CAE Preparation Online – Introduction

Hello all you lovely students out there! I guess you're here because you've made the very sensible decision to take the C1 Advanced (CAE) Cambridge English exam. And not only do you want to pass this CAE exam, you want to ACE IT!!! Well, good news for you, you've come to the right place. If you're not sure what the CAE exam is, or if it's the right exam for you, don't worry, I explain why it's a great choice to take the exam below.

I've gathered together all the best knowledge and experience to help you achieve your goals, like so many people before you. The C1 Advanced exam may seem scary at first, but that's exactly why I'm here. I want to make the process of passing this daunting exam as easy as possible for you. On this page you will find some of the most important things you need to know about the exam, what to do and what not to do. But most important, I show you the best way to PREPARE YOURSELF for the exam in your own time. This allows you to make the most efficient use of YOUR TIME AND MONEY!!!

English lessons can be expensive and preparing for exams can be a long and difficult process. That's why I have designed all of my C1 Advanced courses to cut the cost of time and money. Personally speaking, I love a bargain and I love getting value for money in everything I buy. In fact, I try NOT to spend money wherever possible and that is why (although I do strongly recommend that you WISELY invest some money into your CAE studies), for those of you that really don't want to spend a penny, well, this page is for you too!!

Whether you have decided to take the CAE exam or, even if you're unsure....keep reading to find out loads of useful information - by clicking the links in the 'Contents' above, you can also skip to any section you find most helpful for you!


Why Take The C1 Advanced: CAE certificate?

The Cambridge English: Advanced exam is a globally recognised English language certification.

You may want to take the CAE exam simply to achieve a personal language goal. The certificate is also useful for getting into universities in English speaking countries, getting better jobs and even getting visas for some English speaking countries! On this page you can see which institutions accept the CAE and other English exams around the world.

Watch the video below for some exam FAQs or download my Free E-book + video course to find out more information about the Cambridge exams.

CAE Exam Format

There are 4 exam papers in the C1 Advanced (CAE) exam: Reading and Use of English, Speaking, Listening and Writing. I have designed my website to include lots of tips and techniques, strategy preparation and practice to help you prepare yourself for the exam and save lots of £$ money on private lessons and language schools.

Reading & Use Of English

90 minutes.

8 parts.

The Reading and Use of English section consists of 8 parts and this section lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes. The first 4 parts focus on grammar and vocabulary. Our Use of English CAE video course tests your understanding of varying word types, sentence structures and collocations. These are all important areas to practise when preparing for the CAE.

Parts: 1-4 – Use of English

Part 1 – 8 marks

Part 2 – 8 marks

Part 3 – 8 marks

Part 4 – 12 marks

The final 4 parts focus on reading. They test your overall comprehension and awareness of how sentences and paragraphs fit within different written texts. They also test your ability to find and understand small differences in meaning between similar looking sentences.

Parts 5-8 – Reading

Part 5 – 12 marks

Part 6 – 8 marks

Part 7 – 12 marks

Part 8 – 10 marks

If you want more detailed tips and techniques to pass this exam paper, check out my C1 Advanced Use of English and Reading pages.

or see some of my free and paid CAE courses and lessons below >>


15 minutes.

4 parts.

The Speaking section has 4 parts. The first part is a general chat between the candidate and the examiner when they typically ask personal questions. In part 2, you have one minute to answer a question about some different pictures. You then answer a question about another candidate's pictures. In part 3 the examiner gives you a topic to discuss with another candidate for 2/3 minutes. You then have one minute with your partner to answer another question. In part 4, you have a further discussion which is connected to the topic in part 3. My FREE C1 Advanced (CAE) speaking video course tells you exactly what you need to do to pass the Speaking exam. If you want to see some preview lessons from this FREE course, check out CAE Speaking Test Tips And Technique.

or see some of my other free and paid CAE courses and lessons below >>


40 minutes.

4 parts.

Part 1 – 6 marks

Part 2 – 8 marks

Part 3 – 6 marks

Part 4 – 10 marks

The Listening section has 4 parts including multiple choice and sentence completion questions. You listen to conversations set in different contexts. In order to prepare for this, you need to be able to locate and select both general and specific information. For more free tips and techniques to pass this section of the exam check out my CAE Listening Online page

or see some of my other free and paid CAE courses and lessons below >>


The Writing section of the exam has 2 parts. The first part requires students to write a 220-260 word essay. You must write about 2 points from a choice of 3 and explain why one point is the most important. In the second part, you have to write a 220-260 word letter, proposal, report or review. The writing parts are assessed on a scale of 1 (poor) - 5 (great) for: Content, Communicative Achievement, Organisation and Language. It's really important to understand these marking criteria to get good marks in the exam. Luckily, I explain it for you in this video 🙂

For more free help with the writing paper, check out our CAE writing examples page with previous student example writings, feedback, videos and loads more useful information

or see some of our free and paid CAE courses and lessons below >>

CAE Preparation Online - Before The Exam - Resources & Strategy

In this section you will learn the best method to use to prepare yourself for the C1 Advanced exam and save lots of £$ money on private lessons. You can watch this video, or read the information below:

1. Gather Resources.

The first thing you need to when you make the decision to do the CAE exam is to gather the most beneficial resources. I've taught this exam for several years and so I know the best materials for you to use and where to find them.

'Ready for Advanced' is a good coursebook and will focus you on the important grammar and vocabulary knowledge you need for the exam and will give you plenty of practice for all the exam exercises.

You can buy the listening cds along with the 'Teacher's book' here:

You can buy the workbook without the grammar reference but with a listening cd and approximately 14 listening tracks here:

Some of my students have told me that the listening exercises in the exam are much more difficult than the listening exercises in this book. As a cheaper alternative, you can find listening samples on youtube.

A practice test book will be really useful for you. It is a good way to judge your current level and progress. I have used this book in the past:

For extra grammar practice this book is very good:

This book is also very good for grammar:

The British Council website is also trustworthy and full of information.

2. Learn an exam strategy.

You need to learn the best ways to approach each part of the exam. If you can master a technique for every part of the exam the time it takes you to complete the tasks will be massively reduced and you will hugely increase your chances of success. My C1 Advanced (CAE) Speaking, Listening, Reading, Use of English and Writing courses give you this technique. They guide you through every part of the exam. These are the only courses I've found which explicitly show you in a methodical way how to tackle each exam section.

3. Use the CAE coursebook above to target your weak areas of grammar.

There are grammar sections in every unit and there is a key at the back of the book, so you can see if you are weak in any areas. Improve these areas of grammar by using one of the other recommended books or resources above.

4. Complete a coursebook using the strategy you learnt in step '2'. 

Use the strategy you learnt from my Speaking, Listening, Reading, Use of English and Writing video courses to complete all of the exam exercises in the book!

5. Complete a practice test book.

Hopefully after completing the coursebook using the structure learnt, you will be able to complete the test book more easily and in a quicker time.

6. Test your listening and speaking skills. 

If you would like to know if your speaking and listening skills are good enough, you can book a private skype lesson with a CAE teacher here. Alternatively, you can find and practice listening exercises on youtube or with a practice test book. You need to be averaging 60% + in every exam paper to pass the exam.

7. Book your exam.

You can do the exam in Cambridge, or in lots of other places around the world. Use this website to find your nearest exam centre.

8. Wait for a response location, date and time of your exam.

Sometimes you might not receive information about the exam until only a few days before the exam date. Do not panic if you are in this situation!

9. Think about how you will travel to the exam centre.

You want to make the exam day as stress-free as possible, so think about whether you will stay near the exam centre the night before, take a bus, car, train etc. Some exams start early in the morning, so check that there is public transport at that time.

CAE Preparation Online - What To Do During The Exam

Use a pencil. Or a pen for the writing paper.

Write in CAPITAL LETTERS! Or in normal but neat letters for the writing paper.


CAE Preparation Online - What To Do After The Exam

1. Drink a beer!!! Or a soft drink if you don't drink alcohol 😉

2. You have to wait about 6 weeks before you receive your exam results. However, it depends what time of year you take the exam and so you might receive it sooner, or it might take longer.

3. When you receive your results - jump up and down in the air if you have followed my method and passed the exam!!! Or sit in a corner and cry if you haven't passed. Only kidding, of course I hope you pass because having a C1 English certificate really does make a big difference to people's lives. But if you don't pass, don't worry, you can take the exam again as soon as you like afterwards. Although my recommendation would be to take sometime to critique your result and find your weakest areas which you need to improve on. If you decide you need any more professional help, check out some of my products....

How My CAE Products Can Help You

I created a range of free and paid products for you. They all aim to teach and give you the confidence and techniques to study effectively and efficiently ON YOUR OWN.  I am very proud of my near 100% student pass rate. I only offer small group and individual classes, unlike some big academies and online teachers. This is because a few personalised lessons can help you improve more than a year's worth of standard lessons.

So, let's have a look at some of our products...

FREE CAE Speaking Video Course

"I'm very satisfied with the course because, in addition to tips and strategies, the teacher has highlighted the different CAE Speaking Parts with real practice and mock tests with other students. Thanks, Teacher Rory!" Antonio, CAE Speaking. *****

"Corso eccellente ed esaustivo. Consiglio vivamente a chi cerca un riferimento valido per prepararsi all'esame di lingua Advanced CAE Cambridge!" Marco, CAE Speaking. *****

Sign up to this course for FREE here >>

Sign up to this course for FREE here >>


CAE Writing Video Course

"Rory is a brilliant teacher. He puts the important knowledge in a nutshell and I am convinced that everyone who takes part in his online course will pass the CAE. I absolutely recommend him if you want to study and learn hard for the exam!" Gina, CAE Writing. *****

Watch some lessons for FREE >>


CAE Listening Video Course

"I am a CAE trainer in Pakistan and had been struggling to teach part 4, the most essential part of the listening module. But this course really made it easier for me to better teach and train the students to take listening test of CAE." Muhammad, CAE Listening. *****

"This course clarifies the listening part of the test, it tells you exactly the structure, it presents the different kinds of exercises and it gives you useful tips to answer and score high 🙂" Maria, CAE Listening. *****

Watch some  lessons for FREE >>


CAE Reading Video Course

"This course has been one of the most useful for the preparation of my exam. It is full of advice, tips and strategies I kept in mind while doing the exam. I think it helped a lot in delivering it with efficacy. I also liked the teacher, who I found very clear and organized. His British accent is simply beautiful to listen to! I think I'll follow more of his lessons." Valentina, CAE Reading. *****

Watch some lessons for FREE >>


CAE Use of English Video Course

"Rory is a great teacher, sharing with his students the best advises to be applied on CAE exam. This course will give you a concept totally different about how to pass Use Of English part. I really recommend to everybody to enroll this course if you want to have the best tips." Jonatan, CAE Use of English. *****

Watch some lessons for FREE >>


Free CAE Writing Critique

If you send us a CAE writing I will mark it for you and give you feedback (if I have time)

Send your writing to: [email protected]


CAE Preparation Online Private Lessons - £30 per hour

These lessons are very flexible. You can ask the teacher to focus on any part of the exam that you want! My teachers offer a wealth of experience and can give you the ability and the strategy to pass the exam.

Book Lessons

Here is an example from a private lesson with tips and example answers to pass part 2 of the Speaking paper...

Common Mistakes At C1 Advanced: CAE

Check out this page for loads of mistakes and solutions that real students have made while preparing for the CAE exam. Or watch this video playlist:

Support My Work

Every time I help can make a donation. Donate whatever amount is equal to the value you received from my videos/E-book/articles/emails etc. Click “Donate” below and enter your donation (£1....£5....£10).