Calculate your FCE score | Reading, Use of English and Listening

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I get this question all the time.

How do you calculate your FCE scores? How do you know if you have passed?

I wish this answer were simple.

Generally, most students add up all their correct answers – but this is TOTALLY wrong!

Some marks are worth one mark, others are worth 2. When it comes to writing and speaking, it gets even more complicated.

Here is a full video on how to calculate your Reading, Use of English and Listening scores. These are objective tests so the answer is either right or wrong so they are very easy to mark.

The Writing and Speaking papers are more subjective. I will create another video on that subject.

Watch this video for a detailed explanation. I’ve also written it all down so you can use this page as a reference.

First of all, your marks are divided into five sections:

  • Reading
  • Use of English
  • Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking

They are all equally important and each part is worth 20% of your total mark.

Let’s look at each section individually first.

Your practice test scores for each section needs to be converted to a ‘Cambridge English Scale Score’.

Reading

You do the Reading and Use of English test together but the marks are separated for each part.

Parts 1, 5, 6, 7 are Reading questions.

Be careful here – lot’s of people think that Part 1 (multiple choice, vocabulary question) is part of the Use of English score. This is incorrect!

Correct answers in part 1 and 7 are worth 1 mark each.

Correct answers in part 5 and 6 are worth 2 marks each.

There are 42 possible marks in the Reading test.

Add up your marks and check your score using the table below. The table shows the minimum score you need for each level.

fce-reading-minimum-scores

Use of English

You do the Reading and Use of English test together but the marks are separated for each part.

Parts 2, 3 and 4 are Use of English questions.

Correct answers in parts 2 and 3 are worth 1 mark each.

Correct answers in part 4 are worth 2 marks each. Remember that you can score 1 mark by getting half of the answer correct.

There are 28 possible marks in the Use of English test.

Add up your marks and check your score using the table below. The table shows the minimum score you need for each level.

use-of-english-minimum-scores

Listening

The easiest test to calculate scores for!

Each question is worth 1 mark. There are 30 possible questions, so the total marks for this section is 30 marks.

fce-listening-minimum-scores

 

Writing and Speaking

The Writing and Speaking papers are more subjective.

I will create another video on that subject. Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel and turn on notifications so that you can see this video when it comes out!

Click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel (supereasyfce).

Overall score (Did I pass the FCE or not?)

Your overall score is calculated by adding up all the Cambridge scores for each section and dividing by 5.

For example, imagine you get:

  • Reading: 161
  • Use of English: 175
  • Writing: 182
  • Listening: 150
  • Speaking: 165

You need to add all of these numbers and then divide it by 5. Round up to a whole number.

For example, if you get 166.6 like the example above, round UP to 167.

If your score is above 160, you have passed at a B2 level. Congratulations!

If your score is above 180, you have passed at a C1 level. Wow!

Do I need to pass in all of the sections individually? Or can I just pass overall?

Your final score is more important that the scores for each section.

If you don’t get a B2 level in one of the sections, you can still pass! Hooray!

In my example, my listening score was under 160 marks. But my overall mark was over 160.

So, the result would be a Pass certificate.

Note about the overall score

As the Writing and Speaking scores are VERY subjective if you mark it without the help of a trained teacher, calculate your score with just your Reading, Use of English and Listening scores.

If you want to do it this way, divide the total score for these three sections and divide it by 3.

Still confused about the Cambridge Scale scores?

If you would like an easy score calculator, check this page in a few days. I am working on it.

In the meanwhile, aim to achieve at least 160 on each section. This will tell you that you are on your way to passing.

Keep practising and I’ll see you next week!

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