ACET Exam Tips!

keep calmHere at ACET we prepare students for a variety of English Exams – KET, PET, FCE, CAE, CPE, IELTS, TOEIC, TOEFL etc.  so to help all our students studying for their exams we have asked some of the academic team for their top exam tips!

exam tips

  • Make sure you fully understand what the course and the exam involves.
  • Be aware of your timing and always try to improve your time management.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you are having difficulties – speak to your teacher and your classmates for extra support. Be patient with yourself.
  • Listen to your teacher, respond to the feedback you get and be willing to make changes to your learning style, if necessary.
  • Make the most of every speaking opportunity in and out of class.
  • Keep a record of your common/regular errors. Review them regularly.
  • Don’t just leave new vocabulary in your notebook – take these words out – use them in conversation and writing tasks.
  • Tune in when you are listening – who is talking to whom? What are they talking about? Listen to the radio at home or while you are walking.
  • Do at least one English activity a day – watch a film, read a magazine, a newspaper or a short story. Have a chat in English and enjoy it.
  • Practise often, but not for too long.  Do one activity at a time.
  • Invest in a good English-English dictionary or app and use it to help build your vocabulary range and control.
  • Try to think in English – don’t give yourself time to translate – just go for it!!
  • Make friends with some native speakers – they may be difficult to understand at first, but you will soon get used to it and you will make great progress.
  • Do practice papers regularly in order to check your ability as well as your time management.

good luck

ACET Idiom of the Week!

This week’s idiom is Cast Your Eye Over It

Cast your eye over the picture on this page – what is it?  It is an Irish breakfast.

Cast your eye over it means to look at it quickly or to glance at it, without paying attention to the details. You could say take a quick look at this picture.

If you want to examine something more carefully we would say ‘take a good look at this picture. Do you know what it contains? Try to name as many items as you can.

cast your eyeThe origin of this expression is thought to be from Middle English word ‘casten‘ which means to throw.

To answer the question an Irish breakfast contains sausages, rashers, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, black and white pudding and hash browns.

Even casting an eye over it will make you hungry – don’t you agree?


ACET Idiom of the Week!

This week’s idiom is SOUR GRAPES!

Sour Grapes means to take on a negative attitude because you cannot have what you want.

This expression comes from one of Aesop’s fables ‘The Fox and the Grapes’.

The fable speaks about a very hungry fox who tried to reach a bunch of grapes hanging from a vine.  He tried will all his strength to reach these grapes.  He gave up after a while because he could not reach them and to compensate for his failure, he said to himself that the grapes were sour.

sour grapes


  • I told my classmate that I got an “A” in the English exam and he just shrugged his shoulders.  He didn’t do so well in the exam so I think it was a case of sour grapes.
  • When John told Andrew that he got a new car, Andrew had sour grapes and told him that the car was awful.

Have you any experiences that you could use “sour grapes” to describe?


ACET Idiom of the Week!

This week’s idiom is Spoilt for Choice!

What will I watch on TV tonight? I could watch a film, a police drama, a documentary, a comedy or soap opera.  I can’t decide – there are some many channels for me to choose from. In fact, I am spoilt for choice.

The idiom ‘to be spoilt for choice’ means to have so many good choices that it is quite difficult to make a decision.

For example: There are so many good restaurants here in Cork, you really are spoilt for choice.

Sweet ShopImagine being a child in this sweet shop – he would find it very hard to decide which sweets to buy – he really is spoilt for choice.

Smiley faceIdioms are fun and there are so many to choose from you – you will be spoilt for choice.

Check out this website for some more idioms

 Have fun! Laura