Practice Test: Certificate of Advanced English
Getting the CAE is a big step on the road to success for many people, whether it is for a job, for study, or just for a sense of personal achievement. Most people see the Certificate of Advanced English as the gold standard of English – in other words, if you’ve passed the Certificate of Advanced English it is a clear sign that your English is really good. Some people go on to take the CPE as well, but for many people CAE is the point at which they have proved their English to be of a high standard.
So, how can you make sure that you pass the Certificate of Advanced English? Well, one way of course is to do practice tests. To see what you need to do, an obvious thing is to look through past papers, and see what kinds of questions come up again and again. The best place to start is the Cambridge Practice Test books – if you look at these, you can see authentic past papers from previous exams, which therefore show you exactly what previous candidates had to do. Try a practice test of reading and Use of English from a practice test book from Cambridge, and you’ll be able to see exactly what collocations, fixed phrases, grammar structures and patterns, and phrasal verbs are in the Use of English, and what types of reading question you have to answer in the reading section.
One tip with practice tests for the Certificate of Advanced English is that when you have finished a test, and you’ve seen your score, you can then go through the practice test in detail, and make a note of all the phrases and grammar you’ve missed. Take Use of English part one of CAE, for example. You can look through your answers, and where you’ve made a mistake, you can note down the correct collocation or phrase. But also, with CAE, it’s a good idea to look at the other possible answers in the multiple-choice and see why they were not the correct answer, and what is the difference between the four options. These slight differences of meanings are worth recording, and later on, you will come across some of them in parts of the exam. That way, you really get value from a CAE practice test, and you get to learn more English as well as being tested.
Of course, you can also do an English course in the UK, where you can learn English in England, and prepare for CAE at the same time as using your language in a real setting. A lot of the material tested in the Certificate of Advanced English is based on real, spoken English, and so you will get to hear, and use, the language you study in your CAE lessons outside of the class. Pick a school which has CAE specialist teachers, and you’ll find that your chance of passing is much much higher. Your range of language will increase, as will your ability to use language confidently and accurately.
So, use CAE Practice Tests well, to get the most out of them, and learn from them, along with some lessons from an experience professional, if you have the chance, in order to give you the best chance of success in passing the Certificate of Advanced English.