Computer based testing

Computer-Based Exams

The same exam – The same Cambridge Assessment English Certificate  

With the increase of English certification exams and use of technology, some candidates may feel more comfortable switching the usual pen and paper for a computer. As such, Cambridge Assessment English provides several computer-based exams to complement previously existing formats.

This alternative not only makes certification more accessible to some candidates, but also increases flexibility in scheduling exams, allowing for more exam dates, greater security in taking your exam and faster results - in about two weeks. 

Depending on the date of your exam, you can choose between a paper-based (PB) or computer-based (CB) exam format. The components, difficulty and skills assessed by the exam are exactly the same, and both formats provide the same Cambridge English certificate.

With this format, our examination systems guarantee full security, as the exam is protected by an advanced cryptographic system that ensures no answers are lost. Our computers are also set up to block the use of any other programme, including grammar and spell checkers. 

Some advantages of the computer-based format:

  • Allows for regular sessions throughout the year;
  • Avoids handwriting legibility problems;
  • Includes a word count system for the Writing component;
  • Candidates have a timer onscreen for time management;
  • Results are available online about two weeks after the exam date;
  • Candidates may enrol up to two weeks before exam day;
  • The audio is played through headphones in the Listening component, allowing for volume adjustment and better performance.

You can also make corrections, underline and mark passages for revision, and make notes if necessary.

The Speaking component is taken in person just as with the paper-based version, usually on the same day as the rest of the exams, and is assessed by Cambridge English certified examiners.

For a more detailed read about the functionalities of computer-based exams, check out the CB FAQs.

To access sample tests and tutorials for your level, choose your exam at the bottom of our Extra free Materials page.

For a list of upcoming computer-based exam dates, please visit our Calendar.   

About Computer-based testing

Take your Cambridge English exam on the computer!


Computer-based exam tutorial (C1 Advanced)

CB CAE XHTML tutorial


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