Passing exams/ learning for enjoyment: Where is the balance?

We have heard it a million times or more, “I´m studying English to get the B1 level exam”, the level is not of importance, the fact is a large number of our students are studying English because they need a qualification in order to move on and get a job or study abroad. But the issue is, can we study a language if in fact we are not interested in the language itself? Also, is it possible to study exclusively for an exam and expect to get to that level? This post is going to discuss what we need to do to motivate our students and guide them towards passing the necessary exams.

It is of course far easier to learn a language if in fact you are interested in it. This is because of the time you will dedicate to learning it and that with enjoyment, things are far easier to learn. Language learning is not s scientific formula, everyone learns in their own way. The trick is to find YOUR way and do it. Languages are a thing that you learn through their use, it is very difficult to cram vocabulary and grammar structures, and then hope to be fluent in that language or even pass an exam with ease. If you can do this then good for you but for us mortals it is almost impossible. What we need to do is fit language into our day to day lives, use it as much as we possibly can and in all its forms (speaking, listening, reading and writing). For the active parts of language (speaking and writing) we need to dedicate time to practise them, actively find opportunities to use them but why not enjoy yourself along the way. Do it with friends or try to meet new people with this similar interest. For the passive parts (reading an listening) students can learn through immersion and usethis can be in any way that we enjoy (films, stories, news, etc…). The thing that all language learning has in common is time, we need to dedicate time to the process of learning and try to enjoy it. Languages are so vast that we cannot find a measurable amount of information to study in the traditional (memorization) way. We need to be flexible and use different skills to be able to communicate.

What I wanted to get across in this post is one point, a point that you need to communicate with your students. To learn a language we need to find a way to use it and to enjoy it. Learning comes first, and after we can prepare for exams. To be able to pass an exam we need the base level to be able to achieve it, then the next step is just exam technique. The sad side of it is if you already have a negative opinion of languages, you need to change that. Find a way of being motivated and that way, we will all come out as winners. This is the message that we need to help our students understand! Everyone is capable of learning a language, we just need to find the key that opens the door to our success.


At ABBEY ROAD CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS all of our teaching staff are trained to teach with the same methodology, and thus evaluate in the same way (taking into account the individual learning needs of each student).


Evaluations are done every 4 weeks and are based on all of the necessary skills needed in language use (Speaking, listening, reading, writing). For very young learners we also have a phonics scheme to evaluate their development.


si queréis comprar los libros del curso en Internet, los podéis encontrar aquí


All teachers at ABBEY ROAD CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS correct writing in the same way so that students can understand their written errors.

This is a reference sheet to know how writings are corrected, use throughout the course.

The key to good writing at any level is to keep it simple and logical so that it is easy for the examiner to read, you need to avoid simple mistakes in the use of simple grammar forms. It needs to include some complex grammar forms that are adequate for the target reader and purpose and familiar vocabulary that will help with understanding.

SP – spelling mistake

G – grammar mistake (a suggested alternative will be given)

V – vocabulary (a suggested alternative will be given)

WO – word order

P – punctuation mistake (corrections will be made in red)


After correcting the writing a general comment will be made where necessary.

Level test/Prueba de nivel

Before starting a course at Abbey Road Centro de Estudios, we recommend doing a level test. Do the test and then correct it. Tell us your score when signing up to the course. THE ORAL TEST WILL BE DONE IN OUR CENTRE BY OUR HEAD OF STUDIES.


Antes de empezar uno de nuestros cursos conviene hacer una prueba de nivel para asegurar que entres en el nivel adecuado. ROGAMOS QUE HAGÁIS ESTA PRUEBA antes de venir y que nos digáis la nota que habéis sacado al matricularse. LA PRUEBA ORAL SE REALIZA CON EL JEFE DE ESTUDIOS EN EL CENTRO.




A2 – 0-19

B1 – 20-39

B2 – 40-55

C1 – 56-65




Cambridge Exams

Abbey Road Centro de Estudios is an official Cambridge preparation centre and boasts one of the best pass rates in the city. We prepare the A2 (KET), B1 (PET), B2 (FCE), C1 (CAE) exams and our native teachers are well trained to handle any doubts you may have

Here you can find a link to our website ABBEY ROAD CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS.

Take a look at the following documents about the exams




To make life easier for our students we have a specially made EXAM CHEAT SHEET to inform you all about the exams.