How to Ace Your Cambridge Exam

Johanna Lübbers came to New Zealand to escape winter in Germany – more than 24 weeks later she returned home with a Grade A (C2) result on her Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Discover the examination techniques and strategies she learned from her study at Campbell’s Auckland campus.



Johanna spent 6 months in Auckland taking part in Campbell’s Demi Au Pair programme, paired with 12 weeks of part-time General English course in the mornings.

To overcome her lack of confidence in speaking English, she found “speaking with like-minded people and learning vocabulary for specific situations, especially in discussions, was very useful.” Johanna also credited extra speaking practice at Campbell and using the language every day for her success in achieving the necessary level of fluency.

Johanna was kind enough to share with us her recipe for passing the Cambridge English Language Assessment examination with flying colours:

Get feedback and act on it – try to write at least one or two exam tasks a week, and kindly ask your teacher to give you feedback. Campbell has workshops, which are 15-minute one-to-one lessons where you can get individual help with your writing and speaking. After you get feedback, try the same task again so that you can apply your teacher’s advice or corrections and try to improve your writing or speaking.

Try out past exam papers – Campbell has a range of exam practice materials, which you are welcome to use any time.

Manage your time – make a study plan, and try to find a balance across the language skills. For example, set aside Monday for focusing on reading; then on Tuesday, switch to listening, and so on. You need to develop stamina and habits that match those you will need during the exam.


When asked whether she enjoyed her time in New Zealand, Johanna answered: “Definitely! The beginning was hard to be honest… but once I had settled in I had a great time travelling and doing activities with the other students or my host family. Eventually, I was very sad when I had to leave.” 

Now Johanna is ready to start her urban planning studies at a university in October 2017, equipped with her exemplary Cambridge exam result that would be useful for a semester abroad or a future job.

Good luck on your Cambridge exam!