Category Archives: FCE Exam Preparation

Cambridge FCE Exam tips – Reading

The duration of the First Certificate reading exam is 1 hour. The Reading part of the Cambridge FCE exam has three parts.

First you have a multiple choice section in which you have to show understanding of a text and show understanding of language use which expresses opinions and attitudes.

The second part of the exam is a gap fill exercise – you will be given a text with sentences missing then you have to pick the sentence that should be put in there.

The final part of this section is a matching exercise. Within this section you have to read a text or texts and pick out key information and ideas from that paragraph and answer questions about these.

Some useful FCE tips:
• It can be useful to see how the topics change throughout the texts and whether or not it is in chronological order. Use the title/headline/pictures to help you work out the general idea of a text before reading.
• Always read the questions first and not the optional answers – answer the question yourself first and then find the answer in the options. Also try to find key words in the questions to help you in the text.
• Underline all key information as you read the text.
• If you don’t know – guess. They do not deduct marks for incorrect answers so it’s always best to just guess if you don’t know.
• If you are unsure of an answer – leave it and come back to it later. This way, you can eliminate the sentences that are not correct and give yourself a better chance at gaining the marks.
• Read the questions first – then you can underline the relevant information to be able to answer the questions (use key words in the questions to help you, but be careful as this won’t always work).
• Don’t spend too much time on one question – if you don’t know come back to it later.
• When you have finished, read the text again and make sure the answers are correct.

• For the first part the text is in chronological order. Read the questions (not the options) first, then find the piece of relevant text, and then answer the questions yourself – then go back to the answer options. The last question in this piece of the exam may be a question about the text as a whole.
Part two will be a text from a magazine or newspaper so if there are any pictures – try to use this and the headline to work out the general idea of the text. Also in the second part you should try to find ‘anchor words’ – such as connecting words, pronouns and time clauses. This is because they will ask about time and reasons that things happened There is one sentence extra in the answers – so there will be one sentence leftover at the end. Make sure the sentences follows the same meaning.
• For the final part, look at the headline to understand the general idea of the text. Then read the questions and underline key words so you know what to look for in the text. Be careful as sometimes the question will want more than one piece of information.

We hope you find these FCE exam tips useful. We have an excellent team of FCE teachers who will help you get the score you need.

Here are some useful links for preparation on other FCE exam sections:
Cambridge FCE Exam Speaking Tips
Cambridge FCE Use of English
Cambridge FCE Exam writing tips

Call us on 01189589599 or visit: 29a Chain Street, Reading, RG1 2HX, Berkshire to book your classes and FCE exam.

Cambridge FCE Exam tips – Writing task

Here is some useful advice to help you prepare for the Writing section of the Cambridge FCE Exam.

FCE task – Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

For this part of the exam it is most important that you follow the instructions carefully. You are firstly shown a letter or an email, for this you should use this text to structure your answer. An example is shown below.

You must answer this question. Write your answer in 120 – 150 words in an appropriate style on the opposite page.
FCE Writing task 1 example

Secondly you are offered a choice of four subjects to write an essay/letter/report/review/story about.
With both questions try not to copy information from the text – instead if you need to, try to rewrite the part using different words.

• For the first part you should use all of the information given to answer the question. The notes on this text will help you (provided). Try to use one paragraph for each of the notes given. Write between 120-150 words. And read through your answer to check for grammar or spelling errors. Content is very important here.
Don’t forget to start and finish the letter appropriately (e.g. Dear and Yours sincerely). You do not need to write an address for this letter so don’t.
Here you have to write a piece as if you were expecting a response from them.

• For the second part you should underline the main task you have to answer. Then you should decide how you should write the text – formal/informal, essay/magazine/business/letter to a friend. Write a plan for this essay to help with how you structure the writing.

This part is more focused on language. Look for bullet points and text in bold to help you.
For reports you should remember to write a title and sub-headings that are relevant to what you are writing about.

The last question in the choices is only if you have read AND studied the books – if you write about a different book from the set texts it is an automatic zero!

• Try to think of what the examiners are looking for – this will help you to write your answers.
There is no marking scheme – so do not focus on these.

Visit Eurospeak and prepare for your FCE exam classes here. The next FCE exam in Reading, Berkshire is going to be held on the 2nd of December.

Contact Eurospeak. Phone: 0118 9589599 or Email:

Here are some useful links for preparation on other FCE exam sections:
Cambridge FCE Exam Speaking Tips
Cambridge FCE Use of English

Cambridge FCE Exam tips – Use of English

Use of EnglishHere are some useful tips to do well in the ‘Use of English’ section of the Cambridge First Certificate in English.

This part of the exam lasts 45 minutes and consists of four parts.

• The first part is a gap fill – so as with the other parts of the exam – read the text (do not look at the answers) and try to think of which words could fill the gap yourself. After this you should look at the possible answers (do not read these first as they are made to confuse you).
• The second part you should read the text quickly and understand the topic, the writing style and the opinion/s of the writer. Then read the text and try to think what the missing words are – Think of the grammar term we should use here – auxiliary verb/pronoun/phrasal verb…
• In the third section you must change some given words – so here the best idea is to read the text and understand the meaning/style/opinions and then start to change the words. There is usually one word that must be made negative so look for this.

After this read the text through again and make sure it makes sense!

• In the final (and most important) part of the use of English part of the exam you should allow yourself at least 15 minutes to complete this section. Each question is worth two points – one for using the key word correctly, and one for identifying the remaining grammar or vocabulary needed to complete the sentence. So for this you must use the word given and use two to five words to complete the sentence. Always write something on the answer sheet as you can still get one mark!

So what are you waiting for. Start your FCE preparation classes at Eurospeak to get the result you want. Check out our special FCE discount offer.

Here are some useful links for preparation on other FCE exam sections:
Cambridge FCE Exam Speaking Tips
Cambridge FCE Exam Writing Tips

Cambridge FCE Exam tips – Speaking

cambridge-fce-speaking-examHere are some useful tips for the Cambridge FCE Exam.

Do not speak too fast or worry about your accent – this will not affect your results. You will speak with another candidate and the examiner.

The speaking part of the exam is based on 5 things: Grammar, lexis, discourse, pronunciation, and interactive communication. There is also a final mark for Global achievement – overall effectiveness in responding to the tasks in the different sections of the speaking test.

If you are given any materials – read them carefully. Also listen carefully to what the examiner and the candidate say in the exam.

• The first part of this test you will be asked questions about yourself – home, school, work, hobbies, habits, interests, and future plans. Just speak normally during this phase and listen to your partner as you can’t repeat their answer.

• The second part you will have to speak for one minute about two minutes – you must compare and contrast the pictures. You will also have to answer a short question about your partner’s pictures so listen to them. This will be opinion based. You will have to answer a question about the photos which will be given to you on a card – answer this and compare the photos. Use the examiners question to structure your answer. DO NOT DESCRIBE THE PHOTOS – ONLY COMPARE THEM – but, while, however, whereas….
For the question about your partner’s pictures try to use words they did not use.

• The third part of the exam you must complete with your partner. You will be given a number of pictures and have to discuss them, give your opinion, and make a decision about the pictures with your partner. Involve your partner – don’t just talk to yourself – ask them questions and encourage them to ask you questions. Discuss all of the pictures then make a decision. If your partner talks too much just interject and ask if you can give your opinion. If they don’t speak enough try to encourage them to speak.

• The final part of this exam the examiner will join the conversation you and your partner are having from part 3. They will ask open questions for you both to discuss.

When the exam is over – behave as if it were a job interview – just say thank you and leave – do not ask your score or express your relief at the exam being finished.

Prepare for your exam with expert FCE exam tutors at Eurospeak Language School in Reading. Our Cambridge exam classes are very popular and students consistently get great results.

FCE exam dates in Reading, Berkshire

FCE Exam success at Eurospeak

Take the FCE exam at Eurospeak Language School in Reading, Berkshire. The next FCE exam will be held on Tuesday the 2nd of December. FCE preparation classes at Eurospeak Language School start from the 1st of September. Learn from our expert tutors who have a proven track record helping students achieve success in their FCE exams.

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13 Weeks of FCE Classes (15 hours per week) from 1st September to the 28th of November + FCE course book + FCE Exam (on the 2nd of December) for only £800!

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13 Weeks of Classes (15 hours per week @80 per week) = £1040
FCE Book = £25
FCE Exam Fee: £100

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So what are you waiting for! Book your classes now. Call 0118 9589599 or email or visit Eurospeak, 29a Chain Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 2HX.

FCE Exam Preparation Classes in Reading Berkshire

Do you live in Reading and are you looking to prepare for the FCE examination? Do you want an expert teacher to help you pass the FCE exam. Then come and study at Eurospeak Language School based in the Reading Town Centre.

We run FCE classes every weekday (Monday to Friday) from 9:30 am to 12:45 pm and afternoon classes from 13:30 to 16:45 on Wednesday and Thursday only. Our classes cost only £16 per class of 3 hours.  We also run 1 to 1 classes which start from £30 per hour.

We are also a University of Cambridge ESOL examination centre (Centre no. 51302) and you can take the FCE exam at our centre.

The next examination is on the 12th April 2014 and the examination fee is only £100. you need to book the exam by end of this week to be able to take the exam on time.

The FCE (Cambridge First Certificate English) is an Upper Intermediate level exam. The FCE preparation course which is designed to improve your General English ability as well as prepare you for the following Cambridge First Certificate specific skills which include:

FCE Reading: You will be taught to understand and recognise various types of texts such as reports, articles and extracts from novels. You will practise a variety of exam focused skills such as reading for gist, specific information, examining text structure and using context to deal with unknown vocabulary.

FCE Writing: You will be taught practical skills required to write letters, articles, reports and compositions. You will practise how to structure a cohesive and coherent piece of writing, use linking devices and appropriate language in a piece of writing.

FCE Use of English: You will develop and improve your knowledge and use of grammar and vocabulary. You will practise these skills by learning how to complete specific exam tasks.

FCE Listening: You will be taught how to listen and understand in a variety of different situations, such as formal lectures and presentations and informal discussions and conversations. You will practise listening for gist, listening for specific information and deducing meaning from context.

FCE Speaking: You will be taught how to give personal information and express and discuss your opinions. You will practise using grammar and vocabulary in oral communication, improve pronunciation and develop strategies for successful task achievement.

We have a rolling intake so you can come at any time and book your lessons. Please call on +44(0)118 958 9599 or email to book your lessons.

The address of the school is: 29a Chain Street, Reading, Berkshire