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Best FCE Prep Books

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 comparison chart below will help you to choose which study guide is right for your situation and which is the best to prepare for the exam.

Helpful Comparisons + Best Pricing Options

FCE Books
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COMPANY Cambridge English HarperCollins UK Cambridge English Cambridge English Oxford University
PRICE  $19.69  $20.45  $34.32  $30.50  $14.08
PRACTICE QUESTIONS N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
FULL PRACTICE EXAMS 4 4 N/A 6 5
PAGES 188 208 256 242 128
FORMAT Paperback Book Paperback Book Paperback Book Paperback Book Paperback Book
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS None None None None None
DIAGNOSTIC EXAMS
PROGRESS TRACKING
KINDLE EDITION
VIDEO
MORE DETAILS Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review
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Cambridge English First 1 Student’s Book with Answers: Authentic Examination Papers from Cambridge English Language Assessment

OVERALL RATING: 

Designed and published by the actual makers of the FCE exam, Cambridge English First 1 Student’s Book with Answers is a must-buy for ambitious test-takers.

This book provides the most authentic exam preparation available, allowing candidates to familiarise themselves with the content and format of the exam and to practise useful exam techniques. Importantly, this preparation book consists of four full-length official practice tests. Each test has a detailed answer key with explanations.


Cambridge English: First: Four Practice Tests For Cambridge English

OVERALL RATING: 

With the realistic test papers and helpful advice in Collins Practice Tests for FCE, you will feel confident and fully prepared for what to expect on the day of the test.

This preparation book contains:

  • 4 complete practice tests with answer keys and model answers
  • Free online practice module that guides you through a complete test with tips for success
  • An MP3 CD and audio scripts for the Listening and Speaking papers
  • A mini-dictionary of difficult words from the tests, taken from our COBUILD dictionaries


Grammar and Vocabulary for First and First for Schools Book with Answers and Audio

OVERALL RATING: 

Grammar and Vocabulary for First and First for Schools Book provides complete coverage of the grammar and vocabulary needed for the Cambridge First exams, and develops listening skills at the same time.

This edition is updated for the new exam to be introduced from 2015. It is informed by the Cambridge Learner Corpus to ensure that the language tackles real learner errors. The accompanying listening material is available online for download.

Best of all, the book is easy to understand and very user-friendly. A definite must-buy!


First Trainer Six Practice Tests with Answers with Audio

OVERALL RATING: 

Six full practice tests with tips and training for the 2015 revised Cambridge English: First (FCE). First Trainer Second edition offers six practice tests for the revised Cambridge English: First (FCE) exam combined with easy-to-follow guidance and exam tips. The first two tests are fully guided with advice on how to tackle each paper. Extra practice activities, informed by the Cambridge Learner Corpus, a bank of real candidates’ exam papers, focus on areas where students typically need the most help. This version contains a full answer key. Audio for the listening and speaking test activities is available online for download.


First Certificate Practice Tests : Book with Answers

OVERALL RATING: 

This set of five complete practice tests replicate the Cambridge English First exam, with access to an additional practice test online. This book also comes complete with audio CDs that contain the listening tests material and provides access to downloadable audio portions.

How to Prepare for the Cambridge First (FCE) Exam

cambridge test

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.