First Certificate in English B2 First (FCE) is a well-known examination which level is between B1 and C1 It is a qualification issued by Cambridge Assessment English and it serves as a proof that the examinee is, for instance, able to independently work or study in the United Kingdom, or any English-speaking country. The exam assesses four basic skills, namely reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Today, we aim to discuss the section dedicated to writing and to reveal some useful tips.
About the Writing section
The authors of the exam give the examinee 80 minutes to complete the whole section. It consists of two parts. In the first one, you have to write an essay, and that’s a compulsory task, whereas the second part offers you the option of choice between three text types: article, report/review, or e-mail/letter.In the first part, you can score up to 20 points. You might be given a statement and your task is to write an essay of between 140 and 190 words, in which you will agree or disagree with this opinion.
FCE Writing: The First Part
Why stick to the number of words given? As organizers of the exam emphasize, too few words most likely mean the attempt was unsuccessful, whereas too long essay might repeat some ideas and also be a proof the work is not organized enough.
FCE Writing: The Second Part
In the second part, you can also score up to 20 points. In total, the section of writing gives you the opportunity to obtain 40 points. This time, your task is to choose one question from the three given ones. The organizers encourage to use different structures and show your skills there.
It is important to choose the topic you feel you can produce a solid work in. Also, be aware that you might want to omit the topic where some words unknown to you are used.
How You Are Assessed?
There are four sections of criteria when your work is being marked.
- Content – the focus here is on how the examinee manages to complete the task.
- Communicative Achievement – here the examiner emphasizes on your writing’s appropriateness and your ability to use the right register for the task.
- Organization – focuses on the order and logic of your work.
- Language – assesses the use of grammar and language.
Each section can earn you 5 points, giving the total number of 20.
Ever wondered how to start preparing for this examination? You should visit the official website for Cambridge exams. And since not only the writing section, but the whole exam do have an organized, typical format, you should spend some time studying those structures. You will know what to expect and what is expected from you.
You will be more likely to succeed if you start practicing from day number 1. It will give you the opportunity to learn new structures and develop your skills. Remember that there are many options. Although the first part is all about essays, the second one consists of some choices. If you often practice writing reports, reviews, or e-mails, you will become a real master.
Remember to do what you’re asked for. Often, the answers to your questions are hidden somewhere between the lines. Don’t forget that your performance depends on how well you perform the task according the instructions. So, don’t try to be “wiser”.
It might be that you’re thinking that your first draft will be perfect, but if you have some time left, take your time and polish your work. You might be really surprised to find some stuff that really shouldn’t be in your work.