Cambridge C1 Advanced – Frequently Asked Questions
CAE practice tests
Meet other members
Other useful Articles
Products & Services
I do things differently.
I believe with the right strategy, anything is possible.
I also believe in efficient work, using time effectively.
For example, did you know you can kill 6 birds with one stone...
To "kill two birds with one stone" means to complete two aims with one action. This is the type of phrase which will impress examiners in the Speaking test 😉
I have written and published several exam training books
You can book individual and group lessons with me
I can mark your writings and give you feedback on the Cambridge English writing assessment scale.
I can mark your speaking tasks and give you feedback based on examiner marking criteria.
There are a variety of memberships available to you depending on which exam you want to take.
Becoming a member will grant you access to restricted content around this website and more!
B2 First: FCE Taster (free):
B2 First: FCE Gold:
C1 Advanced: CAE Taster (free):
C1 Advanced: CAE Gold:
Linguaskill Taster (free):
I have created several exam bundles combining membership access with lessons and assessments to help you pass your exam.
B2 First: FCE
C1 Advanced: CAE
More Student Testimonials
Unfortunately, the vast majority of teachers, companies and schools care only about the money, but their material is not as good as they appraise them to be.
From my experience, I went to a language school and out of 9 months preparation period for exam, only 3 months were focused on exam material. That didn't work for me, as I wanted to put more focus it rather than re-doing some books and material I already covered.
The material you offer is a way better compared to the other's. Everything you say is simple and concrete and I am more than sure that people prefer to hear and learn concretely, not to be misguided. Especially nowadays when many companies want to "sell" the story that if you learn only grammar you can pass English exam. Apparently, that's not true. Grammar is crucial but there are other aspects of the language.
I hope you understood my point of view. We will be in touch.
"I wish more and more people discovered You, your website and priceless resources for learners."
"Muy satisfecha con este curso, las explicaciones son muy útiles y multitud de consejos para aprobar el examen, totalmente recomendable!" Lucia *****
"Let me just say that your YouTube channel was and although I'm already long subscribed, still is highly sought after and appreciated by myself and all the people like me, who want to deepen their English language knowledge not only for the purpose of Cambridge exams but in general and I really can't thank you enough."
Who is Cambridge English Teacher Rory #cambridgerory?
I'd love it if you followed me!
As I have so many followers, I feel I also have a reputation to uphold.
Students appreciate my work (see my testimonials) and I don't want to jeopardise this.
Have A Question?
Ask me anything...
Why Take A Cambridge English Exam?
Do you want to know the BIGGEST reasons why students take Cambridge English exams?
"When you read information online, how do you know you can trust it?"
This question is particularly important to ask nowadays given the amount of "fake news" that seems to exist. For example, at the time I'm writing this, Covid19 a.k.a the Corona virus has hit the world and there has been a lot of "fake" and untrustworthy information circulating about how to protect ourselves from this virus. Untrustworthy information will likely increase as more and more people use computers. If this is the first time you've visited my website, I want to quickly tell you why you can trust the information below...
Why can you trust what I say?
If you have joined me on social media, you should know a little bit about me. By now you probably realise my work mainly focusses on teaching Cambridge English exams. That's right, I've been helping thousands of students pass English exams online and offline for several years. I have lots of first hand experience why students want to take English exams.
HOWEVER...I am not a computer and my brain isn't the size of the Empire State Building.
Are you surprised?
Do I have a big head?
Maybe...I certainly have long hair...hahaha, anyway...
what I want to say is, because I work with so many students on a daily basis, it's difficult to remember why each student wants to pass a Cambridge exam.
I wanted to know the most popular reasons why students take Cambridge English exams. If you are reading this, I guess you want to know too.
Well, you're in luck because I started collecting this data. I repeat
I STARTED COLLECTING THIS DATA
Are you bored of reading? Why not watch how I gathered the information in the video below instead...
Where has my data come from?
Until now, I have received over 285 responses and I collated all these into a google spreadsheet (okay okay, I'm a bit of a nerd, I love using spreadsheets for lots of things).
I wanted to gather data in different ways from people in different countries around the world. So, I reached out to people on my Youtube channel, Instagram page, Facebook groups. I also asked people from my membership website which helps students pass Cambridge English exams. I gathered students' responses over the course of several months. Through this approach, I felt happy that I was gaining a comprehensive understanding of the MOST COMMON REASONS why students take English language exams.
Exam Tip: Did you notice I used the phrasal verb 'reach out' in the last paragraph? This is another way to say you contacted someone and it is a good phrasal verb to know for the Cambridge B2 First and C1 Advanced exams. This website is full of more FCE and CAE exam tips like this.
Let's have a more investigative look at how I collected the data...
When someone requests to join one of Facebook groups, they have to answer a question, so I asked:
"Why do you want to pass --- exam?"
I added their response to a google spreadsheet and after doing several of these, I realised I could categorise their answers into 7 different columns...
The 7 columns/reasons for taking an exam (not in order of popularity) were:
'Become a better teacher'
'To have a certificate'
Every time someone told me they wanted to take an exam to get a (better) job for example, I added 1 more number to the 'work' column, etc. etc.
But wait, it gets more complicated because I also collected information from other sources.
On my YouTube channel, I have a community area where I can talk with my students, ask them questions, get them to complete questionnaires etc. So, this is what I did. I ask them to complete a poll and after 72 hours, these were the responses:
From this information, I calculated how many people voted for each option and added these responses to the google spreadsheet.
On Instagram, I gathered data in a very similar way to YouTube. I created a poll on Instagram stories. I was only allowed to put 4 options, so I used the most common reasons I had already received from Facebook and YouTube and for the 'Other' category, I asked students to write and tell me their reason.
Members of My Website
I added together all of the different reasons why students take Cambridge English exams and added them into one complete table and I worked out the % so we can see the most popular reasons. 'Communication', 'Certificate', 'Travel' and 'Other' reasons students told me only comprised a small number of the overall responses, so I put these into one column 'Everything Else'.
As we can see, the 'Work' category, which is people who want more job opportunities is the most popular category. We can see that 119 people, nearly half of all the students who responded told me they wanted to pass an exam so that they would be able to get (better) jobs. These students were from different countries around the world. At the bottom of this page I will write exactly what students told me and so you can see which countries some of these students are from.
What conclusions can we draw from these results?
Well, there are many conclusions that can be drawn and some of them you may have to make for yourself, but these are the main ideas I have:
- People around the world want to improve themselves and move forward in life. This applies to everybody who takes an English exam. I love this way of thinking. It shows one of the best sides of humanity. We are motivated to improve and I am exactly the same. This is one reason I love my job because I get to meet so many like-minded people on a daily basis. Preparing for and taking a test will be incredibly useful for you, regardless of whether you pass or not because you will be learning through the process. You will pick up different learning mechanisms and strategies and thus you will become a more efficient learner. You will also improve your test taking abilities and become a more adaptable person.
- I was surprised at how many students wanted to do the exam as a 'Personal Challenge'. Some of the main reasons for this were because students like setting life goals for themselves (this also fills me with joy). Other reasons included becoming more fluent in the language and also showing off to friends "I have a certificate na na nana na". By the way, I also like to challenge myself. For example, I spent 6 weeks cycling around Germany and hammock camping in woods this year (I was teaching from my hammock at the same time):
- Other reasons for wanting to take an exam included wanting to improve everyday English and develop the 5 main skill areas: Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing and Use of English. These are tested in most well known and respected English exams.
More Information On Cambridge English Exams
If you would like to know more specific information about some of the most well known and respected Cambridge English exams around the world and you want to know how to effectively prepare for them, I really recommend becoming a member of this website, then you can sign up for my newsletter by ticking the box to join my mailing list. If you are already a member but you're not receiving emails, make sure you have ticked the box to 'Opt-in Mailchimp Mailing Lists' below your information on this page. If you still don't see the emails, check your junk mail!
Some of the topics I discuss in my email newsletter are:
Which exams you can take
Where you can take exams
Which work/education/other institutions accept which certificates
The positives and negatives of different exams
Tips and Techniques for passing my recommended Cambridge English exams
How to know if you're ready to pass your exam
Reasons Why My Students Take Cambridge English Exams
These are some of the reasons my students gave for why they want to take an English exam. Perhaps you have the same reason?
“Hello Cambridge Rory,
It is simply that I am currently taking a CAE preparation course in Brussels and that the teacher has advised us on your site.
To answer your question; I want an English language qualification to improve my resume and to communicate better with my English-speaking family.”
“Hello sir ,
I want to have FCE certificate because it will help me a lot finding a great job as a teacher of English.
When I watched some of your videos, I felt it is difficult for me to pass this exam although my level is B2.
Could you advise me what shall I do?
i want to learn english, so that i can achieve everything or i want to become and independent person and english is the only language if you know very well then can achieve more and top rated things , nowadays english is compulsory if you want to work with high reputated company, so here i am
i want to learn how i can speak fluent english with other people without nervousness, sometime when someone speak in english in front of me i was totally lost , i am totally blank , i forget everything and then i realise i can't do it anymore i'll improve myself.“
“Hello sir , I hope this email finds you well
I want to get an English language qualifications because of three reasons.
1. Get relationships
2. Get a good job
3. Do business “
I`m not fluent in english, I need to improve english to work everywhere. I leave in London. Thanks. Bye”
first of all thank you for the videos you are posting on youtube, I find them very useful.
I would like to take the C1 ADVANCE exam in order to apply for a job position in a bilingual school.
“I expect that the CAE certificate, officially recognised in most institutions throughout the world, will facilitate my job-hunting in the long run. Additionally, I derive pleasure from the whole process of preparation for examination, as it enables my brain to work more effectively.”
“Thank you for sending me this email to me, in relation with the question, I want to get a C1 English certificate because I have two goals to accomplish in a few years in the future.
The number one is to keep and make a promotion in my job at schools where to have an upper-intermediate level is not enough.
The number two is to become a freelance English teacher in my country where the need of learning English for schools and getting jobs because of not knowing English is a problem.
I appreciate your time,”
I want to get an English language qualification because I need it to work. I’m trying to work as an English teacher in Spain, but even I already have the B2 and the English mention in my degree, it turns out not to be enough for the schools.
Thanks for the course!
“Hi Rory, I want to improve my English skills in order to get a certificate. It is my third opportunity to pass the exam from the local university where I studied.
i really need help and tips or any other resources to pass the exam"
I would like to get an English languge qualification because I want to be an English teacher, in a future. I would also like to get it because I’d like to travel around the world and, with English I can talk to almost everyone.
Glad to receive your email.
I have to do CAE test for my immigration to Australia. I missed a lot of opportunities when I was young so now I have to achieve 200 in reading, writing, speaking and listening. I don't need to do use of English as it is not a criteria for immigration. Maybe because originally Australia only asked for IELTS result which doesn't have use of English. It is great that it can save me some time for reading.
Hope I can get my dream score after studying with you :)”
"I WANT TO DO THE CAE EXAM BECAUSE I AM AN ENGLISH TEACHER IN BRAZIL."
I’m going to pass B2 First exam because I use foreign tax law and like read books in original language.
“The reasons why I want to take CAE exam are:
· I want to take the exam for my personal satisfaction and proof of high level of English knowledge. As I am styding abroad on English, I think I have improved in every field of the language (speaking, listening, reading, writing). Of course, I have to practice more and more the C1 material, which I am doing during these quarantine days.
· It will significantly contribute to my future career and degrees (Master and PhD) as well as to my job application and CV"
The reason why I want an English language qualification is because I have B2 level and I've been in an Erasmus programa and I think now is the best time to study and get the C1.
Thank you for you recommendation.”
I'd like an English language certification because I want a better job opportunity. I lived almost 2 years in Manchester but that's not enough because I have to prove that I can actually speak English pretty good, and also because it's been 2 years now since I got back from UK and I'm not used to speak English anymore.”
“Because I want to talk very fluently to teach english to my cousins and also due to this year at my school I have the opportunity to get an English language cualitification of upper-intermediate level so i want to know more about grammar.”
“I want to get CAE for it to be a personal goal. It would obviously be to certificate my english, but mostly for the first reason."
“Dear Mr. Rory,
You kindly asked for my reply to your question why do I want to get an English language qualification.
There are several reasons, but the most important one is because I failed and got FCE certificate last year. I was really near to pass it, however, I needed 9 more points. I am the type of person who never gives up and, with that saying, I want to try again and pass it!
Additionally, I want to feel proud of myself and my knowledge of English.
I started watching your videos for C1 classes and I do find them utterly fascinating and very useful. I will keep following your classes and learn tips and tricks about the exam.
P.S. Is there a possibility that you may have a crash course for C1? Thank you in advance.
I am looking forward to hearing from you. Stay safe and take care.
With warm regards,"
I'm really sorry I couldn't answer this email yesterday.
I want to get an English Certification because I need it for my job. I'm an English teacher in Mexico so once in while I have to take a certification test to prove my employees that I have a good level of English to teach it to others.
if I can present this test this year I will be able to get a better job next year.”
As a matter of fact, I already have a B2 certificate obtained in FCE. Nevertheless, I was just one point away of getting a C1 certificate. That is the reason why I decided I should take CAE and I am now striving to get a C2 certification. I am engaged in doing this owing to English being a crucial language. Moreover, I have been studying English since I was 6 years old, so I have developed a passion for it. In other words, I am also doing it for pleasure."
Thanks for asking me. I want to get an English language qualification because it helps for my teaching job. if I get it, I can teach at high grade. Please, help me!”
“I want to take an FCE exam because I want to have a proof on paper that I have the qualification at this level. Years ago I have finished English Teacher's College and I didn't go further. I have two children and I didn't learn English. I gave few private English lessons and I was ashamed that I've forgotten grammar, vocabulary. My plan for today is to take an FCE exam and if I pass it at this level I want to take an CAE exam and next business English exams.”
“Because I want to became an English teacher, a good one.”
“I've downloaded it because I study general linguistics with English. I have found this very usefull, especially the 'key word transformation exercises.
“I want to get an English language qualification because i want to go study to England”
“In fact, I am an English tutor. In general, I teach IELTS and FCE, but this year I am teaching CAE, which is why I am looking for some handouts to use in my lessons. This is how I came across you and your CAE course. Anyway,
I find your course very useful.
Thank you so much.”
“I want to get an English language qualification because i want to study in England and it will let me not to write a regional exam."
“Just for personal curiousity and satisfaction and, of course, this language puzzles me.”
I'm ---, I'm from Poland.
You've asked me why I want to get an English language qualification.
Well, I need to pass CAE exam because of my studies, but what is more important for me- I want to teach English in the future. My dream is to work in a private school. That is why I really need your help! I'm going to write an exam in June."
“First of all, thanks for your free CAE course. I want to get an English language qualification because I'm an English teacher and it's a good opportunity to develop my professional skills and maintain my level. I love the English language so taking exams like CAE is a great motivating factor.”
“Because I want to further my education in any English speaking country."
“I just want to improve my language skills because I have a proficiency exam including all language skills. By the way, I am a student of English Language Teaching department in Turkey. My proficiency exam is similar to CAE. While I was looking for some useful things in YouTube, I found your channel and really liked your video courses. I’d like to be a successful teacher like you. Your video courses are helping me in many areas.”
“But just i an in Istanbul and i need to start university then they say you must hve certificate of english language”
“Hi Roy! I teach English as a second language and the school I work for is requesting it. It is the American School of ---, in --- Mexico.”
I would like to achieve an English language qualification because I aspire to study at a University in an English-speaking country. Apart from the fact that I have been studying English and am really fond of it. When I took FCE a couple of months ago I strived a lot to get C1. Nevertheless, I did not get it by just one point. Hence I want to take CAE."
“Hello teacher, I hope you are doing great, so I want to read, write and speak English fluency cause I need it on my travel overseas, and my work also to get more knowledge and culture from around the world.”
“Hi Rory, thank you for the free video and all the contents you made for us. I really appreciate it! Aswering your question, I want to receive the first certificate in english simply as a Challenge to myself and to see if I can make it through, but also for me would be really useful to travel, live and work abroad, which are some of my plans for the future ( I'm Italian by the way, and I'm going to do the FCE exam in february 2020)”
"Because I want to apply for university in London, next year. So I have to pass the CAE and there aren't any preparation courses to take in Stockholm, Sweden. I'm gonna have to prepare on my own. I bought your CAE writing video, I'm hoping it will help me out a bit :)"
Thanks for your instuctions and all information about CAE."
Why Do You Want To Take A Cambridge English Exam
I'd love it if you become a member and then you can sign up for my newsletter, just make sure you tick the box to receive my emails when you checkout. If you are already a member but you're not receiving emails, make sure you have ticked the box to 'Opt-in Mailchimp Mailing Lists' underneath your email on this page. If you still don't see the emails, check your junk mail folder!
I will send you emails which you can reply to, so we can talk more and you can tell me why you want to take a Cambridge English exam. You can also ask me any questions or make general comments.