Tips for passing the FCE exam

Many student’s at Let’s Talk English Center in Valencia ask what tips they can use to pass the FCE exam and these are some I always recommend.

Listening – when doing the listening exam, audio’s always play twice, the first time it plays just listen and try to take in the theme, content and context, make notes if you can. Then when the second recording starts, fill in the answers required. Many students become too preoccupied on writing in their answer that they miss lots of details and therefore choose incorrect answers.

Speaking – take your time, don’t rush your answer, it is better to speak slower, clearer and make fewer mistakes than use all of the time whilst also making a lot of errors. Listen to your partner during the discussion part 3 of the exam and take inspiration from their answers, they may remind you of some vocabulary you forgot or give you an idea of something else to mention.

FCE Speaking Test example

Writing – check, check and check again! So many students make grammar mistakes simply because they write while rushing and don’t read back their work properly. These grammar mistakes are easy ones that students would easily recognize in other people’s work and in grammar activities. Be careful with synonyms, although synonyms technically mean a similar/the same thing, in English we don’t usually use these interchangeably, some are more appropriate in certain contexts than others.

Reading – During the UoE part, sometimes it helps to use your common sense, think about what answer would most likely fit due to the context. In part 4 it’s important to think about the tense and personal pronouns that have been used in the first sentence as this you will usually need to replicate in the second. During the Reading part try to read slowly and carefully as even one word misread could change the context. First read the article and try to only focus on understanding what its about, imagine you’re Reading an article about something you enjoy and want to know more about. The second time you read the article is when you should search for the answers.