Sunday, 4 October 2009
Sample Papers, Answer Sheets and more
I can't stress enough how important it is to look at past/sample papers of the exam you are going to take. I have mentioned before elsewhere on this blog that I have the links below to help but it doesn't hurt to remind readers. Of particular use is the Cambridge handbooks for teachers, as this includes sample answers and sample answer sheets. http://www.cambridgeesol.org/assets/pdf/resources/teacher/cae_hb_dec08.pdf
Here's the link - and the papers themselves are from page 10 (of 96) inwards. This is for the CAE, the Advanced paper, but the others are very similar and you can navigate round and hardly need telling how.
Pay particular attention to the answer sheets. There are samples of these given too. Cambridge veterans will know that they should fill in the spaces for multiple choice in PENCIL so that they are able to correct them. It's worth printing them out and practicing on them. It WILL take you some time to transfer your answers over to them, which of course you must do accurately. I had a student fail many years ago because he can't have done this (we guessed, though couldn't know for sure, that he had staggered his answers so that they were all off by one, so that the answer for q. 10 was 11's answer etc etc). He was gutted when he failed, as I reckoned he should have easily got a 'B' grade, and maybe an 'A'.
Timing is also vital: when you do the sample papers leave yourself a little extra time for this, but not too much, you want to have ehad enough time to answer the questions properly.
While you're on the site look at the sample answers for the writing too. Look at the notes as to why particular students got a particular mark. Don't look only at the best marks but at the weaker answers too. Why did they get a 'c' or a 'd' (they will talk in terms of band 3 or 4 but you get the idea)? Ask yourself, do you make the same silly, avoidable mistakes as well?
And one more thing... I've said it before and I will say it again... be LEGIBLE!