throughout the test.
  • Ask the test centre if they offer locker facility beforehand and use it to keep any electronic equipment you carry.

Test Results

  • 4-6 weeks for Paper-based exam
  • 2-3 weeks for Computer-based exam


  • Students applying to master’s courses in the US usually prefer TOEFL and IELTS over CAE.
  • Double check your course website if your department/university accepts CAE test scores.


Although not many online resources are available for Cambridge Advanced English self study compared to IELTS and TOEFL, there are few useful ones that you can refer to.

Note: Watch out for outdated content and tutorials online, as the format test is constantly updated.

Links and Downloads

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