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Reviews – examples & model answers | B2 First (FCE)

Level: B2
Exam:
Article navigation:
FCE Example Review:  Topic (Book) 
FCE Example Review:  Topic (Course) 
FCE Model Review:  Topic (TV Series) 

FCE Example Review:  Topic (Book) 

You see this announcement in your college English-language magazine.

Book reviews wanted

Have you read a book in which the main character behaved in a surprising way?

Write us a review of the book, explaining what the main character did and why it was surprising.
Tell us whether or not you would recommend this book to other people.

The best reviews will be published in the magazine.

Answer:

“Life of Buddah”: A Book Review

What would you do if you were born as a prince with all the exclusive fasilities to enjoy this material world? yes, most of people will celebrate and enjoy every single right that they have as a son of a king. Beautiful women, money, parties and all senses’ gratification stuff. Surprisingly, it didn’t work that way for little Gautama who in the future would be a Buddah.

In the book “Life of Buddha”, it is told that Gautama was born as a prince. He got all the facilities to make him being comfortable staying in the palace. The king didn’t allow him to get out from the palace for outside of the palace is the place of real life happened.

One day, the king asked him to get married but the prince rejected it and decided to leave the palace instead. There, he started his spiritual journey and later on had self realization and became a buddha.

This book is suitable for you who like to read about someone’s autobiography and life’s lesson. As a reader I can say that I learn a lot from this book. High recommended as something to read before going to bed!

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Comments:

Subscale GradeCommentary
Content5All the content is relevant and the target reader is fully informed.
The review gives details about a book that contains a character who does something surprising.
The candidate recommends the book by explaining what they liked about it and saying who would find it enjoyable.
Communicative
Achievement
3The review uses the conventions of the communicative task to hold the reader’s attention. The candidate introduces the topic of the book and the subject matter in an engaging way, using a rhetorical question, then summarises some of the events in the narrative. Straightforward ideas are communicated.
Organisation3The text is generally well organised and coherent. It moves from general information in the introduction, to more specific details about the story in the next two paragraphs, and concludes with an appropriate summary and opinion about the book.
Language3A range of everyday vocabulary is used appropriately, and although there are some errors.  Both simple and more complex grammatical forms are used with a good degree of control.

FCE Example Review:  Topic (Course) 

You see this announcement on an English-language website:

Reviews wanted

Courses

Have you been on a course recently? Please tell us about it! It could be any type of course, like a sports course, photography course or language course. What were the classes like? What was the most interesting thing you learned? Would you recommend the course to other people?

The best reviews will be published in next month’s magazine.

Answer:

The course I have been recently is a language course. In september I went to a Italian course for improving my level of Italian, with a native teacher, Andrea.

The classes were very funny. Everyday when we arrived to the class he gave us a song in which there were gaps which we had to filling them while we listened the song. After that we did differents exercise, the majority of them for improving our vocabulary. For instance we spoke about restaurant, shops, cinema and so on.

The most interesting thing that I learned was how to prepare a theater play, and it was fantastic. During a week we wrote a play based on a book, and the last day of the week we interpreted it. Everyone had a different paper on it. For me it was an unforgetable experience, because I spent a wonderful time doing it and I learned a lot of idioms.

I would recommend this course because Andrea is a nice person who teach you with interesting exercise. Learning Italian isn’t boring with him.

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Comments:

Subscale GradeCommentary
Content5All content is relevant and the target reader is fully informed.

The candidate gives details about a language course that they attended. They describe the classes and the teacher.

The most interesting thing learned on the course is addressed along with descriptions of the activities involved.

Finally, a positive, personal recommendation is given.

Communicative
Achievement
3The conventions of review writing are evident and hold the reader’s attention. The writer expresses opinions, describes the course and makes a concluding recommendation. The register in which the review is written is informal and personal rather than analytical and objective, but is consistent throughout. The style is suitable for a school website.

Straightforward ideas are communicated about the writer’s personal experiences of the course.

Organisation4The text is well organised and coherent. The paragraphs are used well to develop the main points in the question, each one focusing on a certain aspect.

There are some errors with punctuation, but this generally occurs when ideas are being connected across sentences or when two clauses are being joined.

Language3Everyday vocabulary is used appropriately with some less common expressions attempted, particularly in the third paragraph.

There are errors with plurals and some prepositions, but these errors do not impede communication.

FCE Model Review:  Topic (TV Series) 

You recently saw this notice on an English-language website called TV Watch:

Reviews wanted!

TV series

Is there a TV series that you watch regularly?
Write a review of the series explaining what it is about, why you like it and who you would recommend it to.

Answer:

My favourite TV series has to be Sherlock. It’s an exciting and entertaining series based on short stories written by Arthur Connan Doyle.

The series displays how it would have been, had Sherlock Holmes lived in our modern era. Sherlock, the main character, is a consulting detective who offers help to desperate people who need to quickly find or recover something or someone. He often helps the advises the police forces of London to aid them when they’re stuck with a case. His role in this British series is played by Benedict Cumberbetch. He always travels with his faithful companion, Dr. Henry Watson, who is played by Martin Freeman.

I love this series mainly because it’s fun, while still remaining thrilling and mysterious. It has many references to the original novels and stories and manages to touch modern day problems as well. The only downside is that there are currently only 9 episodes within 3 series each being roughly about an hour and a half long.

I’d recommend Sherlock to anyone who’s at least a little interested in the original books or who just likes detective stories with a tint of contemporary British humour.

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Comments:

Subscale GradeCommentary
Content5All content is relevant to the task and the target reader would be fully informed. We learn about the series, what the writer likes about it and who they would recommend it to.
Communicative
Achievement
4The conventions of review writing are used effectively to communicate straightforward and some more complex ideas, for example the well-controlled summary of what the series is about in the second paragraph. The persuasive tone holds the reader’s attention throughout.
Organisation4The text is well organised and coherent and makes use of a variety of suitable cohesive devices to introduce and connect the main points within and across sentences.
Language5There is a range of suitable, natural vocabulary, including less common lexis (a consulting detective; stuck with a case; faithful companion; downside) used appropriately. There is a range of simple and complex grammatical forms used with control. There are only occasional slips.

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