Certificate of Proficiency in English – CPE

Proof of exceptional English ability

The Cambridge English: Proficiency exam uses real-life situations that are especially designed to help you communicate more effectively and learn the language skills you need to function at the very highest levels of professional and academic life.

Real-life language skills

Cambridge English: Proficiency is set at Level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). C2 is the level of English needed to:

  • study demanding subjects at the highest levels, including postgraduate and PhD programmes
  • actively engage in academic life by participating confidently in tutorials and seminars
  • lead on complex and challenging research projects
  • negotiate and persuade effectively at senior management level in international business settings.

It shows that you have mastered English to an exceptional level.

For example, at C2 level you can expect to:

  • understand the main ideas of complex pieces of writing
  • understand documents, correspondence and reports, including the finer points of complex pieces of writing
  • advise on or talk about complex or sensitive issues, understanding colloquial references and dealing confidently with hostile questions
  • write on any subject and take full notes of meetings or seminars with good expression and accuracy.

Preparing for Cambridge English: Proficiency will give you these kinds of practical language skills.

Globally accepted

Introduced in 1913, Cambridge English: Proficiency was the world’s first public English examination designed for speakers of other languages at this level. Employers, universities and government departments around the world have trusted and accepted Cambridge English: Proficiency for almost 100 years. Your certificate is proof of your ability to use English with fluency and sophistication at a level approaching that of a native speaker.


Backed by the largest research programme of its kind, Cambridge English exams provide the most reliable reflection of your language skills.


Cambridge English exams cover all major varieties of English and are designed to be fair to users of all nationalities and linguistic backgrounds.

A Cambridge English qualification

Once you have earned a Cambridge English certificate, you hold one of the most valuable English qualifications in the world.