Wednesday 13 February 2013

Use of English - Gapped Sentences 1

Practice your gapped sentences.

This is a PDF interactive quiz.  You will need Adobe Reader 9 or higher to use it.  You can download the latest version for free here.

Right click on the link and choose SAVE LINK AS (or SAVE AS - depending on the browser you use) to download the  PDF.

Good Luck

CAE Use of English Part 4 - Gapped Sentences 1

Monday 14 January 2013

Key Word Transformations

Here is some practice for Key Word Transformations.

Right click on the link and click on SAVE AS to download the quiz.  You need Adobe Reader 9 or higher and Adobe Flash 10 or higher to play the quiz.

CAE Key Word Transformations

Monday 15 October 2012

Useful Expressions for Articles and Competition Entries

Here are some useful expressions for Articles and Competition Entries.  Have a look, then try the quiz to test your knowledge.

(contributed by Jane, Nervion)

What is clear, is that ...
What I do think is ...
It's absolutely amazing how ... is able to ...
So, for all the reasons I've outlined, I strongly believe ...
Last but not least, ...
... is no easy task, but with ..., who could possibly fail to ...
You won't regret selecting me for ...
The opportunity afforded by this prize would not only ..., but would also ...
And, who knows, ... might well (turn out to be) ...
The question is: can you?
Did you know ...?
Are you aware that ...?
Nevertheless, the prospect of ... is just too exciting for me to be put off by dull statistics.
Whether we like it or not...
It cannot be denied that ...
... is the key to ...

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Writing Tips - Article and Competition Entry

Photo by Charles Jeffrey Danoff, Flickr
Articles can be formal or informal depending on who your reader is. However, in the CAE exam they are almost always informal and give you the opportunity to really show the examiner that style that you have and all that language that you know. Imagine you are chatting to the reader and, above all, make it interesting and entertaining.

As with all writing it will really help you to make a plan – note the main points you want to make in each paragraph and impressive language / vocabulary you could include in that section; then expand this into sentences, adding appropriate linking devices and examples.

Remember that the first thing the examiner looks at when marking your work is that you have answered all the points in the question, so read the task carefully and write down the things it says you must include. (This may sound simple but you'd be surprised by the number of people who get low marks for this reason, although their article is full of fantastic language and vocabulary.)

Main features of an Article
  1. An imaginative title – e.g. 'Scoring that goal', 'Lights, camera, action!', 'She's the one', 'Logging on'. Can you guess what these articles might be about? 
  2. The first sentence should make the reader interested in the article and want to read on. 
  3. Answer all the points required in the task. This could be the difference between passing and failing.
  4. Direct everything at the reader – so make sure you're clear on who that is. 
  5. One or two rhetorical questions can give your article a great style ( but ensure they are appropriate and don't use too many as it will then sound unnatural ). 
  6. Use a good range of appropriate vocabulary and some informal expressions or phrasal verbs. 
  7. Use different types of sentences to avoid it becoming boring, eg. Cleft sentences, participle clauses.
  8. Ensure that it is easy to read and each thing follows on from the previous one by using linking devices (but don't be over formal ). 
  9. The last paragraph should leave the reader with something to think about and relate back to the introduction. Some writers like to finish with a question. 
  10. Read the finished article to look for places which don't connect well, sentences which are difficult to understand and grammar, spelling and punctuation errors and make some final adjustments.
Competition Entry
These are articles but you need to include one or two sentences in which you say why your entry should be considered and persuade the reader that you deserve to win the prize / competition. This is usually done in the last paragraph but you could also mention it in the introduction if you wished.

Tuesday 20 December 2011


The mock exams begin the second class after we return in January, as follows:

Class 1 Wed 11 Jan / Thurs 12 Jan
Class 2 Mon 16 Jan / Tues 17 Jan
Class 3 Wed 18 Jan / Thurs 19 Jan
Class 4 Mon 23 Jan / Tues 24 Jan

Your teacher will tell you which tests you are doing on each of the dates.

If you want extra practice during the Christmas/New Year holidays, look at the links on the right of the blog. You will find lots of Use of English, Listening and Reading practice exams and other practice. You can also watch videos of the speaking exams.

You will receive your reports on 1st or 2nd of February (depending on your classes). When you have received your results, you can sign up for the exam in June.

June Exam Date
The exam is on Wednesday, 13th June, except the oral exam. We don't have details of the oral exam but will let you know as soon as possible.

Sign up for the exams
Once you have received your mock exam results, you can sign up for the June exam as follows:

at ELI: between Monday 6th February and Friday 17th February
at the British Institute: between 19th March and 23rd March (for JUNE exam)

It costs 180 euros.

Good luck to everyone!