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: On Campus Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 pm (Irish Time)

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

Course dates for 2023-24

Block 4: Tuesday 27 February to Thursday 04 April 2024

Block 4: Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 23 May 2024

Block 6: See our Summer School page

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

Course cost - €295*+

*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 four 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 get a refund.

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.  Part-time application form

Language Centre

Lárionad Teanga

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

External Accreditation