This post is aimed at giving you a little bit of help with the B2 Cambridge Assessment English exam.
I will basically give you all of the inside knowledge as an examiner about how to pass the exam. This information is essential to pass the Cambridge exam and show you have a B2 level in English.
As the exam is fairly long and there is a lot of information to process, this post will be divided into 5 sections.
What is obvious is that you need to do more than just mock exams. Candidates need to have an intermediate level of English and then learn the exam technique to get the best possible grade.
Have a look at this advice and put them into practice with our exam preparation material.
The use of English and reading parts of the exam are together (see the link), but they are evaluated separately. For the exam, you have 1:15 minutes, you should do the Use of English in 20-25 minutes and the the reading part in about 45 minutes. The reading section of the exam is worth 20% of the final grade.
The reading part consists of 3 comprehension exercises. They are aimed at evaluating your skills to comprehend, deduce and infer meaning.
The reading exam has 3 different exercises with differing ways of doing them, each part is worth a different amount of points so you need to keep an eye on the amount of time you spend on each part.
Reading part 1 (Part 5 of the Use of English and Reading exam)
This part of the reading is a multiple choice exercise. The reader needs to read a text that is usually an article or an extract from a novel and answer 6 questions about the text. What most candidates don’t know is that each question is worth 2 points and can be answered through the process of disgarding. They key is to save time and focus on the parts of the text necessary to answer the questions. You should not start by reading the text. What you need to do is start by looking at question 1 (31 in the exam) and find the part of the text relevant to the question. It is not so much a process of finding the correct answer, but rather a process of eliminating the answers that are incorrect. Remember that the information in the text appears on order so the answer to the first question will be at the beginning and then is consecutive order.
Reading part 2 (Part 6 of the Use of English and Reading exam)
This is the most challenging part of the reading so you should do it at the end. The candidate needs to read a text and fill in the 6 gaps with the missing extract. There are 7 options so one of them is extra and should not be used. The hey is to begin with the text and read around the gaps, you ought to predict key words and information that you would expect to find in the gap and then compare this information to the options A-H. The way to do this is at the beginning, you should write down all of the possible answers until you find the 2 obvious answers and then start a process of disgarding until you have an answer for each question.
Reading part 3 (Part 7 of the Use of English and Reading exam)
This part of the reading is called Which text? and it is the easiest exercise and you should begin with it. It involves reading 4-6 (A-D or A-F) short reviews that are on the same topic and matching the question to the correct text. You should start with text text A and then read the questions, then mark all of the questions that could possibly be A and then continue the process with the following texts. When you have finished the process, some of the questions with have various answers, you should then review them and choose a definitive answer.
Remember, that you should not do the exam in order. Begin with part 7, then 5 and then part 6. You should aim to spend about 15 minutes on each text. The total points are 34 and you will get to the 60% pass rate with 23-4 correct answers.
So, see you next time for volume two of TRICKS TO PASS THE B2 FIRST CAMBRIDGE EXAM.