Are you thinking of studying on a course taught in English? Are you wanting to live or work independently in an English-speaking country? If so, B2 First is perfect for you!

But what exactly is B2 First, what does the test involve and how can you pass it and get your qualification as quickly as possible? We answer all of this and more below.

What is the B2 First test?

B2 First is the current B2 level exam provided by Cambridge Assessment English. It was previously known as the First Certificate in English FCE and Cambridge English: First. (Some students also knew it as ‘Cambridge English B2 First FCE’, ‘Cambridge English B2 First Certificate in English FCE’, ‘First English Test FCE Exam’, or simply ‘FCE test’.)

B2 First is the most popular Cambridge English qualification as it’s accepted by thousands of employers, colleges and universities around the world. The B2 First exam shows that you can use everyday written and spoken English for work or study purposes, by testing your ability to:

  • deal confidently with a variety of text types, and understand and correctly use grammar and vocabulary;
  • produce different types of text with appropriate content, language and organisation;
  • follow and understand a variety of spoken texts; and
  • communicate effectively face-to-face, with appropriate pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, organisation and participation.   

B2 First is an exam for general English, higher education or adult learners. Other Cambridge Assessment English options available at this level are:  

  • B2 First for Schools — with content designed especially for school-age learners; and
  • B2 Business Vantage — designed for those who want to develop their business English skills for successful employment in international business.

What level is the B2 First exam?

B2 First is an upper-intermediate level English exam, aimed at learners who have reached the B2 English level. B2 is the fourth level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale, which goes from A1 ‘beginner’ to C2 ‘proficient’. Depending on your score in the B2 First Exam, you can achieve CEFR level B1, B2 or C1.Not sure what level is right for you? Take this FREE thirty-minute Placement Test to find out!

Why should I take B2 First?

You should take B2 First if you want to be able to use English for study or work. The qualification is accepted for entry to many foundation, pathway, pre-sessional and undergraduate courses. It’s also accepted for employment with leading international organisations. In addition, it may form a necessary part of a visa application.

B2 First provides you with the key skills needed to use English fluently and confidently, and can allow you to live, work and study in an English-speaking country. 

Your first step towards using English independently in the real world

How long is the exam and what does it involve?

The B2 First exam lasts about 3.5 hours in total and is made up of four papers: Reading and Use of English, Writing, Listening and Speaking:

The four B2 First exam papers 

The papers in the B2 First exam contain the following parts:

The parts of the B2 First papers

What is the pass mark?

The great thing about taking the B2 First test is that it allows you to achieve a range of results, rather than simply a pass or fail. For example, you can receive:

  • a Cambridge English Scale score for each of the four skills — reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • an overall Cambridge English Scale score for the whole exam
  • a grade A, B, C or Level B1
  • a CEFR level from B1 to C1

For B2 First, the scores are organised as follows:

How do I prepare for and pass B2 First?

There has never been a better time to prepare for B2 First! That’s because E2School now offers a full Level 3 course that has been specially designed to teach you everything you need to know in order to successfully master B2 Level English and prepare for and pass tests such as the Cambridge English B2 First.

The E2School Level 3 course is a fun and modern course that allows you to learn English online yet still with help from real-life teachers. The course will teach you all the skills you need to improve your general English, including vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. You’ll also cover all four English language skills tested in B2 First: reading, writing, listening and speaking. There are online course materials, Live Classes, and of course plenty of practice for the B2 First exam. Even better, you can try the course for FREE here!E2School also provides you with extra support to improve your English language skills, including Grammar Review to make English grammar rules easy to understand and remember, and SpeakingLab to improve your English pronunciation and help you speak clearly and fluently. With these tools and a team of expert teachers to support you, you’ll soon be confident to take the B2 First test!

What happens after B2 First?

After B2 First, there are many great options open to you. You may go on to study, work or live in an English-speaking country. Or you may continue onto the next level in your English language journey. For that, E2School also has you covered, with Level 4 Test Ready. This is the perfect course to take after Level 3. It can quickly increase your language and test taking skills to get you ready to take exams such as C1 Advanced, and go on to higher level tests such as IELTS, PTE, OET and TOEFL. For these tests, you’ll find everything you need for language development and test preparation over at E2Language.com.

Not quite ready for B2 level? No problem! Just work your way up at your own pace through our courses that will take you all the way from zero English to C2 level and beyond! 

The courses on offer at E2School and E2Language

So what are you waiting for? Visit E2School.com, and take your first step towards independent English today!