Our autumn FCE and CAE courses start next week! Are you ready? So for all of you who are enrolled on these courses or for those you considering an exam course in 2018, Maz, our Assistant Director of Studies and experienced exam course teacher, has written this excellent blog to give you an idea of what you can expect from one of our courses.
It’s no secret that the Cambridge exam preparation courses are challenging and demanding. Students often struggle with adapting to the structure of these courses. This usually happens because they are switching from General English Classes or joining the course not having studied English for some years. The good news is there are many things you can do to prepare for the course, here are a few suggestions:
The most important thing is organisation, this is something I’ve repeatedly seen to be the downfall of most students. You should have three A4 notebooks. One book will be for recording vocabulary, the other for grammar and another for submitting writing tasks. You should have an A4 folder so that you can store all the handouts, exam practice papers, writing tasks etc. Although simple, these things make a huge difference to your learning, with notebooks, folders and every handout dated you make revision and reviewing easy for yourself.
You already know that the course is intensive and challenging, but you should know that there is nothing to fear. Your teachers are there to support you and your classmates will become your “exam family”. The bonds created during these preparation courses are one of the reasons I love teaching these classes. A class filled with individuals working towards the same objective and goal, spending hours studying, helping and motivating each other means you fast track to becoming great friends.
Something you should expect, which differs from other classes, is a lot of homework. Homework is a key aspect of the exam preparation courses, it helps students consolidate things they have learnt, apply strategies and improve at a rapid pace. So be prepared for it and be open to it. Some students view homework as a punishment, but this is a very incorrect perception, try to view homework as part of the course itself, a way for you to monitor your progress and use everything you learn in class independently, as you will need to do in the actual exam.
Mocks and progress:
During the 8 week course, you will have 4 mocks. Mocks are exam stimulations, they aim to create the same environment as the real exam so that students are as well prepared as possible. They are also an excellent way both students and the teacher to evaluate progress and set objectives for the student to improve on before the next mock.
So finally, the exam preparation courses are nothing to be nervous about, as long as you come well-organised with a positive, can-do attitude. If you would like to hear more about previous students’ experiences why not read their blogs?
Thanks so much Maz and good luck to all our students starting their exam courses next week! For more details about our FCE and CAE courses please click the link: Exam Courses at Tti School of English