The Cambridge Advanced Certificate is a much sought after qualification. It is the final reward for an often long journey of English Language studies. Here at Tti School, we offer preparation courses for the exam, led by our very experienced teachers – who boast an impeccable pass record. It is a long and demanding course which requires grit, endurance and hard work from the students. But fear not! We spoke to our teacher Luke who’s currently teaching the Cambridge Advanced course to ask for his best tips. And we asked his students what they expect from the course and exam. Keep on reading!
Here’s what Luke had to say and his tips to nail the CAE exam:
“It’s quite important to be organised and know how to study. Divide your folders into sections and file all extra material and practice sheets under the right heading. You will learn a ton of new vocabulary every day and a systematic recording of that is essential to help you memorise and use it. Top tip! Sign up and use Quizlet to practice vocabulary. There are ready-made groups of words but my advice is to create your own vocabulary bank and review it regularly. Why not give yourself weekly tests with it?
For writing learn how to use linkers – those little words that link paragraphs together and signpost in which direction your text is going. But don’t use just the easy ones – learn some complex, idiomatic-sounding linkers; learn how to use them well and use them over and over again.
At the speaking part of the text, it is important to give yourself time to think, and you should use fillers – phrases that buy time while you formulate an answer to the examiner’s question, such as: ‘let me think for a minute” or “I haven’t thought of that before” or “it’s difficult to say but maybe…” that sort of thing.
When it comes to Reading and Listening, what you have to do is… Read and Listen! Read the newspapers every day (paper or online) and do it actively – notice and take note of idiomatic expressions, grammar in use, and also how they use linkers in the text to describe purpose, consequence and reason. Listen to a lot of original content – preferably with subtitles, so you can also notice pronunciation features – which words are stressed, which syllables are stressed, which words connect etc – Ted Talks, podcasts and even Netflix is good if you concentrate on the language rather than the plot of what you’re watching!”
We also asked Pia and Allison about their expectations for the CAE course, and here is what they said:
“At the beginning of my stay here at Tti, my purpose was to become as fluent as a native speaker. Now that I have reached the highest level in my General English course, I decided to challenge myself further by taking up the Cambridge Advanced preparation course. Hopefully, I will be successful in passing the exam and achieving a good mark. Only when I reach an excellent level of English will I be fully satisfied!”
“The reason why I am doing the Cambridge course is to raise my chances to work in Europe and of course to improve my English. A significant benefit of the CAE is that you don’t have to renew it whereas the IELTS exam is only valid for 2 years.”
Thanks Luke for those amazing tips and good luck to Pia and Alison in their studies and exam!