CAE Exam

How I failed the CAE practice test and still passed the real test

…continued from previous post

As I said, I had studied everything and done extra studying in the areas I knew would be especially challenging for me. I had done all the preparation and knew the material. There were only a couple weeks until the exam and I decided not to study much in the final week, so I was down to the end. If I did not know the test at this point, I would not have time to cram and learn it in the short amount of time left.

So then I took the first practice test.

And I failed.

I was heartbroken and my first thought was why did I think I could do this? Then I decided to be systematic and look at the answer explanations to see why I got the score I did.\, and I understood all the answer explanations.

I took the practice test again and got a 90% or so – well above what is needed to pass.

So what happened? Why the discrepancy? I forgot to approach the questions the right way, and in so doing, had chosen correct answers that were not the best answers, given the task.

CAE Exam Perspective

The perspective you are supposed to take is that of a chief staff executive, which is the same as a president or executive director in many organizations. They say it is a mile-high view you are supposed to take, and that you should focus on strategy, not tactics. Unless otherwise directed, assume that you are the CSE of a mid-size (maybe 50 or so employees) c6 (industry association) that has a subsidiary c3 (charitable organization). This is the perspective you should take when answering the exam questions.

With this perspective, it was clear what I had done wrong.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s