CAE: READING – TIPS (1)

What you read in English could be roughly divided into six categories:

  1. What you read at/for work
  2. What you read for fun
  3. What you read to prepare for the exam writing paper
  4. The exam reading tasks you do at home/school under exam conditions (=fast!)
  5. The exam reading tasks you do at home/school but more slowly than during the exam, analysing things
  6. What you read to prepare for the exam but usually doesn’t belong to numbers 1-5

Now, let me explain the points above.

Some think that everything we read in English prepares us for the Advanced exam, but it’s not really the case.

If at work you only read informal emails OR formal emails written by foreigners making mistakes OR very technical texts full of specilised vocabulary – it’s not really exam preparation.

If for fun you only read celebrity gossip OR blogs about cycling OR (sadly and surprisingly) novels – it’s not really exam preparation.

Also, if to prepare for the exam you only do reading tasks SLOWLY – it’s not really exam preparation.

Ideally, you should do point 5 and then, after a few weeks/months, point 4. Additionally, (if you are lucky, you do it at work or for fun) you should read real texts similar to those found in the exam, but not exam tasks. Little by little, this should become part of your everyday life – in a way, Cambridge wants you to act like an educated British person and start reading intelligent articles on everyday basis. Same goes for listening.

Here’s were you can find your reading matter. Don’t focus on the news! Read the lifestyle, culture, science and tech sections, too (but skip sports and celebrity gossip).

https://www.theguardian.com/international

http://www.bbc.com/news

http://www.economist.com/

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/

Of course you can also follow all of the above on Facebook.

Remember to read – and do nothing else. You can’t study every text you read. And if you really must – focus on the vocabulary you know but in full expressions. Translating every word will only tire you out and frustrate you – and some of them are going to be too difficult for the advanced level anyway.

 

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