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CAE

Exam Overview and Tips

Exam Overview

5 parts each carries 20% of the total marks Reading (1 hour and 15 minutes): 34 questions Writing (1 hour and 30 minutes): 2 tasks Use of English (1 hour): 50 questions Listening (40 minutes): 30 questions Speaking (15 minutes) Grading scale Grade A: 80% - 100% = C2 Grade B: 75% - 79% = C1 Grade C: 60% - 74% = C1 45% - 59% = B2 0% - 44% = Fail
More information on page 192 (CAE Practice Tests Plus)

Tips for Paper 1: Reading

Part 1and 3
Look at the questions or question stems only. Read the text to find the answers Look at the options and choose the one which best matches Confirm that the other options are all definitely wrong

Part 2:
Read the text, particularly that around each gap Read paragraphs A-G to check for topic and language links Choose the best option to fit each gap by making sure all the pronoun and references are clear and

Tips for Paper 1: Reading

Part 4
Read the questions and underline key words Read the text quickly to find the relevant information Focus on the relevant information and decide the best answers

Tips for Paper 3: Use of English

Part 1

Read the text and check the words before and after the gaps The focus is on knowledge of vocabulary and word relationships

Part 2:
Read the text, particularly that around each gap The focus is on grammatical words

Part 3:
Decide which part of speech is needed for each gap Some words will need more than one change

Tips for Paper 3: Use of English

Part 4

Read all the 3 sentences and decide the best word which fits all the gaps Work on the sentence that you are the most confident with the word to fill in and confirm that word with the other two sentences

Part 5:
Changes in word order or word form might be applicable Make sure there are no changes in the meaning and no extra information is added

Tips for Paper 4: Listening

Part 1,3
Most will be gist questions (about peoples ideas, opinions, feelings, etc.) Words in the options are different from those on the recording

Part 2:
The words you need to fill in the gaps are on the recording Most answers are concrete pieces of information (13 words, numbers, etc.)

Part 4:
Pay attention to the speakers main ideas and relevant words / phrases

Tips for Paper 5: Speaking

Part 1

You'll gain extra marks if you're able to give full, relevant answers to these questions. 1) Offer more than the bare minimum in your answers. Q: Tell me about where you come from. A: I come from Bielefeld. (Don't stop there!) It's in the northern part of Germany. It's a lovely place with a busy town and it's also close to some nice countryside. 2) Offer examples to help you explain a statement. Q: Why are you preparing for the CAE exam? A: Because it's important for my job. As part of my appraisal, my boss advised me to take an English exam to help me develop my professional skills. I passed FCE last year and if I'm successful at CAE I'd

Tips for Paper 5: Speaking

Part 1

3) Avoid short, 'yes', 'no' answers. Q: Do you enjoy studying English? A: Yes I do! I quite like studying languages and English in particular. I have a lot of English friends and love to be able to communicate with them in their own language. And I love being able to read English novels. Q: Do you have any hobbies or interests? A: No, not hobbies really. I used to like collecting things as a child but that doesn't interest me now. I suppose you could say music is a big interest, I especially like listening to English bands.

Tips for Paper 5: Speaking

Part 2

1. The picture set will have a general theme but try to find two that are either very similar or very different in some way. This will give you a basis on which to compare and/or contrast the two pictures. 2. Signpost the end of your talk by adding a personal reaction to the pictures. For example: 'The two people in picture three look like they're enjoying themselves but personally, I think I'd prefer to spend my study time in a lecture theatre where I'd be more able to concentrate on learning'.

Tips for Paper 5: Speaking

Part 3

1. Be prepared to ask your partner for his or her opinion rather than simply stating your own. 2. Listen 'actively' to what your partner says, responding to comments he or she makes. Use expressions such as the following to comment on something: "That's an interesting point." "I was interested in what you said about ..." "So, when you say ........, do you mean ........?" "Could you explain what you mean by .......?" 3. Use expressions to allow yourself time to think. For example: 'That's a good question.', 'Well, let me think ...

Tips for Paper 5: Speaking

Part 3

4. In order to bring the discussion to a constructive conclusion try using expressions such as the following: "So, weighing up the pros and cons, do you think ?" "Are we generally in agreement that ?" "So, all in all do we feel ?" "Essentially, do we all agree that ?" "So, to sum up " "So, in general " "It seems weve reached the conclusion that

Tips for Paper 5: Speaking

Part 4

1. Again, avoid short, 'yes', 'no' answers to the examiner's questions. 2. Use techniques to make your contributions powerful, for example by using short, personal anecdotes to help make a point. 3. Continue to work with your partner. Respond constructively and show interest in things he or she says. (From CAE Speaking Test at http://www.splendidspeaking.com/exams/cae_speaking.html)