The Cambridge English: First exam (also known as the FCE) consists of four parts (called “papers”) and is held over two non-consecutive days.  The written part of the exam takes three hours and 30 minutes (this will be broken up by breaks between the sections).  The speaking test takes around 15 minutes, and is usually held on a different day.

Download a practice test

Look at the practice test I have linked and also check my tips for each paper for specific advice about each section.

The 4 parts of the exam

Here is a brief overview of the exam:

Paper 1: Reading and Use of English 1 hour 15 minutes

Paper 2: Writing 1 hour 20 minutes

Paper 3: Listening 40 minutes

Paper 4: Speaking 15 minutes

NB: it is more accurate to say that the reading test is three hours and 30 minutes because you are responsible for understanding every word that is written in any part of the test.  Following instructions is crucial in the writing paper, and part 3 of the listening paper (in particular) has a lot of text to read in a short period of time.