Preparation for First Certificate in English


  • Adults


Will the course give me what I want? 

Course content

This course is designed to prepare candidates for the Cambridge FCE (First Certificate in English) examination. FCE is widely recognised in commerce and industry, and by educational institutions in Britain and overseas as proof of language ability at level B2 of the Council of Europe's Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Outline of skills and knowledge

At the end of the course you’ll be expected to show ability:

  • to read and understand texts taken from fiction and non-fiction books, journals, newspapers and magazines. You are expected to be able to show understanding of gist, detail and text structure, and deduce meaning.
  • to write non-specialised text types such as letters, articles, reports, compositions and reviews of 120-180 words covering a range of topics and target readers and also set texts; to demonstrate your knowledge and control of the language system by completing various tasks at text and sentence level. These include filling gaps, transforming words and phrases, and identifying errors in texts.
  • to understand the meaning of spoken English, and to extract gist and meaning from spoken text. The texts are taken from a variety of text types including interviews, discussions, lectures and conversations.
  • to interact in conversational English in a range of contexts. It contains four parts, including an interview section, individual long turns of about one minute, a collaborative task and a discussion. You are provided with stimulus material such as photographs and drawings. You will normally take the Speaking Test in pairs. 

What have students who have taken this course in the past progressed to? 

This course will improve your everyday written and spoken English at an upper intermediate level for work or study purposes. FCE has given chance to students to work or study abroad or to develop a career which required language skills (e.g. business, medicine, engineering). FCE indicates sufficient proficiency in English to be of practical use in clerical, secretarial and managerial jobs in many industries, in particular tourism, where contact with English speakers is required. Successful candidates have the ability to deal with routine letters and telephone enquiries, and to cope with some non-academic training courses and simple textbooks and articles.

You can also progress onto an IELTS course which will give you access to Higher Education. 

How will I learn? 

On the FCE exam preparation course, students study in small groups in order to allow optimum interaction between group members and the teacher. The class size is normally 14 but this may rise to 18

How will I be assessed? 

There will be an exam at the end of the course testing your Reading, Writing, Use of English, Listening and Speaking skills. The exam is taken at an approved centre which will need to be booked and paid for by individual students when they feel they are ready. 

Which awarding body is the course validation by? 

Cambridge ESOL

For further information and to apply

If you wish to apply for this course, please complete a College application form. 

If you need help before choosing your course, please contact our Information Centre or come along to one of our Open Days.

Is there additional work required by the student?

2-4 hours per week of self-guided study. 

Entry Requirements

What qualifications or skills do I need to show I have before I can enrol?

All course participants will take a reading and writing test which will be combined with an interview to assess their level of spoken English before we can guarantee their place. 

Expected prior knowledge: To be successful, you will have a wide grasp of vocabulary, and be able to construct an argument and use appropriate communication styles for a variety of situations. You also need to show an awareness of register and of the conventions of politeness and degrees of formality as they are expressed through language. 

English level

Level 1

Mathematics level


Equipment and other costs

Your teacher may ask you to buy a course book. 

*Exams are booked through The London Exam Centre in Wimbledon.

A paper-based exam will cost an additional  £131

A computer-based exam will cost an additional £152