Amanda’s Top Ten Tips for studying for Cambridge First Certificate Exam

1. Use past papers from the Cambridge website to get familiar with the exam structure and to give yourselves practice.



2. Watch YouTube recordings of the speaking test for useful phrases and tips.

Then record yourselves speaking and become aware of the mistakes you are making.



3. Listen to the news in English, radio programmes and podcasts when you are at home in the afternoons and evenings or out for a walk.

Read anything you can find, newspapers, magazines, books, anything.


4. Pay attention to your teachers’ corrections and feedback, especially in your writing.

Students tend to make the same mistakes again and again so if you study your feedback carefully, you are less likely to make the same mistake the next time.


5. When you are doing writings at home, make sure you plan before you start writing.

If you have a good plan then you will probably produce a good piece of writing. Don’t skip this step as it is a very important part of the process and could mean the difference between an average grade and a good grade.


6. Be patient with your online class.

There is a logical order in which topics will be taught which may not seem obvious when you start but will make sense as you do progress.


7. Be patient with yourself.

Learning is not linear and you will have good days and bad days, you might even have a bad week, but that is normal. Your teacher is there to encourage and support you on days when you need it.


8. Keep a language notebook.

Perhaps you could use the front for grammar and the back for new phrases and vocabulary. Find a system for keeping vocabulary, like recording it in sentences. Once it’s there, don’t forget about it. Revise! Revise! Revise!


9. Set realistic goals and expectations.

Set aside certain times in the afternoon and evening to study. Design a realistic timetable of study including days off and stick to it!


10. Do some exercise every day and eat well.

If you are healthy, you will be more productive.


– Amanda, Emerald FCE Teacher