50 Phrasal Verbs Commonly Used in the FCE Exam

Below is a list of 50 phrasal verbs which I have frequently seen used in Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE) exams. I would recommend that you go through the list and try to learn the meaning(s) of each.

You will know some of these already, but there will be some that you don't know or are unsure about. For all of them, I would recommend that you learn their meaning through an online dictionary (the Macmillan Dictionary and the Cambridge Dictionary are two good ones) and then create a sentence in your own words using them.

For those you don't know or are unsure about, I recommend that you spend more time on. When you have learnt their meaning(s), use them (write or say one or two sentences where they are used in). Doing this will help you to remember in the future.

Some of the below phrasal verbs have more than one meaning. If you see that a phrasal verb has many meanings when looking in a dictionary, only learn the first two meanings you see given in the dictionary for it (the Macmillan Dictionary is particularly good for this).


To learn some advanced synonyms for common words which you can use in the exam, read our article called 'Vocabulary to Improve your Writing and Speaking in the FCE Exam'.


A list of 50 commonly used FCE phrasal verbs

Where one of the below phrasal verbs is underlined, you can watch by clicking on it a YouTube video we have created which will help you learn and remember its main meaning.

  1. Be down to

  2. Be up to

  3. Build up

  4. Call off

  5. Carry on

  6. Come up

  7. Come up with

  8. Count on

  9. Deal with

  10. Depend on

  11. Drop off

  12. End up

  13. Fall out

  14. Figure out

  15. Find out

  16. Get out of

  17. Get round

  18. Give up

  19. Go down well

  20. Go over

  21. Grow up

  22. Hang out

  23. Head off

  24. Head to

  25. Keep up with

  26. Lie behind

  27. Look after

  28. Make up

  29. Manage to

  30. Mess about

  31. Mess up

  32. Miss out

  33. Move on

  34. Pick up

  35. Point out

  36. Pour down

  37. Put off

  38. Put up with

  39. Rule out

  40. Set off

  41. Set up

  42. Sign up

  43. Take care of

  44. Take part

  45. Take up

  46. Try out

  47. Turn down

  48. Turn out

  49. Turn up

  50. Work out

There will be other phrasal verbs used

Unfortunately, you will also find other phrasal verbs used in the exam. So, although learning these will help you do exam, you are going to have to learn other less frequently used phrasal verbs as well.

To learn what type of phrasal verbs you will find used in the exam, what you can do to both find them and learn them, and in which parts of the exam they are used in, read our article Phrasal Verbs in the FCE exam.


To learn some advanced synonyms for common words which you can use in the exam, read our article called 'Vocabulary to Improve your Writing and Speaking in the FCE Exam'.