Getting a place at a top university means competing with the very best students. Good grades at high school will be expected from all applicants – so how do you show that you are ready for success?
English for successful study
Colleges and universities look for international students who have the right English language skills to take part in seminars and interact with staff and other students.
Studying in the USA will be very different to studying in your own country, and institutions look for students with language skills that enable them to be comfortable living in an English-speaking environment.
A head start in your career
High-level English language skills enhance your employment opportunities.
“My university recommended I take Cambridge English: First. Preparing for the exam gave me the confidence and language skills to travel internationally, and get a job at a prestigious biopharmaceutical laboratory.” Anais Legent, Research Assistant at Kymab Ltd.
Which exam should you take?
Cambridge English exams provide detailed proof that you have in-depth language skills because they are each focused at specific levels of study.
Check with your college or university which exams and grades they accept for admission to the course you wish to take, but we recommend:
For undergraduate and graduate level study
Cambridge English: Advanced
- Gives you the high-level English skills needed for academic and professional success.
- Targeted at Level C1 of the CEFR*.
For foundation/pre-sessional level study
Cambridge English: First
- Gives you the practical English skills for foundation programs and technical and vocational courses.
- Targeted at Level B2 of the CEFR.
*All our exams are aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) – the international standard for describing language ability. Find out more at www.cambridgeenglish.org/cefr
More about Cambridge English: Advanced
What level is Cambridge English: Advanced?
Cambridge English: Advanced is targeted at CEFR Level C1. Reaching this level means you can:
- read quickly enough to keep up with an academic course
- write essays and other work
- take notes in lectures and seminars
- contribute effectively to meetings and seminars
Preparing for your exam will give you the English skills needed for academic success.
Who accepts Cambridge English: Advanced?
Hundreds of universities and colleges in the USA accept Cambridge English: Advanced for undergraduate and graduate applications, including:
- Brigham Young University
- Concordia College
- Fordham University
- Northeastern University
- University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
- University of Idaho
Search our list of recognizing institutions at www.cambridgeenglish.org/recognition
What’s in the exam?
Cambridge English: Advanced has four papers:
- Reading and Use of English: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Writing: 1 hour 30 minutes – includes a compulsory essay
- Listening: 40 minutes
- Speaking: 15 minutes – face-to-face test
How do I get my results?
Results are issued quickly – two weeks for computer-based exams and four weeks for paper-based exams. Your Statement of Results gives you an overall grade and Cambridge English Scale score and you will also get a score for each paper. Universities and colleges can check your result securely online.
Read more about Cambridge English: Advanced
Why choose Cambridge English exams?
Cambridge English exams are high-quality, international English language qualifications supported by world-class research.
You can use them to prove you have the right English language skills for college, university and employment. They are developed and produced by a department of the University of Cambridge.
Develop your language skills
Preparing for Cambridge English exams helps you develop the language skills needed for success in study and work.
Get a globally trusted certificate
Our certificates are accepted by over 20,000 universities, colleges, employers and governments from around the world.
Choose how, where and when you take your exam
- Choose the paper-based or computer-based version
- Available at 2,800 exam centers in 130 countries
- Exam dates throughout the year
Lots of support for you
Download free materials such as sample papers and buy Official Cambridge English preparation materials.
Visit our website
Find out more about or exams and download free student guides.
Find your nearest exam center and register
They will be able to tell you about exam dates, costs and preparation courses.
Get ready for your exam
A huge range of Official Cambridge English exam preparation materials is available – find out more at
Join us on Facebook
Take part in quizzes, talk to other English language learners and learn on the go.
What do American universities say about Cambridge English: Advanced?
“The University of Idaho stands behind the strict standards and integrity that Cambridge English administers in their exams, and understands that Cambridge English: Advanced students are of a higher caliber and more prepared to face the challenges and opportunities that exist when studying on a US campus.”
Interim Director, International Marketing and Recruitment, University of Idaho.