Ben Gill from To the Point English joins me this week to talk about Cambridge exams and how you can prepare for them. And with around 7 million English students taking Cambridge exams every year, perhaps it’s something you might consider.
Ben is an English teacher with many years of experience and with a successful YouTube channel called To The Point English.
Like me, Ben also lives here in Spain and teaches online, creating courses and videos to help you prepare for exams.
On his channel, he has created a wide selection of videos to help you get ready for the Cambridge B2, C1 and C2 exams so that you have the best chance possible of getting a high score.
Ben joins me this week to talk about Cambridge exams and explains how you can avoid mistakes in your exam preparation.
Where’s Ben’s accent from?
He was born on the outskirts of London and then moved to Cambridgeshire. His accent is a standard Southern, British accent.
Which exam should students study for?
You don’t necessarily have to take an exam. It may not be the best way of improving your English.
Exams can be good for motivation, organizing your studies etc. Of course, you may need an exam certificate to get a job or be accepted to a university.
The TOEFL exam is more USA-focused. The IELTS and Cambridge exams are more for Europe.
IELTS and TOEFL expire after 2 years. The Cambridge exams have no expiry date.
What areas of the Cambridge exams cause the most problems for candidates?
Ben thinks the writing is problematic for these reasons:
- Students can’t always get feedback on writing.
- They avoid practicing writing.
- They leave it too late before the exam to practise writing.
- They don’t practise timing when they answer an exam writing question.
Write and improve is a Cambridge Artificial Intelligence program that gives feedback on exam writing.
Around 7 million people take Cambridge exams every year.
Why do you think students get so anxious about the speaking test?
- Nobody likes being judged on their speaking.
- You’re in a room with strangers. It can be a stressful situation.
- You are limited in time.
- The exam tasks are not natural, real-life tasks (for example, comparing two photographs)
Do you have any tips on how they can prepare for the speaking part?
It’s a good idea to find a ‘study buddy’, someone who you can practise with.
Record yourself on your phone.
Practise exam timing.
Strategy is really important. Study the exam well before you take it.
How would you suggest a student prepare in general by themselves for a Cambridge B2, C1 or C2 exam?
Get to know the format.
Download the Cambridge handbook for teachers:
Do a lot of sample exam papers before you take the exam.
What tends to prevent students from reaching their language-learning goals and NOT passing a Cambridge exam?
Ben says that being over-confident or under-confident can affect your exam performance. So, don’t be too cocky!
Make sure you are proactive in expanding your vocabulary.
Don’t obsess over the exam. Take your exam preparation seriously, but don’t let it take over your life.
Ben’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzxHbqh9Pxk9sV4W66jIbjA
Ben’s Website: www.ttpenglish.com
Ben’s Courses: https://ttp-exam-academy-ben.thinkific.com/
Use the code mansion20 for a 20% discount!
Ben on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/to_the_point_english/
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English. Are you studying for an exam? If so, what challenges are you facing at the moment?
We would love to hear from you about exams or any comments, feedback, questions and ideas you may have. Get in touch.
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