Exam Skills - Pass that English exam! (Cambridge C1 Advanced and IELTS)

Course Name: Exam Skills - pass that English exam! (Cambridge C1 Advanced and IELTS)

Day(s)/time of class: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 18:00-20:00 (Irish Time)

Course length: 6 weeks, 24 hours in class + self-study and assignments for teacher feedback

Course dates:

Block 1: Tuesday 21 June to Thursday 28 July 2022 - 6 weeks - Course cost - €295*+

Block 2: Tuesday 02 August to Thursday 25 August 2022 - 4 weeks - Course cost - €200*+

You can continue from one block to another if you wish or blocks can be taken independently of one another.  Please indicate on the application form which block(s) you wish to take.

Level(s): B2+ and higher

*Returning students receive a loyalty discount.  Please email infolang@ucc.ie for details.

+UCC staff and students should email infolang@ucc.ie to enquire about special offers.

This course is suitable for anyone who is preparing for the Cambridge English Advanced exam (C1 Advanced) or the IELTS exam (aiming to achieve a 6.5 or higher)

Course overview

This course will focus on helping you to improve your exam skills and achieve your goals.  You will receive input from the teacher(s) on all four skills (reading, speaking, listening and writing) and grammar and vocabulary needed to get the best result possible in your exam.  You will also be given opportunities to practice certain parts of your exam for homework and will be provided with feedback on these tasks.  Where possible, during the class the teacher will give you practice activities that are based on exam questions.

Pre-recorded exam focussed videos will be available upon request for C1 Advanced and IELTS students.

Learning objectives

By the end of this course you will:

  • Be better able to complete exam reading tasks by employing useful strategies to find the correct answers
  • Have opportunities to speak to your classmates & teacher on a variety of topics, with feedback from your teacher
  • Have built on your grammar knowledge, aiming at a B2+/C1 level (IELTS 6.5/7.0)
  • Have looked at various aspects of written English to help you achieve a higher score in the writing exam
  • Be better able to complete exam listening tasks by employing useful strategies to find the correct answers
  • Have built on your vocabulary knowledge at a B2+/C1 level (IELTS 6.5/7.0)
Weekly course plan (may change slightly depending on class needs)

Week 1: 

Reading: Skimming

Speaking: Talking about your life/work/hobbies etc.

Grammar: Relative Clauses

Writing: Sentence types - writing simple, compound and complex sentences.

Vocabulary: Word Families

Week 2:


Listening: Multiple choice questions

Speaking: Comparing and contrasting photos / speculating

Grammar: Reported Speech

Writing: Sentence structure problems - fragment sentences, run-ons, etc.  

Vocabulary: Academic Expression

Week 3:


Reading: Scanning

Speaking: Monologues- speaking for 2 minutes on a certain topic

Grammar: Passive voice

Writing: Improving your coherence and cohesion in writing 

Vocabulary: Frequently confused words

Week 4:


Listening: Gap-fill questions

Speaking: Interview style questions and answers on various topics

Grammar: Conditionals

Writing: Using hedging language to avoid generalisations in writing. 

Vocabulary: Phrasal verbs

Week 5:


Reading: How to deal with exam-style reading questions.

Speaking: group discussions

Grammar: Infinitives and Gerunds

Writing: Linking words/connectors

Vocabulary: Dependent prepositions

Week 6:


Speaking: improving speech clarity - articulation

Listening: Matching speakers to questions

Grammar: Inversions

Writing: Formal Vs Informal writing

Vocabulary: Prefixes and Suffixes

Student Feedback/Assessment

Students will receive regular feedback from their teachers on their work.  Where possible, teachers will refer to the exam marking criteria when giving feedback.

Minimum class numbers

A minimum number of 4 students will be required for this class to run.  If four students do not sign up, you will be offered to transfer to another course (depending on level), postpone to another term or a refund.

Online class connection requirements

Microsoft Teams application, a good internet connection and a quiet space where you can speak (headphones/earphones optional).

Attendance/End of course certificate

Attendance will be taken in every class. If you attend 80% of your lessons, you will receive an end-of-course certificate.  Please advise the teacher if you know in advance that you will be absent.

How To Apply

Open for applications. Summer School 2022 application form

Queries please to: eflsummerschool@ucc.ie 

IT requirements to join our courses: 

All students are required to bring to class a fully-charged laptop (with audio and video) and headphones to ensure full participation and access to course materials and a more valuable student experience.  A reliable internet connection is required (this is provided by UCC for on-campus students). You should download Microsoft Teams to your laptop before starting your course. UCC recommends the use of Chrome browser for best interaction with all its applications.  Please note that a laptop is a device that is suitable for study purposes and students who use another device such as a tablet will not be able to access some functions. A smartphone is not considered to be a suitable device for study purposes.

Language Centre

Lárionad Teanga

Main Office, G36, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

External Accreditation