General English

Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a fluent speaker wanting to perfect your language skills, whether you’re a student or a professional, we have the exam for you. Find which General English qualification suits you best.

Cambridge English: Key (KET) and Key for Schools (KETfS)

Cambridge English: Key, also known as the Key English Test (KET), is the lowest level General English exam in the Cambridge English range. It shows that you can communicate in basic English in everyday situations.

Cambridge English: Key for Schools (KETfS) is at the same level as Cambridge English: Key and leads to exactly the same internationally accepted certificate. The only difference is that the exam content is targeted at the interests and experiences of schoolchildren.

Level of qualification: Elementary = A2 on the Common European Framework.

Who should take this exam?

You should take the KET if you have done about 250 hours of study or practice and can speak, write and understand basic English. This exam is the first step in building your English language skills for work or study in the future. To take the exam you should be able to:

  • ask and answer questions about yourself and others
  • understand announcements and instructions when people speak slowly and clearly
  • tell people what you think about something you read or hear.

What is the exam format?

There are three parts to the exam. You do the Reading and Writing and the Listening papers on the same day. You may need to return to do the Speaking on a different day. You do the Speaking with two examiners and one other exam candidate.

KET / KETfS Reading and Writing Listening Speaking
Time allowed 1 hr 10 mins 30 mins 8-10 mins per pair of candidates
Marks (% of total) 50% 25% 25%

Cambridge English: Preliminary (PET) and Preliminary for Schools (PETfS)

Cambridge English: Preliminary is also known as the Preliminary English Test (PET) and Preliminary English Test for Schools (PETfS). This exam shows that you can communicate in English in practical, everyday situations. It will give you a good foundation if you want to study for a professional English qualification.

Level of qualification: Intermediate = B1 on the Common European Framework.

Who should take this exam?

Studying for the PET exam will improve your English so that you can communicate when travelling or dealing with English speakers for work.

To take the exam you should be able to:

  • express your likes and dislikes, and discuss them with others
  • understand spoken and written announcements and instructions
  • write a personal letter or take notes from a meeting or discussion.

How does the exam process work?

There are three parts to the exam. You do the Reading and Writing and the Listening papers on the same day. You may need to return to do the Speaking on a different day. You do the Speaking with two examiners and one other exam candidate.

PET / PETfS Reading and Writing Listening Speaking 
Time allowed 1 hr 30 mins 30 mins 10-12 mins per pair of candidates
Marks (% of total) 50% 25% 25%

Cambridge English: First (FCE) and First for Schools (FCEfS)

Cambridge English: First is also called the First Certificate in English (FCE) and First Certificate in English for Schools (FCEfS). This general English qualification proves that you can speak and write English well enough to work or study in an English-speaking environment.

Level of qualification: Upper intermediate = B2 on the Common European Framework.

Who should take this exam?

You should study for the FCE if you want to work in an English-speaking business, live in an English-speaking country or study a foundation-level or pre-university course taught in English.

To take the exam you should be able to:

  • write short reports and emails
  • explain an idea or have a detailed discussion in English
  • understand general English on TV and in newspapers.

How does the exam process work?

There are five parts to the FCE exam. You will complete papers Reading, Writing, Use of Engilsh and Listening on the same day. The Speaking may be on a different day. You do the speaking with two examiners and one other candidate.

 FCE / FCEfs Reading Writing Use of English Listening Speaking
Time allowed 1hr 1 hr 20 mins 45 mins 40 mins 14 mins 
Marks (% of total) 20% 20% 20% 20% 20%

Sitting a Cambridge English Language Assessment examination in Bangladesh

Register for Cambridge English Language Assessment exams in Bangladesh.

Find out when and where you can sit for Cambridge Engish Language Assessment exam in Bangladesh and the examination fees.

What to expect on exam day?

Results for paper based exams are available between four and six weeks after you take the exam and computer based two weeks after you take the exam.

Why the British Council?