Are you preparing for a Cambridge exam or have you already passed one? What was the most difficult part for you?
I think that regarding any students who are taking the exam, they should practise the ''Listening'' paper sufficiently! It might seem quite easy; just sit, listen, and tick boxes. In fact, some of the questions are rather tricky, and you do need to pay careful attention to the answers.
Also, writing practice is very important, in order to be familiar with the different formats. Practising essay writing skills is essential in terms of structure.
Basically, it is importnat know about the exam structure, and the ''magic'' keywords needed to satisfy the examiner!
I took the FCE exam three years ago, and the most difficult part was the speaking part. This part of English tests is always a nightmare, because even if the learner is good at writing, listening and reading, this part makes feel the students dumb.
In my opinion the listening part!
Camilo, I completely agree that some students find the speaking part really intimidating.
My students find the intonation and some of the structures they need to use a bit unnatural. It's true that sometimes the examples they get in books sound rather ridiculous, but I just tell them to imagine they have to perform in front of an audience like in a theatre play. So they should forget about feeling natural and being themselves and should try to put on a show to impress the examiners.
Also, I always remind them to be very polite and smile. That always helps :)
What do you think?
Very true, Max! Sometimes students think that if they have a good grasp of the language, that's enough to pass the exams. And it's really not. You can see that especially in the writing part. The majority don't really know how to structure a text or how to use punctuation because they've never learnt how to do it.
And the listening tasks are most of the time quite tricky. They include a lot of distracters which make the tasks rather challenging.
Any personal tips on how students could improve these skills in their own free time?