WHAT DOES THE WRITING PART OF THE EXAM ENTAIL?

IN THE EXAM THERE ARE 4 QUESTIONS:

The 1st task is obligatory. You must do question 1 and it is always an essay. The topics are varied, but they are usually social issues such as the environment or the advantages/ disadvantages of something.

The 2nd task is a choice; you can answer one question of 2, 3, 4. DO NOT ANSWER ALL OF THE QUESTIONS. The choices include: a letter (formal or informal), an email, a review, an article or a report. My suggestion is to focus on writing a formal or informal letter, a review and an article. The letter and the email are almost identical, so you cover both of them. The report is a little difficult because of the organisation and format.

 

COMMON QUESTIONS:

  1. Should you do a plan? Yes! You must make a plan to organize your writing. On the day of the exam, you will be stressed and feel pressure. A plan is your way of organizing you text and your thoughts.
  2. What happens if I write more than 190 words? Nothing… Well, almost nothing. In the past for every 5 words extra, they took away a point, however, now they do not. It is not good to go over 190 words because of time, but you can. I wouldn’t write more than 200 words because they will probably lower the mark they give you for content. They will determine some of it to be unnecessary.
  3. What counts as complex language in the exam? You MUST use complex language at B2 level. You must use attention grabbing vocabulary and a variety of grammar structures. The passive voice, relative clauses, modal verbs, conditionals, reported speech and inversions all count as COMPLEX grammar forms and you must use them.

See our writing guide HERE

 

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO WRITE AN ARTICLE:

STRUCTURE OF AN ARTICLE:

Beginning:

Engage the reader and make them want to read more, you can begin with a question

Middle:

State your main points and relate them to personal experiences and opinions

Ending:

Summarize your main points but make an overall point to make the reader think they have learned something from reading the article

To find out how to write a perfect article click HERE

 

Example question:

You see an announcement on an English-language website:

Articles wanted:
The best language to learn

What’s the most useful language that you can learn? Where is it spoken? Which of these things is this language useful for, travel or work?

Write an article answering these questions for the website.

We will publish the best articles on the site.

Write your article.

 

DOWNLOAD 5 SAMPLE PRACTICE QUESTIONS HERE

 

EXAMPLE OF A QUESTION: 

You see this post on an English language website

 

The most useful bit of language learning advice

What is the best way to learn a language? Where did you learn about it? Who taught it to you?

 

Write an article about these questions. The best articles will be published on the site.

 

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

 

The most useful bit of language learning advice

The most useful bit of advice I have ever received was from an online course. I had been studying English for years but with no success, I wasn’t motivated to learn and I found it difficult. As it was so challenging for me; I started to give up until one day I came across this advice. Start with what you enjoy. But how can we make sure that we enjoy the language learning process?

The best way to learn a language is to relate it to yourself and your life. You need to think about what topics you are most likely to use and begin with those. If you study about something that doesn’t capture your attention, it is difficult to learn. As I read recently on the course, “to learn something well, you need to enjoy it”. This is very true with languages. The creator of the course has hit the nail on the head because not only should you listen to English every day, but you also need to speak it on a daily basis. I try to think in English and I read in English all the time to keep up to date and not go rusty.

All in all, I reckon that languages are important to open your mind and be able to travel with ease. I’d recommend this course to everyone and I’m glad I found it.

 

 

EVALUATION SCALE:

To say what grade you need to pass the writing part of the exam is not as easy as with the use of English and reading as the way it is assessed is fairly subjective and can be within a point of what another examiner would put. The assessment scale for the writing section of Cambridge is broken up into 4 sections:

  • Content
  • Communicative achievement
  • Organisation
  • Language

For the content part, Cambridge states “All content is relevant to the task. Target reader is fully informed”. This means, to get full marks for content the candidate must answer the question fully and not include irrelevant information.

For the communicative achievement part, Cambridge states “The candidate uses the conventions of the communicative task effectively to hold the target reader’s attention and communicate straightforward and complex ideas, as appropriate”. This means that the text is interesting enough to keep the reader’s attention and that the reader is informed of the ideas in the text with ease.

For organisation, Cambridge states “Text is well organised and coherent, using a variety of cohesive devices and organisational patterns to generally good effect”. To complete with this requirement the candidate needs to organised the text in the correct format (letter, essay, email, review or article etc.) The candidate also needs to use a variety of connectives (5-8 approximately). It is important to write the text in a logical way, it needs to be easy to read and understand.

For language refers to grammar and vocabulary usage, Cambridge states “Uses a range of vocabulary, including less common lexis, appropriately. Uses a range of simple and complex grammatical forms with control and flexibility. Occasional errors may be present but do not impede communication”. To pass this part of the assessment the candidate needs to use a range of vocabulary (they are not looking for strange and rarely used words, they want the correct word for the context), the grammar use needs to include both simple and complex (modals, conditionals, passive and relative clauses) forms with few errors.

5 Simple Ways to Improve your Written English

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