A Cambridge English exam session
A Cambridge English exam session ©

British Council

This section gives you some tips and advice on what to do during the written and speaking exams day.

Before the exam day

  • You will receive a confirmation of entry letter two weeks before the exam day
  • Check your confirmation of entry letter carefully, and make sure you know the time and location of your exam
  • Plan your journey to ensure you arrive on time
  • Ensure you have a valid (non expired) form of ID to bring with you (see “Candidate ID” below for more information)
  • If you have not receive your confirmation of entry letter one week before the exam, notify exams@britishcouncil.fr 

Written exams

Before the exam starts

  • Arrive at the exam venue at least 20 minutes before the start time.
  • Bring with you a pen, pencil, eraser, your passport/ID and your timetable. Please note that liquid erasers are not allowed.
  • Leave your belongings in the cloakroom provided. No electronic items are authorised in the exam room.
  • You may take a bottle of water, in a clear plastic bottle. No other drinks or snacks are permitted in the exam room.
  • Look at the exam signs and locate your designated exam room. The supervisor will inform you when it is time to enter.
  • Keep your timetable with you. Know your candidate number. You will be placed in a specific exam room and desk based on your candidate number.

During the exams

Starting the exam:

  • After you are seated, the invigilator will ask to see your passport / ID and your timetable, in order to confirm that you are the correct candidate.
  • The invigilator will give specific instructions for each paper. You must pay attention and ask the invigilator if you have any questions about the procedure.
  • Read the instructions on the front of the question paper (and the separate answer sheet if relevant) and do not open the question paper until the invigilator tells you to do so.
  • The invigilator will inform you about the duration of each paper. Make sure that you complete all tasks in the allocated time as you will not be allowed any extra time to transfer your answers.
  • Listening: The exam is divided into sections, and the recording is complete in itself, with all necessary pauses and instructions to candidates. Each part will be heard twice. You will be given time to transfer your answers. The recording will inform you when the exam is finished.
  • No extra time will be given for toilet breaks.

Upon completion of the exam:

  • At the end of the test you will be asked to put down your pens or pencils.
  • The invigilator will collect all question papers, answer sheets and rough work before you are permitted to leave the exam room. You must remain seated while this happens.
  • Before leaving the room, make sure that you take with you all your personal belongings.
  • Make sure that you keep a copy of your confirmation of entry letter; it contains instructions for how to access your results.

Reporting incidents

If something happens during the exam that may have affected your performance (e.g. if you were ill during the test or if a loud noise affected your Listening test) you must inform the centre Supervisor / Invigilator immediately.

Complaints or incident reports must be made to the examination service within 5 working days of the exam date.

Speaking exam

  • Take your passport/ID and your timetable with you.
  • Be at the exam venue at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.
  • The invigilator will check your photo ID against the attendance register. Once this is checked, you must remain in the designated speaking exams area until your test starts.
  • For B2 First, C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency only, we will take a photo of you before the speaking test. See “test day photos” for more information. 
  • The speaking tests are in pair format. The invigilator will specify which of the other candidates will be paired with you, in accordance with the timetable.
  • In case of absences, the pairs will be re-arranged in order to avoid delays.
  • You will be given a personalised mark sheet; do not fold, crease or write on it. You must hand it to the examiner when you enter the room.
  • Where there is an uneven number, the last candidates taking the test will form a group of three. The exams cannot be conducted with a single candidate.

Test day photos

Test day photos are mandatory for B2 First, C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency.

Photos may be taken on the day of the written tests or speaking test. 

This photo remains strictly confidential, and is stored by Cambridge English Language Assessment. It increases the security of the examination and will help organisations (schools, employers, immigration authorities) to check your results if you wish to give them access. 

Candidate ID

Candidates are required to bring valid, non expired, photographic ID to each of the individual papers, modules or tests that they are taking.

Candidates who do not provide a valid form of photographic ID will not be allowed to take their exam. We can not expired ID that is expired.

Young Learners candidates (Pre A1 Starters, A1 Movers and A2 Flyers) are not required to provide ID, but we strongly recommend they bring ID or a photocopy of their ID in case any name spelling changes are needed.

What forms of ID are accepted?

For Cambridge Assessment English exams: A2 Key and Key for schools, B1 Preliminary and Preliminary for schools, B2 First and First for schools, C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency, the following forms of ID are accepted:

Form of ID Candidates under 18 years Candidates over 18 years
Passport Yes Yes
European Union ID card Yes Yes
National ID card Yes Yes
Residence permit (titre de séjour) Yes Yes
Photographic driving licence Yes Yes
Candidate ID form Yes NO

Candidate ID form

Candidates under the age of 18, who do not possess valid photographic ID should download and complete the Candidate ID form below, and bring the completed form to the exam day.  


  • You must attach two recent passport photos 
  • You must complete and sign the form in the presence of a witness.  The witness must be a responsible adult who is known to the candidate (for example a school principal, doctor), but must not be related to the candidate
  • The witness must complete section C
  • You must present the completed form to the exam supervisor on the exam day

You can download the Candidate ID form below

Exam day procedures for candidates under the age of 18

Young Learners English exams (Pre-A1 Starters, A1 Movers, A2 Flyers)

For Young Learners exams no candidate will be permitted to leave the exam venue unaccompanied. One parent/guardian should accompany the candidate to the exam venue, and will be required to collect the candidate after the exam. A waiting room for parents will be provided in the test venue.

Cambridge Assessment English exams (A2 Key, B1 Preliminary, B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency)

Candidates will receive a link to the ‘Parental Consent Form’ after the registration deadline has passed. Any candidate under the age of 18 will not be permitted to leave the exam venue unaccompanied unless they have either completed the online form or present the completed consent form on the exam day. The parental consent form must be handed to the supervisor on the exam day (not by email). Candidates who provide signed parental consent may leave the venue unaccompanied at the end of their exam and during the lunch break (where applicable).

You can download the Parental Consent form below