Top tips for exam preparation
We asked our colleagues in the Northern Europe team who passed Cambridge English exams for their top exam preparation tips. We hope that you will find them useful. Good luck for your exam preparation!
Ewa Fountain (Cambridge English: Proficiency), Office Administrator Warsaw: “I remember I was very enthusiastic about learning English, I completely immersed myself in every aspect of the culture. Mind you, at the time I was staying in Cambridge so it was easier for me, I guess. I read a lot of authentic texts, copied many useful phrases into my notebook with translation next to it. I watched lots of TV programmes, read books, newspapers, listened to the radio. The language surrounded me. I recall that I approached the learning with a lot of zest and everything sunk in a lot quicker. I also followed a Proficiency course at a private language academy for 12 weeks prior to taking the test, which obviously helped a lot too.”
Kerstin Großmann (Cambridge English: First, Cambridge English: Proficiency), Head of Network Services Berlin: “I sat Cambridge English: First and Cambridge English: Proficiency a long time ago, but I still remember that I found the following really useful: Once I was confident that I had reached the language level in all the skills tested I did a couple of practice tests to get used to the test format and the timing. I would also recommend getting as much exposure to the language as possible: reading in English, watching English movies (making sure that these include different accents, e.g. American English or different dialects) or the news, listening to the English language and trying to speak to as many people in English as possible. Once I started dreaming in English I was confident that I was ready to take the exam!”
Simona Petrescu (Cambridge English: Proficiency), Development Support Manager Germany: “When you check your answers and find your mistakes, try to think of what tactics you could use next time to improve your score. For instance, when I was preparing for Cambridge English: Proficiency and doing practice tests, I noticed that in the vocabulary multiple choice tasks, which were really very tricky, it helped me to pick the word I didn’t know at all if I felt that none of the other three choices were 100% accurate. In one respect this was just a tactic, a trick, but I think it also helped me to focus more on the new words and want to find out more about them. Another example: when comparing my writing with the official answers I noticed that my sentences tended to be too elaborate and that I tended to get carried away by an idea to the disadvantage of the text organisation, which made me lose marks. So my tactic next time was to use the full stop more often.”
Manuela Richter (Cambridge English: First, Cambridge English: Business Higher), Marketing Manager Berlin: “When I prepared for the Cambridge English: Business Higher I attended a weekly course for three months. This helped me to practice speaking and writing in a business context and also guaranteed proper feedback which I would not have received when studying alone at home.”