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    Top Tips When Taking Your FCE and CAE Exam

    Both the Cambridge FCE (First Certificate Exam) and the CAE (Cambridge Advanced English) certificate is geared towards upper to intermediate English speakers and learners. Any students who successfully enrol on on an FCE and CAE will not only gain the opportunity to greatly improve their English language proficiency and skills, they will also gain much better employment and educational opportunities through achieving a widely recognised qualification.

    Many top universities recognise a FCE and CAE qualification, along with many of the world’s best employers. The  FCE and CAE exams can be very difficult, and students will be required to practice their English knowledge and skills in order to gain the confidence required to pass them. With this in mind, we’ve got a few top tips to help you when taking your FCE and CAE exam.


    Be on top of your time-management

    Just like any exam, staying on top of your time-management is crucial when you’re taking you’re FCE or CAE exam. You need to put a plan together so that you know exactly how much time you need to spend on each section of the exam. If you plan ahead then you’ll leave yourself plenty of time to check over your answers at the end. Remember, that each section of the exam carries pretty much the same number of marks, so keeping on top of your time will maximise your chances of getting the highest score.


    Really focus on your reading

    During the exam you’ll be required to read a body of text, before you start reading though, make sure that you check through all the questions so that you know what to look at for. This isn’t always the case but usually the earlier questions will have their answers appear in the beginning of the text, with the end of the text having containing the answers to the later questions.


    Make sure that you listen to learn

    During the listening part of the exam, it’s important not to focus too much on the individual words you hear, instead be sure to listen to the recording as a whole. If you do notice a any key words, then write them down. Whatever you do, do not try to read through any questions while you listen as this may cause you to miss vital information. Listen to all of the recording and then tackle the questions once it’s finished.


    Be clear and concise with your writing

    Remember, to spend around the same amount of time on each section of the exam, as they are roughly worth the same amount in terms of marks. It’s always a good idea to write down any key words, so that you remember them easier for when you want to include them in your answer. Be focused in your writing and don’t write any unrelated things just to increase your word count, as you won’t increase your mark doing this. Try to add as much detail as possible, only write what you can comfortably explain, and remember to always give an opinion in your answer.


    Stay calm when speaking

    It’s perfectly understandable if you feel nervous during the speaking part of the exam, but the best thing you can do is remain calm and speak clearly. You have to speak continuously for a few minutes, so there’s no need to rush. Make sure you talk about a topic that you know well, and use the words you’ve had the most practice with to describe it. This part of the exam is purely designed to test your spoken English, so there’s no need to express your opinions, only speak about something that’s relevant.


    At NCG, we want to help you learn English the best way, at any one of our English schools. You can enrol on an English speaking course with us, from FCE and CAE Preparation, to IELTS Preparation, we’re here to help.