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Ikigai Offline
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CAE exam - May 9th 2017, 09:02 PM

Hey everyone,
I am taking the Certificate in Advanced English at the beginning of June. I used to attend a group course in a language school from September 2015 till January 2017 and since April I've been having private classes with a tutor.
I've been considering taking the exam since the beginning of the schoolyear really, and dropping out of the course relatively soon before the exam might seem like a strange decision. The reason why I did it was that I desperately wanted a break in studying English - I had been studying very hard for a special competition in English from Sep until January. I felt fed up to be honest, and I just could stand no more doing sample tests and exercises.
However, now, a month before the exam, I am really worried. My performance has worsened considerably and my scores are significantly lower than they used to be around December. Sometimes I get scores as low as 10 points out of 15 for one task. Also the exercises that I had always been very good at now seem somewhat hard. I honestly have no idea whether this is a result of leaving the course, but I don't think so since I wasn't learning a lot there really.
I would like to ask you for some tips on how to boost my self confidence, which is terrible right now.
Thank you for reading and take care.
Sue


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Re: CAE exam - May 10th 2017, 09:53 PM

I definitely understand your decision to drop out of the course. You were studying for a while, and I imagine quite intensely for the competition and naturally you may feel fed up.

Personally, I don't think that 10 out of 15 is a bad score. Even though it may be concerning for you to have noticed your scores dropping, I think you have enough time to improve them!

While it may be that leaving the group affected your performance, I'm wondering if your worry and stress may be affecting your scores more? When we worry that we aren't doing good enough, we may find it harder to learn and take things in as we automatically tell ourselves that we will find it hard and so it kind of becomes true. To combat this, try doing the opposite and realise that you may struggle with things, but like anything, it can be overcome.

Focus on the areas that you find it difficult, and ask your tutor to help you with these things. Keep a list of the areas that you do feel confident in and add to it when you conquer a new area and reflect on all the progress that you have made.

Best of luck!


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Re: CAE exam - May 14th 2017, 02:26 AM

Hey Sue, before I continue, I want to wish you good luck in the exam!

What I would highly recommend is to do more sample tests, its really the only way to get a higher score at this point. As I know you aren't that far away from your target score, and it isn't because there is something you don't understand, you just need to practice more!

There is a harder version of the paper called CPE (Certificate in Proficiency English) that is almost similar to CAE with 20 more avalible points. I recommend you to try that out, along with the practice tests for CAE. It can help you feel easier when doing the practice tests if you are comfortable with something harder like CPE.

Your score will certainly improve. Keep track of your score each time you do the practice tests, and even if you can raise your average score by 2 to 3 per day, given your current score you will able to reach the target in 2 weeks! But well, it really takes lots of practice tests everyday to improve significantly for you to see that improvement, but its possible!

I am more concerned about your self confidence. It seems like that special competition is making you fed up with English, which is bad. Is this feeling affecting your scores? Because as I know myself, these horrible feelings are capable of detiorating what you have and bringing you down. Its a cycle that has to be stopped.

To stop this, there is only one way: Keep doing practice tests to improve. Once you see improvement things will spiral upwards instead. Its natural to be tired or even fear of English at the moment, but when you see things improve, hopefully this will reignite something that you once have before the competition. You were once so good, and you can be back to that state again

Once again, I wish you all the best in your exam. I am very sure you will ace it if you work hard now. Feel free to message me if you have any doubts!


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