The Way to COPE
With Proficiency Exams

The Way to Cope with Proficiency Exams is a completely new version of my original book. Instead of making adjustments, I decided to completely rewrite it so that the exercises in the book would keep pace with the continuing changes in Proficiency Exams. This new version of The Way to Cope with Proficiency Exams, while still as user-friendly as before, now reflects the changing face of current exams.

The purpose of this book is to help students prepare for various Proficiency Examinations, by helping them to revise and consolidate grammar at Intermediate and Upper Intermediate levels. The book consists of twenty different units. Each unit covers an aspect of English language structure and usage that is widely tested in the Proficiency Examinations and related examinations such as TOEFL, FCE, COPE, YDS, KPDS, UDS, etc. Basic structures and more advanced points are included in each unit. The aim is to give students enough opportunity to revise and practise simple and more complex grammar points as a whole. In each unit, there is a brief explanation of an element of grammar followed by various types of exercises. In addition, the overall grammatical points are reinforced through tests given at the end of each unit. Thus, each unit provides ample exercises which stimulate and help students giving them numerous opportunities to learn and helping them to gain more self-confidence. The wide range of exercises is designed to avoid monotony and to help students when they encounter different types of questions which appear in Proficiency and similar examinations.

Towards the end of this book, there are four separate sections that provide further practice and reinforcement of the language. These four sections focus on subjects most frequently emphasized during examinations. These sections cover:

1. Transformations 2. Dialogue Completion 3. Cloze Tests and 4. Error Analysis

In addition, the reference section at the end of the book provides this helpful information:

1. A list of prepositions used with verbs and adjectives

2. A summary of English tenses

3. A list of irregular verbs

How to use the book:

Since this is a practice book, it is intended to support the material in language courses and is designed for this purpose. It can be used both in the classroom and for private study. It is not organised in order of increasing difficulty. Therefore, you can choose any unit you think you need practice with.

Make sure that you study the explanations of every unit thoroughly. By doing this, you will see that the approach to grammar is simple and direct, making the book of immediate help. Each point is illustrated with example sentences; therefore while doing the exercises, you can always refer to the explanations and example sentences at the beginning of each unit.

Do not be discouraged by the technical vocabulary included in some of the multiple choice sections. Simply keep your main objective language usage in general. These multiple-choice tests are independent of the preceding units and function to test overall grammar proficiency.

It is recommended that you redo each exercise after checking your answers with the key.

I hope you will find this book useful in your studies.


How to Cope
With Proficiency Exams

The aim of ‘How to Cope With Proficiency Exams’ is to provide complementary and supportive material to develop the reading, listening and vocabulary study skills of university and pre-university students who need English as a tool for reading professional materials and understanding lectures in their own chosen disciplines. Most importantly, it helps these students prepare for a wide range of Proficiency examinations, by encouraging them to revise and consolidate these skills at Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate and Advanced levels. The book covers three main areas.

  • Reading skills and graded reading passages

  • Exercises designed to allow students build and then use new vocabulary as well as study and develop word formation

  • Listening passages

An extensive array of vocabulary is covered. This includes words commonly used in

academic studies, in the content of the Common European Framework, as well as being frequently tested in the Proficiency examination and related examinations such as COPE, TOEFL, FCE, IELTS, KPDS, UDS and YDS etc.

In addition, the vocabulary taken from the reading passages enables students to look at topical words in context, with sufficient multiple-choice questions and exercises. The reading selections are never monotonous but rather encompass an extensive selection of topics from sport and health, history and politics to tourism and outer space. This creates a familiarity with different types of vocabulary as well as mastery over different sets of reading skills. The subsequent exercises, which focus on word similarities, are presented in a meaningful context that extends the usefulness of the words, providing higher-level students with opportunities to practice and integrate their newly learned vocabulary.

Above all, one of the main aims of ‘How to Cope With Proficiency Exams’ is to empower Intermediate to Advanced level English-language learners with reading strategies that will lead to mastery of language. The included texts provide a well rounded context for natural learning and set clear aims and objectives for students. All of the reading texts have been adapted from current affairs articles in magazines, newspapers and other media sources. By working with texts from authentic sources, students will be able to:

  • recognize the function of an unknown word and then to take enough information from the surrounding text to supply general meaning.

  • skim over a text to identity and locate the essential details.

  • survey and scan a text for organization of ideas.

  • find a main idea in the text by summarizing or paraphrasing the total number of ideas presented in a text.

  • use contextual clues and information to understand order and sequencing.

  • understand inference and reference.

  • become more efficient readers through guided reading practice, the goal being to increase the student’s reading speed and still have full comprehension.

All of the exercises in this book deliberately introduce and build upon important vocabulary as well as structures that easily teach English sentence patterns, proven to be used often in everyday life and academic studies.

The listening section is comprised of sixteen lectures on a broad selection of subjects and interests.

Students listen to the recordings and take notes during the lecture under a list of headings provided. They must then answer fifteen multiple choice questions following the lectures. The aim here is twofold: to master a better understanding of university lectures, and at the same time to reach a high level of performance in listening tests given by universities and examiners.

Again, the lectures included in this section are topical and cover a wide variety of subjects. All of the lectures have been adapted from real-life situations, speeches and associated articles.

Intellectual content is an essential component of real language activities. The reading text and listening passages that have been chosen provide content that can be used effectively for an entire range of purposes, in different circumstances and areas of experience in today’s world.