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Why Study Cambridge? A student’s perspective

If you are presently studying English, you have most probably heard of Cambridge ESOL exams and preparation courses available in a variety of levels (KET, PET, FCE, CAE, CPE). Cambridge courses are hugely popular with students, as they provide you with real-life language skills that you can use for everyday life, work and study, instead of focusing purely on exam strategies.

In the article below, Disneidy Brita, an international student from Colombia, discusses her FCE journey here in Australia.

Why did you choose to study FCE preparation?
Because FCE preparation is a complete course that improves your English skills and helps you to communicate more effectively. Many friends of mine had told me that FCE preparation was the best course if you want to learn more grammar, listening, writing and speaking.

I definitely made the best decision to study FCE. My English is much better now, and I feel more confident when I speak and write.

How is FCE preparation different from other English courses you have taken?  
FCE covers writing, reading, grammar, listening and speaking and the course will prepare you for all these different parts of the exam. FCE focuses on preparing you to take the exam and seeks to increase your skills in all the areas mentioned above, rather than just strategies. In addition, you feel more confident to speak because you learn more grammar and structure of the language.

How did your classes prepare you for the exam?
The teachers show us how the exams are structured and give us the opportunity to do mock exams to get us prepared. Once receiving our results, we go over our problems and focus on improving those areas in the following exam.

  • Every week you look at phrasal verbs & collocations and review them in the following weeks with practical examples.
  • You write essays to improve your writing skills.
  • You use specialized course books and materials to do exercises in class and as homework.
  • You constantly read books to help improve your comprehension and expand your vocabulary.

How is FCE different from other courses?
FCE is different because you learn more vocabulary, more grammatical structures and you walk away feeling more confident speaking the language. You work hard and have to learn how to manage your time effectively to be able to improve your skillset in all the areas covered in the course. I think with hard work and study, you come away with such a wide range of vocabulary that will not just surprise yourself, but everybody around you.

What advice would you give a student thinking about taking the FCE exam?

  • Spend time in General English classes before starting FCE
  • Attend classes every day. Study and practise the coursework at home as well.
  • Watch the news, tv shows, listen to music to help improve your listening abilities.
  • Make the most of your classes by actively participating in class.
  • Read books and broaden your vocabulary.
  • Ask questions. Do not be afraid to make mistakes, learn from mistakes.

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