Resources and links for teachers of FCE preparation classes.
BBC Exam Skills:
This is the exam skills section from the BBC Learning English site. It’s not specific to FCE (or any other exam) but rather looks at ways that learners can develop the necessary exam skills for success. Worth exploring for both teachers and learners.
British Council LearnEnglishProfessionals:
Gives an overview of the structure and focus of the exam, plus links to “Lesson Downloads” for Reading & Use of English papers and links to a more detailed overview and practice tasks for the listening and speaking sections.
Cambridge English: First:
The official website for FCE, this provides all the information concerning the organisation and structure of the exam, what the “set books” are, where you can take the exam, when you can take the exam, links to downloadable sample papers and more. It should be the first stop for anyone teaching an FCE preparation class.
Cambridge ESOL Teacher Support:
And this should probably be the second stop… This is the teacher support site for Cambridge ESOL exams. There’s a lot of stuff available, but to get access to everything requires a (free) email registration. All of the information on the exams and free downloads from the Cambridge FCE portal is available here, plus additional lesson plans and activity ideas contributed both by Cambridge ESOL and by the teaching community members, who also populate the discussion forums.
Chiew Pang’s International English Exams Scoop:
“Stuff related to Cambridge, TOEFL, IELTS, etc exams” – A collection of blog posts and web pages related to International English Exams, curated by Chiew Pang. Lots of useful links and ideas, though not only specific to FCE as it also covers other major players in the ELT exams market.
C.U.P. Teachers’ Zone:
This teacher support page from Cambridge University Press offers a number of pdf and mp3 downloads and some flash games, but these support their existing publication range at FCE.
Has five free online practice tasks for each Use of English component, plus some vocabulary and grammar exercises and some extensive irregular verb practice tasks.
Eslbrain FCE Speaking:
Uses xtranormal to create a number of guides to FCE speaking. An excellent idea well worth exploiting with your classes.
English Online (Practice for FCE):
This site contains two online practice tests. However, it’s based on the pre-2008 version of the exam, so not all sections are relevant and not all components are available (e.g. missing writing & listening sections).
Has an overview of the exam structure and components, plus a set of free online practice tasks for reading, use of English and listening. There’s also an interesting “complete the text” task in the writing section, where learners recreate a text by typing in random words. Obviously they’ll have more success with function words initially, so it’s a nice grammaring task. Not sure how useful it is for developing writing skills though.
The FCE Blog (Claudia Ceraso):
It is what is says it is – a blog about teaching FCE. Lots of interesting ideas, though these seem to have tailed off a bit lately (i.e. no new posts for a while). Definitely worth a look for some interesting FCE teaching ideas.
FCE British Council Bilbao:
Billed as “First Certificate help and exam practice from authentic texts” – this is (I think) a class blog? There are lots of exam practice type activities (my favourite is the “what happened was” listening). Even if you don’t feel the tasks are quite suitable for exam practice, they could serve as inspiration for your own class blog? Plus there’s lots of additional links.
An ongoing FCE blog (not sure if teacher or class based) with a range of ideas an resources for teaching FCE classes.
(Update May 2012 – this now appears to be defunct. I’m going to keep it here just in case it reappears & will update as necessary.)
FCE Practice Tests:
Aimed primarily at learners rather than teachers, this blog appears to have a wealth of advice and information for people preparing for the FCE. More based on test strategy than test practice, framed in “knowledge tests” and “learning nuggets”. Thanks to Jim George for the spot.
FCE Writing Reports (English Connection):
A French based website – this is only one post related to writing reports for FCE.
Flo-Joe is the place to send learners for self-study / computer room based lessons at FCE. An impressive range of online exam practice activities, mainly focused on reading and use of English. Parts of the site are registration and fee-based.
Henrik Oprea’s Cambridge Exams Scoop:
“A collection of links, articles and hints for students preparing for FCE, CAE or CPE.” – A continually updated collation of Cambridge exam related posts from different blogs and websites, curated by Henrik Oprea. Lots of nice ideas and useful links – but not only specific to FCE, as it also covers other Cambridge exams.
International House Bristol Exam Exercises:
IH Bristol have put the equivalent of 10 (yes, ten!) FCE Use of English papers online. As well as other grammar and vocabulary development tasks – but for FCE Use of English practice? Go here. sadly, there’s no focus on any of the other aspects of the exam though.
This is the additional practice test site associated with Pearson / Longman ELT publishing. It’s offered as an additional resource for teachers and students who’re already using their course books. I believe (though I’m not sure) that purchase of a Pearson FCE title also gives you login / free registration details to the i-tests site. But while there’s also some free stuff available, a lot of the content is paid for.
Jim George’s ESOL Exams Sccop:
“Worldwide exams of English language skills. Tips, updates, practice.” – A continually updated collation of ESOL exam related posts from different blogs and websites, curated by Jim George. Lots of nice ideas and useful links – but not only specific to FCE, as it also covers other Cambridge exams.
om first certificate:
This bilingual Spanish/English page contains practice activities for FCE students including 10 different listening tasks, a range of grammar practice activities and some Use of English exam practice activities (some elements pre-date 2008 specifications). Quite advert heavy, so be careful what you click.
onestopenglish FCE page:
Formerly part of the Macmillan ELT publishing stable, onestopenglish has struck out on its own. As a result of this, part of their content is only available to registered, paid up, subscribers. Some -but not all. The practice activities are premium content, but teaching tips for FCE by Alex Case are free, as are the use of English tips and exercises.
O.U.P. Teachers’ Club (Exams):
A publisher based support site, this link gives access to yet more links related to the wealth of FCE (and other) publications within the Oxford University Press catalogue. If you teach with an OUP title, you should probably check this page out, though as the resources are mostly tests and answer keys, it’s not so useful if you don’t.
Pearson ELT Exams Place:
A publisher based support site that also crosses over into trying to create an exam teachers’ community – the Pearson site has a limited range of useful downloads, including a sample video of the speaking test (featuring Jackie Newbrook as examiner!) – handy if you can’t afford the Cambridge ESOL DVD… More resources are apparently available to those who register.
Sandy Millin’s FCE post archive:
Sandy Millin is a highly experienced ELT exams teacher – this link connects to an FCE based search of her blog, which throws up all of her great ideas for teaching FCE classes. Definitely worth checking out if you teach FCE.
Sandy Millin’s Useful FCE Websites:
Organised by FCE paper, Sandy’s collated a lot of FCE related links and categorised them by exam component. Another great resource to check out if you’re looking for exam support.
teflgeek exam classes
A link to the lesson plans etc I’ve made available for FCE classes.
- All the links were all working the last time I checked, but do please leave a comment if any are broken.
- Equally, if you think something should be added to the directory, please let me know!
- Finally, thanks to the BC facebook page, which back in October 2011, prompted me to start collecting together this information.
Monday 27 February 2012 at 11:15
thanks for the share!
Thursday 8 March 2012 at 16:52
Very helpful for my son
Sunday 16 September 2012 at 00:03
Thanks for incuding my pages in your list – didn’t notice until today. I’ll take a look at some of your links too!
Sunday 9 March 2014 at 17:01
Might be useful to include an app or two, now that we’re into the the post-pc era 😉
Tuesday 22 April 2014 at 16:04
Wow, so many resources. You may have a look at : http://examwriting.blogspot.com for some more sample answers of FCE writing tasks.
Sunday 28 September 2014 at 12:59
Thanks for mentioning my Onestopenglish stuff. There are links to all of them plus the many many other worksheets I’ve published elsewhere over the last few years on my blog’s FCE pages:
Saturday 14 March 2015 at 22:34
Monday 20 July 2015 at 09:30
In addition to this list there is a website called: http://www.fcepass.com which offers free practice tests and quizzes, as well as useful tips and strategies to pass the Cambridge exam. There are also books and worksheets specifically for the exam. Thanks 🙂
Thursday 24 October 2019 at 15:43
Great list. We’ve also got some great free resources on our site, EnglishSwami.com.
Here’s a link a free Reading and Use of English Paper: