I want it all and I want it now

Hello guys!

Today we are very excited to bring you a collaboration post about all of those questions students often ask about exams:

  • When will I be ready to take the exam?
  • How long does it take to prepare for the First/Advanced exam?
  • Why does it take so long?

Steve, one of our most experienced teachers, answers all these questions in a two-post special that will run today and on Wednesday next week. Are you ready?

Scroll down and check it out!

Why have language teachers told me I need to wait before taking an exam?
It’s a good question whose response would vary from student to student. However, there are general trends to the time it takes most of us to get from one level to the next in a language and for English, we have a pretty good idea.

This post will focus on and give links to websites (including this blog) to practise the areas students should work on most when making the ‘jump’ from B1 → B2,  B2 → C1 and C1 → C2.
First off, it’s less of a ‘jump’ and more of a crawl to get from being an independent user (B2 First certificate) to an advanced user (C1). If you’re not familiar with the word ‘crawl’ yet then this leads us nicely to our first point.


Get used to using different words that describe/mean the same thing.

You have most likely heard of ‘synonyms’ and ‘synonymous phrases’, these are your friend because they provide you with a wider range of possibilities. It can seem daunting but think of how many words you can use in your first language to say ‘it’s raining hard’ or to mean ‘a lot’. The more ways to express yourself the better, that’s why course books you use for class are worth their weight in gold (well at least in euros). A dictionary and thesaurus will help too when you have writings to complete, and this will widen your range of vocabulary.

Mix it up, basically.

Some useful links for more lexis:




The following exercises test your knowledge of synonyms and collocations (common or set combinations of words):

Choose the correct options, more than one correct answer may be possible. Try it yourself first and then get that dictionary out!

  • This new device from Apple has blurred / confused the lines between tablets and laptops with its new keyboard design.
  • We had a minor deterrent/ blip / problem while setting up the computer, I think at first we must have plugged all the cables in the wrong places.
  • There wasn’t even a speck / blip / bit of dust in the house after I had finished cleaning.
  • In the interest / habitof getting there on time I think we should walk a little faster or we will be late.
  • Like it or lump / forget it, we have to sometimes do things that we don’t want to.


Choose the one correct option. When you finish, how many other words can you think of that could also fit the gap?

1) English and other languages are developing all the time – in other words, changes in vocabulary and grammar are_____________

A) lasting
B) obvious
C) noticeable
D) ongoing

2) The number of people speaking English across the globe has grown _____________ and it is widely used in business.

A) highly
B) large
C) substantially
D) increasing

3) Applicants must display a certain level of _____________ in class before being allowed to move to the next stage.

A) competency
B) speciality
C) mentality
D) prestige


4) With any language spoken and written regularly, there will inevitably be various ____________ changes occurring all the time.

A) faint
B) weak
C) fragile
D) subtle

What do you think guys? Take a look at the links, do the exercises and keep your eyes peeled for part 2 next week! I’ll include tips on fluency, linking structures, the answers to today’s exercises and much more!

I want it all!!!

i want it all queen GIF (via Giphy)

Until then, as usual, #stayhome #staysafe ! Have a lovely week!


(Photo credit: http://www.gobloggingtips.com)

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