Associations, phrasal verbs, speed reading, spelling, topic match. These are just a few of the keywords a Cambridge Exam candidate is familiar with when one has almost reached the preparation level for a specific exam. For instance, in the Speaking paper, one must talk on a specific theme using a rich and varied vocabulary. Practising brainstorming with associations will do the trick, won’t it? In the Reading and Use of English paper, you are expected to show control of collocations and phrasal verbs, right? What could be better than revising them? You must also be good at reading quickly and training your attention with a time limit. So, speed reading activities are just the ticket! In the Writing paper, you must proofread your essay, identify errors, like spelling mistakes, and correct them. Hmm, “look forward to see you” is wrong, “althoug“, noticable” and “responsability” are not OK. “I need to work on my spelling”, you might think. The Listening paper requires that you quickly recognize the topic of a conversation. Practising with short activities to train this skill is a priority, isn’t it?
My dearest learners, I have found the tool you need!
Bet you won’t guess what I have been doing these last days, will you? Playing, yes, I have been having fun. Unbelievable, but I have made time for.
Some days ago, I received the weekly email from the Cambridge University Press, since I am subscribed to this website and have been closely following them. I was reading and scrolling down the screen when I got to the following “Before you go …”. Quite intrigued, I followed reading: “Exam Lift app, now also available for First for Schools“. “Wowser! This sounds interesting”, I thought to myself. “I must give it a try. If this App is worth it, my English learners could use it”. So here I am, keeping my promise and trying the App out.
What is Exam Lift? It is a mobile application whose content is developed by Cambridge Assessment English, the same team behind the well-known Cambridge English Qualifications. They are indeed old hands at this! The App caters for English learners who are preparing for the following levels:
- A2 Key for Schools,
- B1 Preliminary for Schools, and
- B2 First for Schools
All in one App is very effective, I must say. You don’t need to keep installing and uninstalling Apps, just get the App and click on the level you want.
Once you have created your account, you access, on a daily basis, a pack with fun activities focused on the four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. By Sunday, I will have completed 7 packs out of a total of 30 from the level I have chosen – B2. It takes around twenty minutes to complete the daily pack, and this includes reading the summary provided and analysing any mistakes I might have made.
The more you advance, the more complex the activity becomes. I won’t go into detail. No spoilers! Besides, the number of questions per skill also slightly increases. There is something I can say for certain: the content developers do know what mistakes candidates often make, and so do I, a teacher who has been preparing English learners for the Cambridge exams for almost 7 years now. The questions are skilfully designed to help learners improve through practice. Truth be told, nothing can beat a library with exam preparation material, be it on paper or digital, with mock exams tasks and tips, and an experienced tutor who will tailor the right preparation course for you. But, at the end of the day, it is not everything about hard work when you are almost there! Believe me, to spice up your preparation, this App is worth your while!
In the mind of a Cambridge exam candidate, “Here I am, just finished my daily dose of preparation. I’ve had fun, and I’ve worked on my mistakes. Let’s call it a day! Let me see my progress chart. There is a summary of the questions I have answered, and the mistakes I’ve made are corrected. Amazing! Can’t wait to play again. I have to wait until tomorrow. Wait! If I had fewer days left before taking my official exam, I could access without waiting and even redo the past activities from the previous packs. There is a fee, not high. Nonetheless, the material is worth the money.”
In the mind of an English teacher, “I must share my finding with my students without any delay!”
In a nutshell, Exam Lift is the App that provides English learners, who are about to take one of the Cambridge exams mentioned above, with useful material not to be overlooked. Try it out and share your opinion with us.
Stay tuned for more words of advice and handy material!