How To Prepare for Your Cambridge Exam

Preparing for your Cambridge exam can be
very intimidating. Besides taking a preparation course, here are some tips that will bring you closer to success on your Cambridge English exams!

Read, Read, Read!

Set time aside every day to read something in English other than your course book. Buy or borrow a novel, collection of short stories or graded reader and/or read magazines and newspaper articles on topics that interest you. Read for enjoyment, while noticing the way the words are organized, different writing styles, and words that go together.

Build your vocabulary.

Keep a record of your learning and useful example sentences or sentence parts that include verbs, adjectives and nouns. Pay particular attention to phrasal verbs (verb + preposition or adverb which changes the meaning of the verb ;e.g. he ‘ran away’ or ‘ran into’), common collocations (nouns which naturally follow verbs; e.g. ‘catch a bus’) and dependent prepositions (preposition dependent on the verb, adjective or noun appearing before it; e.g. ‘add to’, ‘crazy about’, ‘increase in’). Revise your vocabulary notebook regularly. Test yourself or ask friends over for a revision session. You can test each other on vocabulary!

Take a critical approach to writing.

Always include planning time before writing anything.  Learn from your mistakes by making a list of your common grammar and spelling errors, along with their corrections.  Refer to this list and cross off the mistakes when you no longer make them.

Completely surround yourself with English.

Speak English at every opportunity, both inside and outside class.  If you are studying in an English-speaking country, take advantage of opportunities to socialize, watch TV, go to the movies, and listen to the radio.

Don’t shy away from idioms.

Try to learn a small number of idioms or common sayings very well, so that you can accurately and naturally slip them into your speaking and informal writing when you can.

Kerrie Womersley
Senior Teacher, Kaplan International College Cairns

Take a Cambridge FCE/CAE/CPE preparation course with Kaplan International Colleges and learn specific English language skills and the best techniques for taking the test!