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Writing about survey results

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Why choose cambridge exam

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  • A level of English for demanding study and work environments.
    Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) shows that a student has the language ability to carry out complex research, communicate effectively at a professional level – and stand out from the crowd.

  • Real-life English language skills.
    Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) offers proof of the English skills that education institutions and employers seek for high-achieving study and work situations. 

  • Worldwide availability.
    There are 37 exam dates every year, at 1,300 exam centres in 113 countries all over the world. Find an exam centre

  • Comprehensive support for students and teachers.
    Students have access to free practice papers, and teachers can download free lesson plans, worksheets, games and classroom activities.

  • High-quality assessment.
    From a department of the University of Cambridge. 


Pretesting – ensuring our exams are reliable

Before any of our exams are released for use, up to 150,000 real learners around the world pretest them to ensure that they are accurate and fair.

Exams quotes (1)

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How to Study Effectively

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How to Study

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  1. Make things interesting. Logical arguments will not give you motivation to study. Thinking that if I study hard and get into a good university and get a good job, etc., will not interest you. Love what you do. Try to find the beauty of every subject, and most importantly try to link it with the events of your life and things that interest you. This linking may be conscious (ie. performing chemical reactions, physical experiments or manual mathematics calculations in order to prove a formula) or unconscious (eg. You go to the park and look at the leaves. Then you think to yourself, Hmm, let me review the parts of the leaf we learned in bio class last week). Even though this might not sound the most ideal method for theoretical subjects such as English, use your creativity to make stuff up. For example try to write a story with all subjects starting with S, all objects starting with O, and no verbs containing V.
  2. Study Step 1.jpg
    Manage your time. Make a weekly schedule and devote a certain amount of time per day to studying. This will also improve your grades. That amount will vary depending on whether you're in high school or college, and also varies by field of study.
  3. Study Step 2.jpg
    Study in 20-50 minute chunks. It takes time for your brain to form new long-term memories, and you can't just keep studying flat out. Take 5-10 minute breaks minimum and do something physically active to get your blood flowing and make you more alert. Do a few jumping jacks, run around your house, play with the dog, whatever it takes. Do just enough to get yourself pumped, but not worn out.
    • Make enough time in your schedule to get enough sleep. Think of it this way: If you sleep only 4-5 hours, you'll probably need to double your study time in order to be as effective as if you'd gotten 7-9 hours of sleep. Study more and sleep less? That doesn't sound like a very good deal. Get a good night's sleep every night and you'll be making the best of your study time. If you end up a little sleep deprived despite your best efforts, take a short nap (20 minutes) before studying. Then do some physical activity (like you would do during a break) right before you start.
  4. Study Step 3.jpg
    Find a good study spot. You should feel comfortable, but not so comfortable that you risk falling asleep–a bed isn't a very good study spot when you're tired! The place where you study should be relatively quiet (traffic outside your window and quiet library conversations are fine, but interrupting siblings and music blasting in the next room are not).
    • As far as music is concerned, that's up to you. Some people prefer silence, others prefer music in the background. If you belong to the latter group, stick to instrumental music (music that has no words like classical, soundtrack, trance, baroque ) and that you're already familiar with (not something that's bound to distract you)–otherwise, your brain will "multi-task" and not be able to retain information as well.
    • Having the television on while you study is generally a bad idea. It can distract you a lot and suck all of the things you've studied out by making you focused on the show that is on.
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    Clear your mind. If you’ve got a lot on your mind take a moment to write yourself some notes about what you're thinking about before you start studying. This will help to clear your mind and focus all your thoughts on your work.
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    Snack smart while you study. Have your snacks prepared when you begin a study session–don't wait till you get hungry and go rummaging for food. Avoid any snacks or drinks that will give you a rush of energy, because with every rush comes a crash in which all the information you studied is lost to an intense desire to sleep. Focus on "slow release" carbohydrates, which not only give you a steady stream of energy, but they also boost serotonin, a brain chemical that makes you feel good:[1]
  7. Study Step 6.jpg
    Rewrite your notes at home. When you're in class, emphasize recording over understanding or neatness when you take notes. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to understand or organize your notes at all; just don't waste time doing something in class that you can figure out or neaten up at home. Consider your in-class notes a "rough draft" of sorts. Rewrite your notes as soon after the class as possible, while the material is fresh in your mind so that you can fill in any gaps completely from memory. The process of rewriting your notes is a more active approach to studying–it engages your mind in a way that just reading the notes doesn't.
    • You may find it easier to keep two notebooks–one for your "rough draft" notes, and another for your rewritten notes.
    • Some people type their notes, but others find that handwriting enhances their ability to remember the notes.
    • The more paraphrasing you do, the better. Same goes for drawing. If you're studying anatomy, for example, "re-draw" the system you're studying from memory.
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    Learn the most important facts first. Don't just read the material from beginning to end, stopping to memorize each new fact as you come to it. New information is acquired much more easily when you can relate it to material that you already know.
    • When you are beginning to study a new chapter, it will make the information it contains much more meaningful and easier to learn if you first take a few minutes to read the introduction, the headings, the first sentence of every paragraph, and the chapter summary to get a good idea of what the chapter is about before going on to read the chapter as a whole. (Word for word, these portions also contain more information that is likely to be asked about on a test!)
    • If you can, use a highlighter, or underline the most important points in the body of the text, so that you can spot them more easily when you review the material. It also helps to make notes in pencil in the margin in your own words to summarize or comment on important points. (These practices may make your textbook worth less when you sell it back to the bookstore, but it may make it worth a great deal more to you at test time!)
      If the text book belongs to the school, than you can use those highlighted sticky notes, or a regular sticky note beside the sentence or paragraph.
    • You can also read just these portions in order to quickly review the material you have learned while it is still fresh in your memory, and help the main points to sink in.
    • This is also a great way to review the most important ideas just before a test, when your time is especially limited.
    • It's also a good way to periodically review in this manner to keep the main points of what you have already learned fresh in your mind if you need to remember a large amount of material for a longer period — for a final examination, for a comprehensive exam in your major, for a graduate oral, or for entry into a profession.
    • If you have enough privacy, it also helps to recite your summaries aloud in order to involve more senses in the activity of learning, like listening to music over several channels at once. Incorporate your summaries into your notes, if there is a connection.
    • If you're having trouble summarizing the material so that it "sticks" in your head, try teaching it to someone else. Pretend you're teaching it to someone who doesn't know anything about the topic, or create a wikiHow page about it! For example, How to Memorize the Canadian Territories & Provinces was made as a study guide for an 8th grade student.
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    Make flash cards. Traditionally, this is done with index cards, but you can also download computer programs that cut down on space and the cost of index cards. You can also just use a regular piece of paper folded (vertically) in half. Put the questions on the side you can see when the paper is folded; unfold it to see the answers inside. Keep quizzing yourself until you get all the answers right reliably. Remember: "Repetition is the mother of skill."
    • You can also turn your notes into flash cards using the Cornell note-taking system, which involves grouping your notes around keywords that you can quiz yourself on later by covering the notes and trying to remember what you wrote based on seeing only the keyword.[2]
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    Find out if your textbook has a vocabulary section, a glossary, or a list of terms, make sure that you understand these completely. You don't have to memorize them, but whenever there is an important concept in a particular field, there is usually a special term to refer to it. Learn these terms, and be able to use them easily, and you will have gone a long way towards mastering the subject itself. (Besides, teachers frequently draw from these lists as a quick and easy way to make up test questions!)
  11. Study Step 10.jpg
    Make associations. The most effective way to retain information is to "tie" it to existing information that's already lodged in your mind.
    • Take advantage of your learning style. Think about what you already learn and remember easily–song lyrics? choreography? pictures? Work that into your study habits. If you're having trouble memorizing a concept, write a catchy jingle about it (or write lyrics to the tune of your favorite song); choreograph a representative dance; draw a comic. The sillier and more outrageous, the better; most people tend to remember silly things more than they remember boring things!
    • Use mnemonics (memory aids). Rearrange the information is a sequence that's meaningful to you. For example, if one wants to remember the notes of the treble clef lines in music, remember the mnemonic Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge = E, G, B, D, F. It's much easier to remember a sentence than a series of random letters. You can also build a memory palace or Roman room to memorize lists like the thirteen original colonies in America, in chronological order. If the list is short, link the items together using an image in your mind.
    • Organize the information with a mind map. The end result of mapping should be a web-like structure of words and ideas that are somehow related in the writer's mind.
    • Use visualization skills. Construct a movie in your mind that illustrates the concept you're trying to remember, and play it several times over. Imagine every little detail. Use your senses–how does it smell? look? feel? sound? taste?
    • Make a study sheet. Try and condense the information you will need into one sheet, or two if absolutely necessary. Bring it around with you and look at it whenever you have downtime during the days leading up to the test. If you type it up onto the computer, you can get a lot more control over your layout by changing font sizes, margin spaces, etc.
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    Make it a group effort. Get some friends together–friends who are actually interested in studying, that is–and have everyone bring over their flash cards. Pass them around and quiz each other. If anyone is unclear on a concept, take turns explaining them to each other. Better yet, turn your study session into a game like Trivial Pursuit.
  13. Study Step 12.jpg
    If you are easily distracted by social networking sites such as YouTube, Facebook, etc., then download the application LetMeWork at http://img.labnol.org/files/18257/letmework.zip. Tried and tested, this will temporarily block these sites and help you study better. Double-click it to instantly block some of the distracting sites on your computer. When you are done with your work, double-click the same file again to unblock access to all the sites as before.

How to Study for an Approaching Exam

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  1. Study for an Approaching Exam Step 1.jpg
    Calm down. Keep in mind that if you have a decent attendance rate, and did a reasonable job doing your assignments, you actually have a lot of knowledge already. This main knowledge will help you throughout your test.
    • Don't panic. Panic will only make your situation worse. You will be focusing on the horror, and not the upcoming test. Many times, panic can even deter your chances of doing well on the exam. If you panic, take deep breaths (try not to hyperventilate), and think that you can do this.
    • You're smart enough to realize you need to study days in advance. While some people study the day before, and some people always study this way, realize that last-minute cramming is not the ideal way to study, especially not for the sake of long-term retention of the subject matter. Also make sure not to study too much! Take some breaks for about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Study for an Approaching Exam Step 2.jpg
    Determine what material needs to be covered. Most exams cover specific subjects and material, and it's important to know which material or components you need to study. Otherwise, you may be using your precious remaining study time incorrectly. Ask your teacher about the subjects you'll be tested on and which chapters you need to cover. For example: What period in African history? Are diagrams important? Ask your teacher if you're unclear, as they want you to succeed.
    • Study the most important topics first. Exams usually cover a few core ideas, concepts, or skills. When pinched for time, focus your energies on the very important bits you'll be tested on, rather than scattering your studies everywhere. Review sheets, the highlighted topics in textbooks, and the parts your teacher stressed repeatedly are all clues as to what the most important topics or components are.
    • Find out how the test will be presented. What types of questions will be on it (multiple choice, essay, word problem, etc.)? Find out how much each section is worth. If you do not know, ask the teacher. This will help you know what the most important sections will be, and how the exam will be presented.
  3. Study for an Approaching Exam Step 3.jpg
    Make a study plan. It may seem like a basic and simple task, but people who make a detailed study plan often have an easier time with studying and they find they have more time to relax and chill. When making a study plan, build in the amount of time you have left before the exam date. Is the exam in a month? Did the teacher spring the test on you suddenly? Is it a mid year exam that has been building since the start of the year? Depending on the time frame, make your study plan long or short.
    • Determine what subjects you don't know as much about and include more study sessions on these topics. The aspects you know more about still need reviewing, but they will come easier, so try to focus on the more challenging topics.
    • Plan your time. It's tempting to put everything off until the night before the test. Instead, figure out how much time you will put aside each day for study. Remember to account for breaks. A good rule is: study for a half-hour, have a break for ten minutes.
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    Figure out your study methods. Study methods include using colors, pictures and brainstorm or mind map pages. Some people learn and remember things better if they're in certain colors whereas other people may remember diagrams and pictures more easily. Use the method that works for you; as long as it's effective, it doesn't matter what it is. It's no use reading a ton of text if your study method is diagrams. Remember, everyone has different methods to study, what works for your best friend may not work for you.
    • Use tools that will help you to study. Tools like flash cards may be boring, but really help memorize important things. If flash cards don't seem to help, typing out an outline of your notes may work.
    • Tape flash cards in random places to quiz yourself. This is a good way to sneak in study time, as discussed below.
    • Remember to study smarter, not harder.
  5. Study for an Approaching Exam Step 5.jpg
    Take notes and ask questions. It's never too late, and the sessions before the exam are usually for review, which is just what you need. If you're studying and happen to come across a part you can't understand, write it down. Ask your teacher either during class or during office hours. And don't worry – you aren't dumb if you ask questions. Questions mean that you're actively paying attention, and you're learning. Besides, a question ahead of time could mean a better grade on the exam.
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    Find your resources. Your textbook, notes, online sources, classmates, teachers, and possibly your family members can all be of use. Old assignments are especially good, as some exams have questions directly off homework.
  7. Study for an Approaching Exam Step 7.jpg
    Ask for help. You don't get bonus points for doing it alone. Classmates can be helpful in studying, but choose someone who will really help you, not the friend you tend to goof off with. Ask help from your parents or siblings; they may really appreciate being asked. Younger siblings especially like "quizzing" older brothers or sisters!
    • Form a study group. Not only do you have additional help, you also have the advantage of studying with people you know well. However, avoid accepting those that will be of no help, and only distract your whole group from studying. Don't be rude and reject everyone whom you don't like, but do be cautious about who you add to your study group!
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    Memorize as much as possible. The key to top performance is the ability to memorize all relevant materials. There are tricks for helping to memorize, otherwise called mnemonics. These can include, for instance, poetic or rhyming mnemonics for the auditory learner, visual imagery and fantasy for the visual learner, dance or movement for the kinesthetic learner (as muscles have memory), or some combination. Repetition is another form of memorization that is most commonly used. It allows for high recall if practiced in regular intervals. Practice it even beyond the point at which your memory recall is instantaneous, because this serves as a form of reinforcement.
    • A common mnemonic is HOMES for the Great Lakes. Another one is drawing stick figures to represent vocabulary words (like a good reason for drawing cartoons!). Create your own mnemonics that suit your needs.
    • Try rewriting down your notes to study. This is an effective way to memorize.
  9. Study for an Approaching Exam Step 9.jpg
    Sneak in study time. Short, repeated periods of study are often more effective than long periods of study. Go over your flash cards while waiting for the bus. Look over a diagram of the spleen while waiting for your breakfast. Read an important quote from "Macbeth" while brushing your teeth. Review the information during study halls or extra time at lunch.
  10. Study for an Approaching Exam Step 10.jpg
    Reward yourself. It can help to have a reward to strive for in meeting your goal. Have rewards in place for study milestones and for achieved results, in increasing value to you.
  11. Study for an Approaching Exam Step 11.jpg
    Organize yourself for the test. Be sure you have what you need for the test the night before. If you need a No. 2 pencil, a calculator, a German dictionary, or any other supplies, you must have them. The more put-together you are, the calmer you will be, and the more likely you will do well. Be sure your alarm clock is set, so you won't oversleep.
    • If you're allowed to take food in, take some jelly babies for a sugary hit, but it's best to stick to healthy fruit and vegetables. Apple or carrots make an easy snack that will help replenish your brain power.
    • Take a bottle of water with no stickers or labels (these could raise suspicions that you're hiding answers on them).
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    Eat properly. Good nutrition is vital for optimal thinking. Try to stay away from high sugar and fatty foods such as ice-cream and cookies. Replace sweet sugary drinks with a cool glass of water or a fresh juice or milk.
    • Have a "brain" meal the night before. Fish makes a great meal the night before, as it is nutrition for your brain. Try eating some fresh vegetables and pasta with the fish.
    • Eat a good breakfast. It will keep your mind alert. An example of a good breakfast is a glass of juice, an egg, toast, and cheese. If you do have to eat a bowl of cold cereal, make sure it's wholesome and whole-grain, not a sugary brand, or you may experience a 'crash' during the test.
    • Avoid drinking coffee, as this will only keep you up and provide you a sugar rush. Once the caffeine has worn out, you won't be able to keep your eyes open. Taking a test while you're drowsy is a no-no, so avoid intake of caffeine or any other foods too close to bedtime. All that digesting will keep you awake at night.
    • Be careful about making any abrupt eating changes; eat what you would normally eat on a regular school day in order to not disrupt your digestive patterns.
  13. Study for an Approaching Exam Step 13.jpg
    Get enough sleep before the big day. This step is extremely important and cannot be skipped. Without sleep, your chances of doing well on the test quickly lower, because your brain can't focus on what it needs to.
    • If you can't get to sleep, try some warm milk or tea, but be sure there is no caffeine in your drink!
    • Do not alter your sleeping patterns. Go to sleep at your regular time in order to keep your sleeping patterns regular.
  14. Study for an Approaching Exam Step 14.jpg
    Turn up ready for the test. Set your alarm clock in the morning; arrive on time or even a few minutes early. If it's a test that requires registration, fees, identification and the like, schedule extra time for that.
    • Keep a positive attitude! Studying lots, but thinking you can't really ace that exam, will reduce your chances of succeeding. See yourself as acing it, relying on all the preparation and attention you've given your studies to this point. Confidence is the key!
    • Aim high. Don't just aim to pass the test (if passing the test is quite easy), aim to get an A+. This way, you get a better grade. Plus, if you don't do as well on the next test, your A+ will still keep your overall grade high enough.

The Examinations Glossary (ECCE)

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Michigan examination
Τhe meaning of the words you will hear during the exam


Εxaminer The person in charge of the administration of the written exam in the test room. He is responsible for the observance of rules and the smooth administration of the test.
Proctor The person in charge for the observance of rules during a written exam. He refers to the examiner and follows his instructions.
Oral Examiner The person who assesses a candidate's competency in English, following criteria set by the examining body.
Test Center Coordinator The person in charge of the administration of the written or oral test in a test center. During written exams, he cooperates with the examiner and proctors to ensure the smooth administration of the written exam. During oral exams, he ensures the smooth administration of the oral tests.
Answer Sheet The 2-page sheet where all answers are marked. Candidate's personal details have been pre-printed.

Writing Section Answer Sheet

The sheet where the writing task is written. Candidate's personal details have been pre-printed.
Test Booklet The booklet that contain the items/ tasks of the exam. Candidates may use it to keep notes or underline. Candidates should not mark their answers on the booklet.
Registration Form The form used by the examiner to evaluate candidate’s performance on the speaking section of the test. Candidate's personal details have been pre-printed.
Code The code that is unique to each candidate. It is printed on each candidate's receipt issued from the Hellenic American Union.
Test Center The area where the exam is administered.


What you (don’t) need on the day of the examination (ECCE)

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Michigan examination
On the day of the examination, you need to:
  • have your identity card, passport, driving licence or temporary identity card (‘tautoprosopia’ with a stamped photo) from the official authority. If you do not bring one of the above mentioned documents, you will not be allowed to enter the examination room.
  • have the receipt issued by the Hellenic American Union
  • bring a watch or clock, a soft (#2) pencil and an eraser
  • be at the testing center at least 30 minutes before the beginning of the test
  • follow the instructions given by the examiner in charge
  • behave in a manner that will facilitate the test procedure
  • remain calm and focused on your exam and don’t allow stress to affect you. Staying calm and collected is useful advice throughout the test!
On the day of the examination, do not:
  • bring your cell phones or other electronic devices (all kinds of portable media players, etc)
  • bring a pen
  • bring books, notes, or other aids
  • feel stressful

How you can prepare for the exams ( ECCE )

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  • Michigan examination


  • Become familiar with the structure of the test. Learn more about its sections and the number of questions that you will be asked to answer.
  • Become familiar with the duration of the test. Practice without breaks and follow closely the guidelines and instructions provided.
  • Follow the instructions, directions and suggestions of your teachers.

Be prepared for the actual test conditions:

  • Mark your answers with pencil only.
  • Mark all your answers on the answersheet, not in the test booklet.
  • Do not make any other marks on your answer sheet.
  • If you change your mind about an answer, erase your first mark completely.
  • Fill in one circle for each problem.
  • If you are not sure about an answer, you may guess.
  • In the test booklet you can only keep notes or underline the parts you believe might help you answer correctly the questions posed.


  • Work on past papers or mock tests does not replace systematic work on language.
  • Succeeding in past papers or mock tests does not guarantee success on the actual test.

How to prepare for an exam – Study tips

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