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Guided learning hours

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How many hours do I need to prepare for my exam?

It takes approximately 200 guided learning hours for a language learner to progress from one level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) to the next.

For example, a candidate who has passed Cambridge English: First (FCE), aligned to level B2 on the CEFR, might need approximately 200 hours of lessons and supervised study to prepare for the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE), which is aligned to level C1.

However, there are a number of factors that can affect how long it might take you to achieve your desired level of English, including:

  • your language learning background
  • the intensity of your study
  • your age
  • the amount of study/exposure outside of lesson times

The table below suggests how many hours you might need to spend to reach each level of the CEFR, but remember these figures are intended as a guideline only. You may require more or less time and support depending on your own needs.


Common European Framework Guided Learning Hours (from beginner level)

CEFR LevelCambridge English ExamNumber of Hours (approximate)
C2 Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) 1,000—1,200
C1 Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) 700—800
B2 Cambridge English: First (FCE) 500—600
B1 Cambridge English: Preliminary (PET) 350—400
A2 Cambridge English: Key (KET) 180—200
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