WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO IN THE EXAM?
There are 4 questions in the writing part of the exam:
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
EXAMPLE REPORT QUESTION:
Report wanted You are an Erasmus coordinator and you are going to have a look around a university next Friday. the aim of the visit is to look at the facilities on offer and the quality of the courses available.
You have been asked to write a report:
- include information about the quality of the facilities; sports and ICT.
- recommend courses that would be suitable for Erasmus students
Write your report.
DOWNLOAD 5 REPORT QUESTIONS IN PDF HERE
STRUCTURE OF A REPORT:
A report should be concise and easy to understand. You must include a title, headings and also make sure that you answer the points in the question.
Include the following:
- headings (the three points in the question)
EXAMPLE OF A REPORT:
Report on the University
In this report I will assess the university’s facilities and courses available, suggesting which would be adequate for Erasmus students.
The Student’s Union
The union is a welcoming and friendly space for people to socialize and relax. It offers a range of activities that would be useful for all types of people.
The information available
Regarding the information about the university and the courses available is available on notice boards, as well as the university’s website. The information is ample and seems to be up to date. There are clear sections for academic progress in the Moodle platform and also a great news section for key information and social events. There is no doubts section, but this can be handled in the comments section.
There are so many courses on offer that it can be difficult to know where to start. The courses are all taught in English and notes are available on the Moodle platform so that they can be reviewed. This allows students to review classes and reinforce learning.
On balance, there has been a request for more information about the suitability of the facilities for Erasmus students. It would be a good idea to address the following points.
- The university website is well structured, but only available in one language, it should have a special Erasmus section with key information in Spanish, french and German also.
- The courses are of an excellent quality and the videos of lectures on Moodle are really useful, but they should include subtitles to ease understanding.
- The teachers could also offer specific tutorials for Erasmus students.
To sum up, I would say the facilities are suitable for the Erasmus program and with the improvements, student satisfaction levels will improve greatly.
SEE OUR KEY PHRASES FOR WRITING HERE
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.