Tag Archives: Cambridge FCE Exam tips

Cambridge FCE Exam tips – Writing task

Here is some useful advice to help you prepare for the Writing section of the Cambridge FCE Exam.

FCE task – Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes

For this part of the exam it is most important that you follow the instructions carefully. You are firstly shown a letter or an email, for this you should use this text to structure your answer. An example is shown below.

You must answer this question. Write your answer in 120 – 150 words in an appropriate style on the opposite page.
FCE Writing task 1 example

Secondly you are offered a choice of four subjects to write an essay/letter/report/review/story about.
With both questions try not to copy information from the text – instead if you need to, try to rewrite the part using different words.

• For the first part you should use all of the information given to answer the question. The notes on this text will help you (provided). Try to use one paragraph for each of the notes given. Write between 120-150 words. And read through your answer to check for grammar or spelling errors. Content is very important here.
Don’t forget to start and finish the letter appropriately (e.g. Dear and Yours sincerely). You do not need to write an address for this letter so don’t.
Here you have to write a piece as if you were expecting a response from them.

• For the second part you should underline the main task you have to answer. Then you should decide how you should write the text – formal/informal, essay/magazine/business/letter to a friend. Write a plan for this essay to help with how you structure the writing.

This part is more focused on language. Look for bullet points and text in bold to help you.
For reports you should remember to write a title and sub-headings that are relevant to what you are writing about.

The last question in the choices is only if you have read AND studied the books – if you write about a different book from the set texts it is an automatic zero!

• Try to think of what the examiners are looking for – this will help you to write your answers.
There is no marking scheme – so do not focus on these.

Visit Eurospeak and prepare for your FCE exam classes here. The next FCE exam in Reading, Berkshire is going to be held on the 2nd of December.

Contact Eurospeak. Phone: 0118 9589599 or Email: info@eurospeak.org.uk

Here are some useful links for preparation on other FCE exam sections:
Cambridge FCE Exam Speaking Tips
Cambridge FCE Use of English

Cambridge FCE Exam tips – Speaking

cambridge-fce-speaking-examHere are some useful tips for the Cambridge FCE Exam.

Do not speak too fast or worry about your accent – this will not affect your results. You will speak with another candidate and the examiner.

The speaking part of the exam is based on 5 things: Grammar, lexis, discourse, pronunciation, and interactive communication. There is also a final mark for Global achievement – overall effectiveness in responding to the tasks in the different sections of the speaking test.

If you are given any materials – read them carefully. Also listen carefully to what the examiner and the candidate say in the exam.

• The first part of this test you will be asked questions about yourself – home, school, work, hobbies, habits, interests, and future plans. Just speak normally during this phase and listen to your partner as you can’t repeat their answer.

• The second part you will have to speak for one minute about two minutes – you must compare and contrast the pictures. You will also have to answer a short question about your partner’s pictures so listen to them. This will be opinion based. You will have to answer a question about the photos which will be given to you on a card – answer this and compare the photos. Use the examiners question to structure your answer. DO NOT DESCRIBE THE PHOTOS – ONLY COMPARE THEM – but, while, however, whereas….
For the question about your partner’s pictures try to use words they did not use.

• The third part of the exam you must complete with your partner. You will be given a number of pictures and have to discuss them, give your opinion, and make a decision about the pictures with your partner. Involve your partner – don’t just talk to yourself – ask them questions and encourage them to ask you questions. Discuss all of the pictures then make a decision. If your partner talks too much just interject and ask if you can give your opinion. If they don’t speak enough try to encourage them to speak.

• The final part of this exam the examiner will join the conversation you and your partner are having from part 3. They will ask open questions for you both to discuss.

When the exam is over – behave as if it were a job interview – just say thank you and leave – do not ask your score or express your relief at the exam being finished.

Prepare for your exam with expert FCE exam tutors at Eurospeak Language School in Reading. Our Cambridge exam classes are very popular and students consistently get great results.