Cambridge English Qualifications Digital – new exam experience

In March 2024, Cambridge Assessment English will be globally introducing a new, improved system for taking Computer-based exams – Cambridge English Qualifications Digital

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In response to the expectations of candidates taking English language exams, Cambridge English Assessment is introducing a new format for exams taken on computers (CB – Computer-based). Cambridge English Qualifications Digital, set to be implemented in March 2024, will enhance the exam experience for candidates opting to obtain a Cambridge English certificate.

What will the Cambridge English Qualifications Digital exams look like?

Similar to the CB (Computer-based) exams, the Digital exams will be taken on-site at the Examination Center on computers provided by the Center. Currently, there is no option to take Cambridge English exams remotely.

What improvements do the Digital exams offer?

The biggest improvement of the Digital exams will be the fast delivery of online results – they will be available just 5-10 working days after the exam date.

Additionally, the Digital exams offer:

  • headphones with volume control for the Listening test; durnig paper-based (PB) exams, the recording is played through a speaker
  • the Writing test has an automatic word count
  • in the Reading test, you can make notes, highlight text and review your answers

How to register for Digital exam?

In order to register for Cambridge English exams you need to register online by filling in an online registration form:

What are the differences between PB (Paper-Based) and Digital exams?

PB ExamDigital Exam
Exam locationOn-site at the Examination CenterOn-site at the Examination Center
Reading and Writing testPaper with pen and pencilComputer with keyboard, screen and mouse
Levelspre-A1 Starters –
C2 Proficiency
A2 Key- C2 Proficiency
Results4-6 weeks after exam date5-10 working days after exam date
Tested language skillsListening, Reading, Writing, SpeakingListening, Reading, Writing, Speaking
Listening testDigital audio playerHeadphones with volume control
Speaking testOn-site, face-to-faceOn-site, face-to-face

In summary, both formats of Cambridge English exams test exactly the same language skills and are constructed from the same types of tasks. Additionally, both formats take place on-site at the Examination Center.
They differ in the medium of the exam (paper and pen/pencil or computer and keyboard) and in the waiting time for online results – 4-6 weeks for the paper version and 5-10 days for the Digital version.

Which version of the Cambridge English exam should I choose?

Choosing between the paper-based and computer-based versions of the Cambridge English exam is a personal matter.

Candidates accustomed to traditional exam-taking methods, who write by hand on a daily basis, may feel more confident taking the exam in the PB (Paper-Based) version; individuals who type frequently on a keyboard may prefer the Digital version.
Additionally, when choosing the exam format, one must consider the waiting time for results, which is longer for paper-based exams.


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