C2 Proficiency

What is C2 Proficiency?

C2 Proficiency is the highest-level qualification for non-native speakers. It proves that a candidate has achieved an extremely high level of skill in the English language.

The certificate of Proficiency in English shows the candidate’s score on the Cambridge English Scale for each of the 4 exam papers, overall score on the Cambridge English Scale and a grade: A; B; or C:

  • Grade A: a scale score of 220 – 230 (CEFR C2)
  • Grade B: a scale score of 213 – 219 (CEFR C2)
  • Grade C: a scale score of 200 – 212 (CEFR C2)
  • Level С1: a scale score of 180 – 199

If you achieve a Grade A, B or C in your exam, you will receive the Certificate of Proficiency in English at Level C2. If a candidate’s performance is below Level C2, but falls within Level C1, they will receive a Cambridge English certificate stating that they demonstrated ability at Level C1 (similar to C1 Advanced).

C2 Proficiency is made up of 4 papers. It covers 4 language skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking – and includes a fifth element focusing on the candidate’s understanding of the structure of the language.

Reading and Use of English

1 hour 30 mins

Candidates need to be able to understand texts from publications such as fiction and non-fiction books, scholarly journals, newspapers, manuals, etc.


1 hour 30 mins

Candidates have to show that they can produce two different pieces of writing: an essay and a letters / an email, a report, an article, or a review.


40 mins

Candidates need to show they can understand the meaning of a range of spoken material, including conversations, lectures, seminars, broadcasts and interviews.


16 mins

Candidates have to show their ability to communicate effectively in face-to-face situations.


More about the exam format

Exam preparation materials

Sample papers to prepare the reading, listening and writing parts are available on  the Cambridge Assessment English website.

If you are interested in effective ways of learning English and improving your language skills, please visit  the Learning English section of Cambridge Assessment English website, where you can find various exam resources and preparation materials, including free English games and online learning resources.