How to Prepare for an English Exam

Beat Exam Stress

Set Goals
If you’re learning English to go on holiday that’s different than if you want to pass an exam. You have to know what your goal is before starting.

Have a Positive Attitude
Negative thoughts stop us from learning new things. You have to believe that you are making progress and improving. Thinking about all the bad things in the world makes us depressed and our brain automatically switches to a depressed mood, and that’s when we fail exams. Being happy and positive is linked to exam success.

Manage Your Resources
Your brain has a limited amount of energy, so eat nuts and drink water before the exam to give it the power it needs. Sleep well the night before the exam. Don’t plan too many things at the same time – don’t give up smoking the week before your exam!


Don’t do things that stop you from succeeding. One thing that many students do is say ‘oh I can never learn this grammar’ or ‘I will never use this word’. If you say that to yourself, of course it will come true! Be positive, believe you can do it, create the conditions for success.

Get Help with Cambridge Exams

There are some good websites to help with Cambridge Exams, but the best ones are FCE Exam Tips (for Cambridge English: First) and CAE Exam Tips (for Cambridge English: Advanced).