B2 First (FCE) Score Calculator

How to calculate the score for Cambridge FCE or B2 First

The process to calculate the score for the FCE or FCE for Schools exam is relatively easy.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Work out the total marks for each part.
  2. Convert those marks into the Cambridge Scale Score.
  3. Calculate the average mark like this: (R + UOE + W + L + S) / 5

Now, you may be asking yourself the following questions, to which I’m providing you the answers:

  • How do I work out the total marks for each part? Easy peasy. In the next section you have a few tables with the values of every part and question in the test.
  • How do I convert marks into the Cambridge Scale Score? Easy. You can use the score converter I’ve created.

B2 First (FCE) and FCE for Schools: Marks per Paper

What follows is a break down of every paper’s parts and the number of questions and marks assigned to each item. In the case of Speaking, parts are not assessed individually, so you will see the different criteria for which candidates are awarded marks.

Part 181
Part 562
Part 662
Part 7101

Part 281
Part 381
Part 462

Part 1120
Part 2120

Part 181
Part 2101
Part 351
Part 471

Grammar & Vocabulary510
Discourse Management510
Interactive Communication510
Global Performance520

Cambridge Score Converter for B2 First (FCE)

The following is a Score Converter for Cambridge B2 First (FCE) and B2 First for Schools. This converter turns your correct items (or points) into the Cambridge Scale Score. You can choose to make the conversion per part or for the global mark.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What’s the minimum score to pass Cambridge B2 First (FCE)?

The minimum score to pass B2 First is 160 in the Cambridge English Scale. The minimum number of correct items/marks to pass each part is:

  • Reading: 24 correct items
  • Use of English: 18 correct items
  • Writing: 24 marks
  • Listening: 18 correct items
  • Speaking: 36 marks

How come Part 1 in Reading & Use of English scores as part of the Reading and not the Use of English?

This is a change that Cambridge introduced in 2015 when they updated some of their main suite exams. In that update, Reading and Use of English were merged into one single part (done within the same timing, but counted separately), and the score in Use of English Part 1 (multiple choice) started counting towards Reading instead of Use of English. The specific reason behind this is unclear to me.

What grades can I obtain in my B2 First (FCE) exam by Cambridge Assessment English?

There are 6 different grades you can obtain after your exam. Here is a table with the grades and other outcomes of your B2 First exam:

Grade A180 – 190C1
Grade B173 – 179B2
Grade C160 – 172B2
Level B1140 – 159B1
Below level B1122 – 139
Not reported0 – 121

And in case you’re wondering what is a pass or a fail and which grade qualifies for a certificate or certificate of achievement, here’s a table to clarify:

Grade APassYes
Grade BPassYes
Grade CPassYes
Level B1FailYes
Below level B1FailNo
Not reportedFailNo

Do I need to pass every part to pass the whole B2 test?

No, you don’t. Even if you fail some parts in the B2 First, you can still pass your test because the average score may be above 160 in the Cambridge English Scale. However, there is a minimum number of correct items/marks that you need to obtain in each part in order to be able to pass:

  • Reading: 16 correct items
  • Use of English: 11 correct items
  • Writing: 16 marks
  • Listening: 12 correct items
  • Speaking: 24 marks

This means that, if you get less that that in one of the parts, you will not be able to pass your FCE exam.

Do I get a B1 Preliminary (PET) certificate if I fail B2 First (FCE)?

If you fail your B2 First test with marks above the minimum mentioned in the previous frequently asked question, you will get a certificate of achievement proving that you performed at a B1 level. However, this certificate is not a B1 Preliminary (PET) certificate and does not say so anywhere. This is so because you did not take the B1 Preliminary exam, so you cannot get that certificate.

What is the validity of the B1 certificate of achievement when I fail B2 First (FCE)?

It is a valid B1-level certificate of achievement issued by Cambridge Assessment English. However, as mentioned before, it is not a B1 Preliminary certificate. Therefore, if you are required a B1 Preliminary certificate specifically, this certificate of achievement will probably not be valid for that purpose.

If I obtain a Grade A, do I receive a C1 Advanced (CAE) certificate?

No, you don’t. If you manage to obtain a Grade A in your B2 First exam, you will get a B2 First certificate stating that you performed at a C1 level. Therefore, if you are required a C1 Advanced certificate by a given organisation, this certificate will most likely not be accepted.

What percentage do I need to pass the B2 First (FCE) exam?

You need around 60% of correct items/marks to pass the Cambridge FCE. However, this percentage may be different for some papers (Reading, Writing, etc.). That’s the reason I do not recommend working with percentages any more, as Cambridge Assessment English does not take percentages into account for B2 First since they updated the exam and introduced the Cambridge English Scale in 2015.

Bibliography and resources

The information contained in this website aims to be as accurate as humanly possible, yet there may be some inaccuracies or discrepancies with the official information provided by Cambridge Assessment English. Neither this website nor its developer are officially associated or affiliated with Cambridge Assessment English.

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