FCE is a standardized English test which is popularly accepted as the equal of B2 level in the European Common Framework. It proves you can use everyday written and spoken English for work or study purposes. Like other certified English tests, getting a good score for this test can be used to prove your English proficiency. To get a good FCE test score means that you spend some time to find out what is coming for you and prepare well.
The very basic things to know about this test are the sections: speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar (the use of English). It practically covers all the language skills needed to communicate well. Candidates have the choice of taking their exam on either a computer or on paper. The main tip for all sections is to practice, practice and practice. However, the kind of practice required for each section is surely different.
First, grammar. Should you have what is called grammatical awareness, this part should be a piece of cake. If you don’t, this is the part where you need an English tutor or a friend with good English. Doing grammar practice from books can help, but your tutor or friend can explain further and give you helpful grammar tips. Not only that, they can help you spot the grammatical errors you probably make in the writing or speaking parts.
Second, writing. This section provides you with optional topics and the tasks can be to write a letter or write a narrative essay, or something else. Whichever the type of writing you are trying to produce, making sure that the content is coherent and goes with the topic as well as the instruction(s) is the top priority. Remember, this section is to test your writing skills, so if you have to choose the priorities during the limited test time, put grammar perfection at the bottom of the list. Not using complex sentences can prevent you from making illogical sentences that may not be understandable by the panel.
Third, speaking. In this section, there will be questions addressed to you personally, while there are also other questions which ask you to work together with (an)other test taker(s). Either way, you need to be able to answer the questions as instructed. Of course, fluency, correct and appropriate language use will increase your points and these abilities come along with practice. Learning to say common utterances, like “Well, that is indeed an interesting question/topic to discuss” or “I think while some people find the idea quite agreeable, there are others who may think the opposite” will help to buy you some time to think about the answer without an obvious pause.
Fourth, reading. If you are an avid reader, there is a chance that the article you have read in the newspaper will come up in the test. As the question types are quite straightforward, reading a lot makes you better equipped for this section.
Fifth, listening. The best way to earn high score in this section is by listening to people conversing in English. It can be daily conversations, radio or TV interviews, or news. The point is the more you listen, the more comfortable you do this section.
Last but not least, do not forget to try to do the mock-up FCE test before the actual one. Only by doing so, will you know what to expect in the real test. Good luck.