(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-149431051-2', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview'); setTimeout("ga('send','event','adjusted bounce rate','page visit 10 seconds or more')",10000);
Learning Zone
Article

How to write a review? | B2 First (FCE)

Level: B2
Exam:
Article navigation:
B2 First (FCE) Review: Structure
B2 First (FCE) Review: Writing Guide
B2 First (FCE) Review: Model Answers
B2 First (FCE) Review: Example Topics
B2 First (FCE) Review: Tips
B2 First (FCE) Review: Grammar & Vocabulary
B2 First (FCE) Review: Useful Phrases & Expressions
B2 First (FCE) Review: Frequently Asked Questions

Reviews in B2 First (FCE) exam are written for a website, a magazine or a newspaper.

You always have to do two things describe and discuss something, for example, a film, a book, a restaurant, an experience or whatever the task might require you to talk about. Also, you have to make a recommendation at the end of your text.

Unlike an essay a review should be written in an informal or neutral register, this means:

  • you CAN use phrasal verbs,
  • you CAN use idioms
  • you CAN use contractions
  • you CAN be creative!

B2 First (FCE) Review: Structure

Title
Use the name of the film, book or restaurant.
Introduction

Identify what you are reviewing (actors, director etc..).
Try to catch the reader´s attention (ask a narrative question).

1st body paragraph
Describe the book, film, restaurant
2nd body paragraph
Comment on the questions you have been asked
Conclusion
Summarize your review with a recommendation
engxam logo english exams

FCE, CAE, CPE

Practice, Write & Improve

Get your writing checked, track your progress online.
Sample papers, online practice tests & tips.

B2 First (FCE) Review: Writing Guide

We will use the example FCE review topic below:

Write your review (140-190 words)

Step 1: Briefly analyse the given topic…

The first thing you need to do is to underline a description part -in other words, just find what needs to be described.

Secondly, find a discussion part  – in other words, try to find the specific points you need to comment on in your text.

Finally, find the target reader so you know exactly who you are writing for and who is going to read your review.

Now we have all three elements we need to write a great review:

You need to describe:
Book in which the main character behaved in a surprising way

You need to answer/discuss:

  1. What did the main character do?
  2. Why it was surprising?

Who is the target reader: college English-language magazine.

We know now that the target readers are students, teachers and probably parents so the writing style should be neutral or informal.

We don’t need to be too formal because after all some of the readers are students, but we also don’t want to be too informal as some of the readers are teachers and parents.

Now we can start building our structure and writing a review.

engxam logo english exams

FCE, CAE, CPE

Practice, Write & Improve

Get your writing checked, track your progress online.
Sample papers, online practice tests & tips.

Step 2: Title

The review should start with the title, and there are few simple ways to write it:

  • imagine you’re reviewing a book you can write: [Title] by [Author]
  • if you were reviewing a restaurant you could write: [name of the restaurant] – a review

We will use this title in our guide:
TITLE: Time Machine by Adam Smith

Step 3: Introduction

Use the introduction to identify the thing you are going to be reviewing and provide details like the genre (i.e. a science fiction novel, a horror movie) or location (if it’s a restaurant).

The other function of your introduction is to engage the reader.  You can do it by asking a question.

Make your introduction at least 2 sentences long.

INTRODUCTION: What would you do if you could travel back in time? Most people would probably meet their great-great-grandparents or watch how the amazing pyramids in Giza were built, but Tom Lee, the main character of the novel Time Machine by Adam Smith finds himself in a completely unexpected situation and he has to make a very difficult decision that will change history as we know it.

                  – question

                  – details about the book and main character

Step 4: The body paragraphs (main content) 

The body paragraphs are the main parts of your review so they should be the longest and carry most of the information.  Also, here you describe the points you’ve found in (Step 1)

You need to answer/discuss:

  1. What did the main character do?
  2. Why it was surprising?

You can use idioms, and phrasal verbs  –  neutral/informal language is appropriate for your target reader – students and teachers.

See the example below, in which we dedicated one paragraph to one point.

[Who is the main character and what did he do? – describe]

Tom, a teacher in a little town in Rotherham, finds a mysterious time portal in the back of a ragged diner which takes him back to the year 1935. He soon realises that every time he goes through the portal he gets to the exact same point in the past. Eventually, he makes the unexpected decision to stop Michael James Newton from brutally killing President John F. Kennedy on 22.11.1963.

[Why it was surprising? – comment]

It seems to me that Tom could choose many other and more personal things to do, but he decides to try and change history to a degree that he cannot predict. In my opinion, that came definitely unexpected and if I were in his position I probably wouldn’t even consider a task this far-reaching.

                     – own opinion

                   – descriptive/interesting vocabulary

                    – relevant details about the main character and book

 TIP:  What if you don’t read books?

Don’t waste your time looking for a real book to match your review. Invent one, it doesn’t have to be real!

And yes that may sound difficult: you have to invent a book and then write a review about your invented book!

So instead take a tv series you like, take a film you like and transform them into books. That’s simple!

Step 5: Conclusion / Recommendations

Finally, we need to make a recommendation because after all, that’s the only reason why anyone would read a review they want to know what the reviewer thinks about the book,  film or restaurant.

A good final paragraph of a review does exactly two things 

  • it includes a recommendation
  • and a final sentence to round off the review

CONCLUSION: I definitely recommend “Time Machine” to everyone who has already read some of Adam Smith’s novels as well as to those who like stories with twists and turns around every corner plus you get some modern history on top of that. For me, it was absolutely worth reading and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. 

See full review…

Time Machine by Adam Smith

What would you do if you could travel back in time? Most people would probably meet their great-great-grandparents or watch how the amazing pyramids in Giza were built, but Tom Lee, the main character of the novel Time Machine by Adam Smith finds himself in a completely unexpected situation and he has to make a very difficult decision that will change history as we know it.

Tom, a teacher in a little town in Rotherham, finds a mysterious time portal in the back of a ragged diner which takes him back to the year 1935. He soon realises that every time he goes through the portal he gets to the exact same point in the past. Eventually, he makes the unexpected decision to stop Michael James Newton from brutally killing President John F. Kennedy on 22.11.1963.

It seems to me that Tom could choose many other and more personal things to do, but he decides to try and change history to a degree that he cannot predict. In my opinion, that came definitely unexpected and if I were in his position I probably wouldn’t even consider a task this far-reaching.

I definitely recommend “Time Machine” to everyone who has already read some of Adam Smith’s novels as well as to those who like stories with twists and turns around every corner plus you get some modern history on top of that. For me, it was absolutely worth reading and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

engxam logo english exams

Check your (FCE) Review

Within 72 hours your C1 Advanced (CAE) review will be checked and graded.
See more

B2 First (FCE) Review: Model Answers

Topic

Model answer

THE THIEVES OF OSTIA

„The thieves of Ostia‟ by Caroline Lawrence is the first in a series of books entitled„The Roman Mysteries‟ and I think it‟s an absolute must for the school library.

The book is set in the Roman port of Ostia nearly two thousand years ago. It tells the story of Flavia and her three friends, and their attempts to discover who has been killing the dogs of Ostia and why. It‟s full of mystery and excitement, and the plot has many twists and turns, which make you want to keep reading.

The book is aimed at ten – to twelve – year  – old native English speakers, but it is very popular with older children and would be ideal for teenagers studying English. What‟s more, it gives a fascinating insight into life in Roman times, so readers learn about history as well as improve their language skills.

After finishing „The Thieves of Ostia‟, students will want to borrow further books
from the series. By buying it, then, the library would be doing a lot to encourage students to read more in English

engxam logo english exams

Check your (FCE) Review

Within 72 hours your C1 Advanced (CAE) review will be checked and graded.
See more

Topic:

Model answer

Foster’s Hollywood

Being a huge fan of traditional American fast food and restaurant styles, it’s no wonder that my favourite restaurant in Granada is Foster’s Hollywood.

Located smack in the middle of the city, this fast-food chain serves a wide variety of mouthwatering, American dishes at a reasonable price. These range from typical Tex-Mex nachos or French fries to more elaborate meals like traditional, homemade Bourbon steak. And if you’re hungry, it’s the perfect place to go, as their servings are absolutely huge!

Another cool thing about this place is its magnificent decor. If you’re a film buff, you will quickly fall in love with this place, since all the walls are covered in famous movie posters! Apart from that, it’s got a spacious dining hall, super friendly staff and an outdoor terrace which is absolutely fantastic on summer nights!

The only negative thing I can say is that it is right next to a gym, which sometimes makes me feel guilty for eating so much!

Nevertheless, Foster’s Hollywood offers delicious meals in an unbeatable atmosphere, so you should definitely give it a try. I promise you won’t regret it!

engxam logo english exams

Check your (FCE) Review

Within 72 hours your C1 Advanced (CAE) review will be checked and graded.
See more

B2 First (FCE) Review: Example Topics

Your teacher has asked you to write a review for a book you have read recently. The best reviews will go in the school magazine. Review the book giving your opinion and say whether or not you would recommend it.

Your teacher has asked you to write a review for a film you have seen recently on DVD or at the cinema.The best reviews will go in the school magazine. Review the book giving your opinion and saying whether ornot you would recommend it.

At school, you are building a tourist website in English. Your teacher has asked you to write a review of arestaurant you have eaten at in your town. Review the restaurant giving your opinion and saying whetheror not you would recommend it.

engxam logo english exams

Check your (FCE) Review

Within 72 hours your C1 Advanced (CAE) review will be checked and graded.
See more

B2 First (FCE) Review: Tips

  • PLAN your review.
  • Make sure you have at least 4 paragraphs.
  • Choose an appropriate title.
  • The introduction will talk about what’s being reviewed.
  • Use a relaxed, friendly, chatty style.
  • You can use contractions such as I’m, I’ve etc..
  • Use a new paragraph for each point you want to make.
  • In the concluding paragraph give your opinion.

engxam logo english exams

FCE, CAE, CPE

More than Practice Tests

Get your writing checked, track your progress online.
Sample papers, online practice tests & tips.

B2 First (FCE) Review: Grammar & Vocabulary

The grammar and vocabulary that you need unfortunately depend heavily on the type of question you get.

One thing you can do though is to make sure your grammar and vocabulary are related to the tasks. So for example, if you are writing a review about a film make sure your vocabulary is related to films.

So include words like “scripts, director, cast, plot, setting, special effects, and stunts”

FILM/BOOK

If you want to mention who directed the film or who played the part of a certain character then make sure you use the passive “The film was directed by Y”. “The
the protagonist was played by X”.

EXPERIENCE

If you are talking about an experience and you need to describe the experience then make sure you use narrative tenses because obviously this experience
happened in the past.

This means you need to use the past simple, the past continuous and the past
perfect. For example “I checked into the hotel at 10 am. I had been travelling all night and was feeling exhausted. The hotel staff were very welcoming and made me feel at home”.

engxam logo english exams

FCE, CAE, CPE

Practice, Write & Improve

Get your writing checked, track your progress online.
Sample papers, online practice tests & tips.

B2 First (FCE) Review: Useful Phrases & Expressions

We will finish it with some useful vocabulary mostly used to organize information. Although it is taking a shortcut, if you learn several expressions for each paragraph in each type of text that could be on your exam, you will certainly be able to create a very consistent and well-organized text.

Giving background

This show stars… 
The play is directed by…
The film is about… 
It‟s set in………. 
The story is based on (a book…) 
It‟s about….. 
There are many memorable characters including …. 
The main theme of the film is…..

Expressions that introduce a contrast

On the plus side,… 
On the down side,…
On the one hand,… 
On the other hand,…

Recommending

Overall, I‟d recommend… 
All in all, the film was… 
I wouldn‟t hesitate to recommend… 
I wouldn‟t encourage anyone to … 
I would recommend this film to anyone. 
Although I enjoyed it, I would not recommend it for….
 It‟s one of the best (shows) I’ve ever seen. 
Although I am not normally keen on (musicals),I am glad that I decided to go. 
The (film) lifts you out of your everyday life

B2 First (FCE) Review: Frequently Asked Questions

Who will read the review?

Your review will be read by readers of a magazine.

What is the purpose of the review?

The review is intended to give information to the reader which will help them decide whether to attend the event themselves.

What style should I use?

Use a style similar to an article that is likely to interest the reader.

What information should I include?

Give essential information about the story, cast, band members, etc. Say what you like and didn‟t like about the performances. Make a recommendation to the reader about whether or not they should go.

Comprar medicamentos genéricos baratos en línea Med Farmacia. Farmacia canadiense. ¡Grandes descuentos! Los mejores precios. Soporte en línea 24 horas. Farmacia canadiense en línea – Farmacia de Canadá – Medicamentos recetados con descuento. Proporcionamos una gama de tratamientos y servicio de médico en línea. Obtenga pastillas gratis (viagra – cialis – levitra).

esdeitpl

engxam logo english exams

Would you pass B2 First (FCE)?

Sign up, resolve the tests and see what results you get.
Sign up
© 2022 engxam. All rights reserved.