Cambridge Exam Preparation Dublin
This blog will tell you all you need to know about Cambridge Exam Preparation Dublin.
Cambridge Exams are amongst the most widely recognized and popular English language exams for foreign language students. Students who have passed their Cambridge exam automatically have a distinct advantage when applying to schools, companies and over 15’000 universities. The exams come from and are named after the prestigious University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Students who successfully pass a Cambridge Exam will hold an internationally recognized certificate. Cambridge Exam Preparation Dublin courses are accepted for VISA purposes for many students looking to study in Europe from non-EEA countries.
Regardless as to whether you use the exam to get into a University or job, it’s also a great way to improve your general English as the course is specifically designed to give tools to assess students abilities to speak English in real-life situations.
All the Cambridge exams are accredited by the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Language), this is the international standard for describing someone’s language ability. Once you have passed your Cambridge exams, you have it for life, there is no expiry date on it!
Two of the most popular Cambridge exams are the FCE (First Certificate Exam) and the CAE (Cambridge Advanced Exam).
What is the FCE Exam?
The FCE stands for the First Certificate Exam. It is one of the most popular exams with English language students. It is aimed towards students who have an Upper-Intermediate (B2) level and are confident using everyday general English in both speaking and writing. Similar to the IELTS exam, it is divided into 4 categories – reading and Use of English, writing, listening and speaking. The written assessments will all take place on the same day, however the speaking assessment may be timetabled for a different day! Below we’ll take a look at what to expect in the exam and help you with your Cambridge Exam Preparation.
In this section of the FCE, you are allocated 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete 7 parts containing an overall of 52 questions. The materials you will be expected to read are basic everyday extracts from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.
This section is worth the most points and accounts for 40% of your total grade.
Parts 1 to 4 will focus on a wide variety of texts and you will be asked to complete vocabulary and grammar tasks. This may include filling in blank gaps in texts with the correct words and being able to recognize idioms or fixed phrases through answering multiple choice questions.
The writing section is divided into 2 parts – there is one compulsory question and one question from a choice of three.
In the compulsory question you will be provided with an essay title of a general interest with 2 ideas relating to the title. Using these ideas you must write an essay between 140 to 190 words giving your opinions on them. You will need to showcase your writing abilities in persuasion, expression and justification. A good way to prepare for this question is to read newspaper articles and then practice writing your own opinion on the issues in the article.
The second part will give you an option of writing either an article, email/letter or report/review. You will be expected to write between 140 to 190 words. You will be given some guidelines and context as to the style you should be writing in.
The writing section is worth 20% of the points and you will be given 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete it.
The listening section is 40 minutes long, and is divided into 4 parts. Each part will contain different forms of speaking, such as radio broadcasts, interviews, conversations, monologues, stories or anecdotes.
You will be asked specific information about the content in all of the recordings and you will have to be able to identify the speaker’s attitude, opinion tone and emotion. Some questions will be multiple choice and in some you will be asked to complete sentences.
A really great way to practice your listening skills is to listen to podcasts. Check out some great podcasts for listening to English here.
The speaking test is divided into 4 parts and you won’t be alone as another candidate will sitting the exam with you!
Part 1 is basic enough, it’s an interview style conversation where you will speak with the examiner and they will ask you information about yourself such as your hobbies and interests, career goals and some of your opinions about various topics.
Part 2: You and the other candidate will be handed a set of two photographs. You will take turns speaking separately about your photographs for 1 minute and will then be asked to comment on each others photographs.
Part 3: The interviewer will give you and the other candidate some material as well as a task based on the material. You will have to discuss the material with the other candidate and you will be required to exchange ideas and come up with a solution to the related task.
Part 4 consists of further discussion on the task in part 3 prompted and directed by the interviewer. This is mostly to test your conversational skills.
You can check out sample papers for all sections here.
Many students who successfully pass the FCE, then go on to prepare for the CAE exam.
What is the CAE exam?
The CAE stands for Certificate of Advanced English and is suitable for students looking to acquire a C1 Advanced level of English. Like the FCE, it is a widely recognized certificate and an extremely beneficial qualification to have when applying to universities or jobs.
The sections in the CAE exam are pretty much identical to the sections in the FCE exam. The difference is they will be longer, and the questions, topics and grading will be more difficult and complex.
You can check out sample papers for all sections here.
Both exams are graded on the Cambridge Scaling System, it is quite complicated so it is advisable to aim for 60% or higher in order to pass the exam. If you study a Cambridge Exam Preparation course your teacher will be able to help you understand how the scaling system works!
Cambridge Exam Preparation Courses Dublin
Preparing for Cambridge exams on your own can be difficult to do. Many students opt to study Cambridge Exam Preparation courses to help them prepare for the exam. Everest Language School in Dublin has some great Cambridge exam preparation courses for both FCE and CAE with qualified native speaking teachers who know the Cambridge exam inside out with their eyes closed! Having this guidance from a teacher is so important when preparing for the exam and can help the student not only pass the exam, but ace it!
The first course on offer is the Intensive Cambridge Exam Preparation (26 hrs). It runs from Monday to Friday from 9am to 1.10pm with two additional afternoon classes from 1.50 to 5pm. In this course students will be taught General English as well as Cambridge Exam Preparation as we find studying both simultaneously can be really beneficial, especially for the speaking sections in the Cambridge exam.
Your day will be divided into two parts.
Session 1: (9am – 1.10pm) Focus on grammar, vocabulary, speaking, fluency, pronunciation and general English skills. These classes are on every day (Monday – Friday).
Session 2: (1.50pm – 5pm) Focus on the exam. You will learn skills, techniques and methods to get the highest mark possible in your FCE or CAE exam. These classes are on Monday and Wednesday.
For students unable to commit to an intensive course we have a Cambridge Exam Preparation (6 hrs) course that runs twice a week, usually on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1.50pm to 5pm. In this course you will learn skills, techniques and methods to get the highest mark possible in your Cambridge exam.
To book a course please complete our online booking form!
Costs to sit the exam range from €175 to €200 depending on where you choose to go.
All English courses are taught using a communicative methodology; this means you will spend your time in class improving your English speaking and listening skills as well as focusing on key skills necessary to pass exams, get into university and get a job.
See some testimonials from our Cambridge students below!
‘If you want to improve your English, Everest Language School is the best school in Dublin. Located in the very heart of the city, it offers the best courses and the best teachers to reach the top of your results’ – Laura Inzoli
‘I spent two fabulous weeks at Everest last summer and I enjoyed an intensive course. Indeed, lessons are demanding; however, teachers are highly skilled and helpful and have an amazing way of teaching
As a result, I went through the Cambridge Advanced Exam in November, and… I passed it!!! Simply fantastic!’ – Francesca Maria Rizzotti
‘This is the best english school I have ever been, I have learnt a lot of new and interesting things, and I have had many good experiences with the teachers and other students, the classes are really entertaining and with their help I have passed my FCE! Wonderful place!!’ – Maria Ribas Roselló
‘I studied at Everest School for 6 months and they are such a amazing english school that allowed me to start the course in the pre intermediate and finish with advanced level. All the teachers are excellent, always focusing on the main examinations of certifications and the language used in the day to day.’ – Isabella Campos