Top FCE and CAE exam tips

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Eastbourne School of English teacher, Clive, gives his top tips for students taking the Cambridge B2 First (FCE) and C1 Advanced (CAE) exams.

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Top FCE and CAE exam tips

  1. Do not go out to the pub the night before You will need a clear head for these exams, so get a good night’s sleep and stay away from alcohol!

  2. Make sure to bring a bottle of water, pens, pencils and ID with you and wear comfortable clothes Stay hydrated, warm and comfortable, and have all the writing equipment you need for the exam. And don’t forget your student ID card!

  3. Switch off your mobile phone, or do not take it with you Your smartphone could be a distraction – turn it off, leave it with the examiner, or simply leave it at home so you are not tempted to check those notifications!

  4. Keep calm, take deep breaths and focus Practise your breathing if you need to – the exam will challenge you but you should be well prepared by this point. Nobody is trying to trick you, and everything you will find in the examination will have been taught in your course.

  5. Read and listen very carefully Don’t skim or ignore any paperwork you are provided with. And concentrate when the examiner speaks or if any staff member provides the students with information. You don’t want to miss anything important!

  6. Divide your time for each section carefully and do not spend too much time planning Be efficient. If you have been given three hours for the exam, work out – quickly – how long you will be able to devote to each section. You don’t want the clock to run our while you are working!

  7. If you find a question too difficult, do your best and move on to the next Don’t waste valuable time on a question you cannot answer. Come back to it if you have time at the end of the exam!

  8. In the writing exam, read the questions very carefully before choosing and write clearly Make sure you understand what is being asked of you. Create clear, concise answers to the questions you have chosen to work on.

  9. Complete all the sections Try not to miss anything out! If you have left a difficult question to the end of the exam, make sure you return to it and try again. It’s better to have attempted a section and got part of it right than leave it blank.

  10. Finally don’t worry, stay relaxed! You CAN do it! Be confident in yourself, and in the teachers who have got you this far. Together you have the skills and knowledge to succeed in these prestigious exams!

If you would like more useful tips like this why not take an exam preparation course in the UK?

The exam preparation courses at Eastbourne School of English, for example, are taught by experienced examination teachers such as Clive, many of whom are also oral examiners for Cambridge B2 First (FCE) and C1 Advanced (CAE) as well as IELTS – so they have a very good idea of what successful students need to do to pass the exam! Our courses provide complete and careful preparation for all aspects of your chosen examination.