First Certificate Exam Preparation – B2 Level

The programme

The B2 First, or Cambridge B2 First Certificate, is an international English language qualification recognised by universities and employers all over the world. Our course prepares you thoroughly for taking the Cambridge B2 First Certificate Exam (FCE).

This course is the perfect choice if you’re looking to gain a qualification that is widely used and an accepted standard of testing English. There are many different FCE exam preparation courses available in Ireland, but few prepare you as well as our expert teachers do – and all in the beautiful setting of Galway.

  • Minimum Course Length

    4, 6 or 12 weeks

  • Lessons a Week

    20, 30 or 36 lessons per week
    45 minutes per lesson

  • Minimum English Level

    Upper Intermediate - B2

  • Cost

    From €1,470

  • Start Dates

    Multiple starting dates depending on number of lessons

  • Maximum Class Size

    14

  • Minimum Age

    17 in low season
    16 in high season

  • Lesson times

    Mon - Fri 9.00 - 12.30 (20 lessons) /15.00 (30 lessons) / 16.30 (36 lessons)
    Classes start at 8.30 during the summer

The Cambridge B2 First Certificate Exam is situated between the B1 Preliminary (PET) and the C1 Advanced (CAE) exam. This certificate proves to employers and universities that you have a level of English that will allow you to work or study in English.

For more information on Cambridge exam preparation and to make sure you select the right course for your needs please visit this page.

The Cambridge B2 Exam tests you on your English speaking, listening, writing and grammar. The exam is in four parts:

●       Speaking test

●       Writing test

●       Listening test

●       Reading and Use of English test

The Reading and Use of English Exam consists of 52 questions in seven different parts. Your goal in this part of the exam is to show you can process different types of text, such as fiction, newspapers and magazines. You want to show you can use English grammar effectively and you have the vocabulary to go along with it. The Reading and Use of English exam is worth 40% of the Cambridge FCE B2 examination. The other three parts are worth 20% each. 

Up next is the Writing Exam. This section focuses on how you write different types of English. You’ll be tested on articles, emails, letters, reports and reviews.

Then there is the Listening Paper, which involves listening to a tape recording and answering questions on what you hear. These can be monologues, phone recordings, broadcasts, public announcements, news, interviews, stories, lectures, etc.

Finally you’ll have the Speaking Exam. This will involve having a conversation with another Cambridge First Certificate candidate. You’ll be examined for 14 minutes and the other candidate will be examined for 14 minutes. The examiner will ask you the questions and direct the course of the conversation. 

Who is the Cambridge B2 First Certificate Exam (FCE) preparation course for?

The course is designed for adult learners who are looking to gain a higher qualification while studying English. If you want to show you’re capable of working in an English-speaking country or studying in English, then the FCE exam preparation in Galway is the right choice for you.

The subject areas that students are tested on are directed towards adult learners who are aiming to study at university, start their own business or excel in their career. 

Learners come from all corners of the globe and are at different stages in their lives. You might be taking the B2 Exam Preparation course for your career, university or just for the joy of learning. 

Course objectives

On completion of the Cambridge B2 Exam Preparation Course, you’ll be familiar with the Cambridge B2 First Exam format and you’ll have significantly improved your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

Our expert teachers will guide you every step of the way, and you’ll have plenty of time for frequent reviews and revision of material before your exam day. 

On the course you will:

•         Learn to communicate effectively in a variety of practical settings

•         Prepare extensively for all four papers, with lessons focusing on grammar, syntax, key vocabulary and skills development

•         Benchmark your level to international standards and achieve global mobility

Owing to our unwavering commitment to providing courses of the highest quality, GCI has an extremely strong track record in helping students consistently achieve excellent results. 


Cambridge B2 First Certificate Exam preparation course content

Our teaching staff will take you through an in-depth timetable of classes and give you plenty of home study to make sure you do well in the B2 First Exam. Your progress is reviewed by our staff on a regular basis and we ensure you feel thoroughly prepared once the exam date comes. The programme is task-based and we make sure that everything you practise is designed to help you do the best you can. There is plenty of exam practice and you’ll complete full sample papers and mock examinations before the day of the exam.

There is dedicated study time with assigned home study tasks and we give plenty of self-study options. On your first day you’ll be allocated your:

•   Cambridge B2 First Exam course book – used for all lessons and home study tasks

•   Cambridge B2 First Exam language practice book – used to support your lessons and for self-study

You’ll have time for a detailed study of grammar and we’ll help you develop your own learning goals. You’ll also be in a position to take full advantage of the beautiful city of Galway while you’re here. By learning in your everyday life, you’ll progress much quicker. 

Which B2/FCE Exam Preparation course option is best for you? 

We cater for your learning needs, whatever they may be. We offer our students four different FCE exam preparation options in Galway.

When you decide to come to Ireland, perhaps you want to prepare for the Cambridge B2 First as intensively as possible. You can do this by studying as much as you can while you’re here. Alternatively, you might come here with the desire to take fewer classes in the week and devote plenty of time to studying at home and learn outside the classroom.

The exam preparation courses we have are:

•   12 weeks with 20 lessons per week

•   9 weeks with 20 lessons per week

•   6 weeks with 30 lessons per week

•   4 weeks with 36 lessons per week

Each course caters for something slightly different to suit different student objectives.

•   Our 12-week course is the longest Cambridge FCE Exam Preparation course we offer. It’s the ideal choice if you want to make the most of your time here in Galway and have plenty of time for both home study and learning outside the classroom.

•   If you want to have the same number of hours per week as the 12-week course but have a more limited amount of time to complete the course, you might want to try our 9-week programme.

•   If you want a more intensive approach to the Cambridge FCE Exam Preparation course, then the 6-week course is the option to go for. With an increased number of lessons per week, you won’t have trouble doing well in the Cambridge B2 First Exam. 

•   Our most intensive programme is our 4-week course. This is for anyone who wants to excel through the course quickly and take the exam. It is the perfect option for those who don’t have much time and want to use their time here most effectively. You will have 36 lessons per week to make sure you use your time here as efficiently as possible. It’s the most cost effective of all our Cambridge FCE courses.

You can see all your course options here:

Browse all courses

Find out more about what you can do in Galway with our guides

Need help? Contact us with any questions you have.


Sample timetable (30 lessons)

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

09.00- 10.30

Use of English (multiple choice) Vocabulary

Use of English (word formation) Listening Task (multiple choice)

Grammar (Present Simple and Continuous)

Reading Task (multiple matching)

Practice paper  (reading)

11.00- 12:30

Reading Task  (gapped text) Grammar (comparisons)

Grammar (passive forms) Speaking Task (collaborative task)

Practice paper (listening) Writing Task (essay)

Vocabulary (collocations & idioms)

Writing Task

13.30- 15.00

Speaking Collaborative Task

Writing Task (Formal and informal) Speaking Sample Test

Intensive Revision Class

Practice Paper (Use of English)

Exam Clinic (focus on exam) (intensive revision)