C1-C2 useful words for the CAE and the CPE – Worksheet

useful words for the CAE and for the CPE

The more words you know, the more likely it is that you won’t need to leave any blanks empty in your Cambridge exam. In this post we would like to show you how you can learn some of the most useful words for the CAE and the CPE exams. We had a lot of words to choose from to make this activity, but we chose the simplest and most commonly used words in English. You can listen to our podcast on the best way to learn more vocabulary here. It might help you get some great ideas to learn new vocabulary faster.

Another factor that influences vocabulary acquisition is memory. This activity will also help you exercise your memory and add some more useful words the CAE and CPE preparation . Although expanding vocabulary is always good, you also need to know where and when to use the words you learn. It’s important to be able to differentiate whether these words are formal or informal in their use. It would be a good idea if you could sign up to our course on How to learn English. The course is totally free and the section on vocabulary will give you deeper understanding on how to maximise vocabulary learning time. Did we mention it is totally free?

Let’s go ahead and explain how you can make the most of this exercise and learn advanced synonyms faster.

What you will need:

  1. Download and print our worksheet here.
  2. A stopwatch (optional)


  1. Download the activity worksheets. We have named this activity ‘Instead of’.
  2. You can print out the worksheets, but you can also practise with the help of your computer.
  3. You will see a base word as the main word (Happy, funny, sad, etc.) On each worksheet you will find seven synonyms.
  4. Give yourself two minutes to read them all. You can use the stopwatch at this stage to give the activity a sense of competition.
  5. Once the two minutes are up move on to the section that is called ‘Exercises’. You will find the same worksheets with cues to the words you have just read.
  6. Go to the first page which has some missing letters. See how many you remember.
  7. If you can’t fill all the words. Give yourself another minute to read all the synonyms and then try again.
  8. If you need a third time, give yourself only 30 seconds.
  9. You can do this as many times as you need, but keep taking 5 seconds off each time.


synonyms nicesynonyms smart

synonyms happy

We hope you can use this activity which is a favourite of our advanced and proficiency students. Let us know in the comments how you did or post some pictures of the activity on our facebook page.

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