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      • Native Language:
      • Croatian
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      • Croatia
      • Current Location:
      • Croatia

    • Join Date: Mar 2015
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    Preparing for the CPE

    Hello folks, I would like to hear your opinion regarding what to do to successfully prepare for the CPE exam. Now, don't get me wrong, I know this is a very general question so I'll try and narrow it down.
    I'm in the second year of study at high school and the most intimidating thing about taking the exam, or even preparing for it, is my age. Reading other people's opinions and experiences on this forum and other discussion boards I've come to the conclusion that even people who are by far more experienced than I am and their English is evidently more refined, have had trouble getting an A or a B on the test.


    I was wondering if anyone here has experience with preparation for this exam and generally taking English on a higher level in order to achieve more. Actually to be more exact I was wondering if following things would be enough to prepare myself for the test and if you have any more tips on this matter.
    Even though I'm studying English as my second language in school (3 hours a week, B2) I bought Cambridge's Proficiency Masterclass book and Oxford Student's Grammar Builder (and Finder) to study on my own. In my free time I read books in English and I always try to pick those that are written in maybe more advanced English (British classics, good translations of Russian classics etc.) Moreover, I'm going to take 100 hours long preparation course for the CPE exam this autumn. After that I'm hoping to be prepared for the exam and ready to ace it.
    I don't want you to get me wrong, I am aware of the gravity of this exam and I'm not trying to be big headed here. It's just that I would like to go to university in England and I would like to be as prepared as possible. Also, an A would look really good on my college application.


    To conclude, I'm just wondering if this is a realistic goal I've set for myself? Maybe you have some more tips on how to prepare for it... Anyway, thank you so much in advance!

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,833
    #2

    Re: Preparing for the CPE

    To be honest, just passing CPE is great. I've taught it for many years and few have got As, but many of those who passed have gone on to take degrees in the UK, including postgrad ones.

  1. salvador.dal1950's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Spanish
      • Home Country:
      • Argentina
      • Current Location:
      • Argentina

    • Join Date: Dec 2013
    • Posts: 129
    #3

    Re: Preparing for the CPE

    I took it last December and got a B, a weak one. My English doesn't come close to yours (judging by your post) and I find the exam not that hard, is not what people say it is. To prepare it I only used Cambridge past exams and the Internet; I didn't attend classes, you know, my English education has been quite haphazard. Once I was done with an exam I went over it looking for words and structures that I didn't know, that's how I learned new stuff and, more importantly, I became accustomed to the types of things that Cambridge like to include in their exams ("should" used as "if", the expression "single sth/sb out for", inversions, those kinds of things you know what I mean). I did about 15 complete exams in this fashion, then 10 more where I only did the Use of English bit.

    Mind you, when I started to study for the CPE I thought I was at FCE level. I was preparing the FCE (I never took the FCE or CAE) and It wasn't until I did a sample of a CPE exam, and passed it, that I thought to myself: oh, maybe I can tackle the CPE. Then I went on to study in the way that I've described before.

    I hope this was of any help.

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