Preparation for the CAE exam

I have written an article about the books and materials you should get prior to your CAE exam – CAE exam books.
Ideally you should prepare well ahead of time before taking your CAE exam. Problem with this exam, however, is that it may take a while before receiving your certificate. I have taken the exam with Cultura Inglesa in Rio de Janeiro and after 6 months the certificate is still not ready. If you need proof of competence within a short timeframe, the TOEFL can be a better option.

Unlike the TOEFL test, your CAE certificate is valid for your entire life. If you don’t need your result ASAP this is therefore an excellent exam for the future. Step one is to acquire the official material described in the above article.

This material gives you a great overview of the format and the answer key gives you the feedback about your current level. Step 2 is to consider a source that can provide you feedback for the speaking and writing sections. Most natural alternative is taking a course.


Toefl speaking question 1

One of the most terrifying elements of the TOEFL is the speaking part, because it is a weird setting where you have to give a answer with a clock ticking.

The first question has 15 seconds preparation and then you have to speak for 45 seconds.
Often it follows a pattern where you should give a one sentence answer, followed by 2 reasons why and then ideally followed by a conclusion (depending on available time). It is good to practice with using a conclusion. If you get cut off in the conclusion that is not too dangerous, more harmful if to have 10 empty seconds in the end of your speaking.

These questions you have to practice, so you will not panic on the test. For example, if there is no way you manage to think of two reasons for your answer, you can be prepared and save the situation by giving two examples to the first reason.