Tips to succeed at Cambridge B2 First (FCE)
Getting advice from people who have already taken the FCE can be really helpful, so here are some of our top tips below. Just remember – you don’t have to do any of them, but you might find some that help you too. It can help improve your score. Keep in mind that preparation for the FCE test is key.
- Practice those exams skills as often as you can. Keep working through practice tests – time some and just work through others. You should naturally start completing them quicker.
- Find your areas of weakness e.g. close questions in reading and spend a bit more time understanding how to approach the question
- Keep reading – it teaches you so much and your English levels will improve
- Use your English – practice it in real life. This is one of the best ways to improve your fluency, understanding, and use of expressions.
- Book you test in advance – it guarantees your place but also gives you a timeframe to work with.
- Don’t stress – you can always take it again! The world didn’t end.
- Practice writing by hand – this is really important as you will do this in the exam. Dealing with your hand hurting a little from writing is something to also think about.
- Speak to people in English. This is the only way to practice for the oral part of the test. For example, you could join a language exchange group either face-to-face or an online one.
- Listen to the radio or anything where people are talking. Try to focus on words and meaning. This should help develop your listening skills.
- Practice writing each of the types of writing tasks you might be asked for – letter, email, report, article etc. This will teach you about style and structure too.
- Learn the differences between formal and informal language
- Study chunks of language that are commonly used e.g. kind regards; however on the other hand; In my opinion,…….; It is commonly thought that……..
- Study synonyms and antonyms to help vary your lexis when completing the speaking and writing tasks. This should help book your grade.
- Read all the exam instructions carefully
- Highlight “keywords” to help you skim and focus on meaning
- Check your spelling regularly throughout – not just writing, on the listening paper too.
- Leave enough time to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
- Only give one answer for each question. Giving two options will lose you marks
- Don’t spend too much time on one question or part of a paper. Move on and go back to it at the end.
- Always try to write an answer and not leave any blank spaces on the answer sheet.
For more information on the registration process, you can read our article “How to register for Cambridge FCE?“. Note that you can take the test in the country of your choice. We have written articles to help you locate test centres in UK, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Canada, Belgium, and Netherlands.
NB: There are four sections to the test.