This post offers you the opportunity to practice your writing skills for the B2 First exam from Cambridge exam English. It includes a description of how to write a well-structured report that meets the CEFR level B2 and also the format required to meet the Cambridge assessment standards.
Included in this post:
- 3 example report questions in PDF
- An example report
- Suggested structure and grammar
- Cambridge Assessment Scale
- What to avoid!
You have seen a poor comment on Google about the publications on social media from within your company. You receive this email from the CEO:
|I regret to inform you that the incessant spamming of clients has led to a striking complain on Google. The image of the company is at risk of being ruined long-term. Write a report of how our social media activity could be improved.|
Write your report for the CEO of the company (140-190 words).
Lately, there has been some unrest among students with regards to the extra curricular activities available:
|Extra Curricular Activities|
|There have been several negative comments about the Student Union, for instance: “We are sick and tired of the same old activities that little or no people have any interest in. We think that the Student Union should get with the times and offer us the types of activities that will attract a high level of participation”.|
Write your report for the Dean of the university (140-190 words).
Recently, the restaurant you work in has received a complaint via email about the customer service:
|Poor Customer Service|
|I was in the restaurant in question of late and I was both shocked and stunned at the poor level of customer service and attention to detail. At the prices one expects to pay in a restaurant with Michelin stars, on also expects a high quality of service to accompany it. To be honest, I left disappointed and without tipping of course.|
Write your report for the owner of the restaurant (140-190 words).
DOWNLOAD THESE QUESTIONS IN PDF HERE
STRUCTURE OF THE TEXT:
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)
Suggested grammar structures:
- Cleft sentences
- Modal verbs
- Modal perfect
- Impersonal passive
- Causative passive
SEE AND EXAMPLE REPORT HERE
How it is graded at B2 level:
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:
- Communicative achievement
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.
What to avoid in formal texts: DO NOT USE THESE FORMS
- Phrasal verbs – use one word verbs like tolerate instead of put up with
- Contractions – use do not instead of don’t
- Direct questions – use indirect questions when possible
- Common words – use various instead of lots of, several instead of many
- Abbreviations – use approximately instead of approx.
- Exclamation marks – don’t use!!!!
- Direct personal tone – avoid using I
- Incomplete sentences – (I will) see you soon
- Some connectors – but, however, therefore… Try to use nevertheless, whereas, thus, etc.