For people struggling to get the 79+ or 8+ in PTE or IELTS, I don't know if it is a possibility to do CAE. I have struggled with the exams myself for quite some while, I did PTE 5 times and IELTS 2 times (and almost always just missed out) before I decided to do CAE, which I passed on the first try (200+ in every part). I found the exam a lot more relaxed compared to the others.
- listening: they play every recording twice and the topics are a lot easier than PTE
- speaking: 15 min with another candidate and 2 examiners
- writing: 1 essay + a choice out of a letter/a review/... and you have 1.5h to do so!
- reading: more general topics and again 1.5h (although it also contains 'use of English' which I was quite scared of but they don't care about that score for the visa anyways)
The exam does take a bit longer but it is a lot more relaxed because you have more time to finish each part + you get a 20 min break between parts which is quite nice!
I wish I had tried this exam from the beginning because I could've been a lot farther in my visa process but that's just life :) I'm just happy I passed and I've got my invite to apply!