Maria Fino, Teacher, Italy
Why did you choose to take C1 Advanced?
Writing about my C1 Advanced exam is not easy because it reminds me of a personal challenge that, against all odds, I faced and won. Being a student when you are over 40 and a mother of two small children is very difficult because you have to balance study, work and family without feeling guilty when you neglect family for studying and vice versa. I spent most of my summer holiday in England repeating idioms, phrasal verbs and watching English programs for my listening test. With regard to speaking, I had to encourage my English husband to correct my pronunciation mistakes, which he rarely does as he loves me for being so Italian. I decided to study hard and try the C1 Advanced exam to boost my confidence in the language. I chose C1 Advanced because it matched my level of English at that time.
How do you think C1 Advanced has helped you to achieve your goals?
After doing the exam, I feel more confident about the language and the fear of making mistakes has decreased. I use common idioms and phrasal verbs more easily, and even my English relatives have noticed a big improvement in the way I speak and my richer vocabulary. My husband thinks that all the listening practice has made me inclined to listen more than talk, and he loves that!
What would you say to someone thinking about taking C1 Advanced?
Honestly, I found the exam difficult, so you have to study regularly and with passion. Surprisingly, I was not the oldest candidate. Two weeks ago I received my result through email: “Congratulations you have passed your C1 Advanced exam”. Learning is ageless and priceless.