Format: cae writing paper contains two parts.
Timing: 1 hour 30 minutes
Task: candidates are required to complete two tasks:
- a compulsory task in Part 1
- one task from a choice of three in Part 2.
A range from the following: email/letter; essay; report; review; proposal
C1 Advanced (CAE) Writing: Part 1 – Essay
In the first part of the cae writing, there will be no choice of tasks.
Your essay should be organised well, including an introduction, supporting paragraphs and a compelling conclusion. The composition should capture the reader’s attention and express sophisticated ideas using a range of stylistic structures and vocabulary.
You will be asked to explain which of the two points is more important and to express reasons for your viewpoint. Your essay should include a well-organised introduction, supporting paragraphs and an appropriate conclusion.
How much do I have to write? 220–260 words.
Tips for CAE Writing Part 1
- Read the entire task before beginning to plan your response. You will need to familiarise yourself with reading the input, understanding the instructions in full and then deciding on how to organise and construct your response.
- Select two bullet points and develop your essay around them. Avoid trying to discuss more than two of the points, for this would lead the composition to being less developed than needed.
- You may use the opinions expressed in the task to develop your answer, but be sure to use your own words as much as possible. No credit will be given for text that has been copied directly from the prompt.
C1 Advanced (CAE) Writing: Part 2 – One task from three
Part 2 of cae writing contains one task from a choice of three. Candidates have a choice of task.
You write a text from a choice of text types – letter/email, proposal, report or review. To guide your writing, you’ll be given information about context, topic purpose and target reader How much do I have to write? 220–260 words.
Tips for Writing Part 2
- lt is imperative that you become familiar with the various task types that the exam requires. All of the task types do not appear on each exam, thus it is important to be prepared to write in any of the styles.
- Develop your skills in deciding which type of task you will complete. Evaluate the required functions, grammatical structures, vocabulary and register required by each task. Then, you may select the task that you believe you can complete at the highest level.
- Be cognizant of your audience when crafting your essay. Consider whether the person is someone you know, a stranger or someone in a position of authority etc. lt is vital to develop a balanced approach whereby you equally weigh the functions required by the task and the relationship with the target audience.
The different types of tasks that may appear on the CAE writing exam endeavour to establish frameworks for candidates to develop their ideas on a topic with a purpose for writing and a target reader in mind.
is written for a group of contemporaries like club members or colleagues. Candidates will be expected to make suggestions backed by facts to persuade their readers.
AN EMAIL/A LETTER
is written to respond to a situation outlined in the question reflecting the appropriate register and
tone for the specified target reader. Candidates are asked to develop correspondence to, for example, an English-speaking friend or colleague, a potential employer, a college principal or a magazine editor.
is always written for a teacher. lt should address the prompt provided in terms of addressing both content points and providing a new viewpoint of the writer’s own. The essay should be well developed with an introduction, appropriate conclusion as well as w ritten in an appropriate register and tone.
is usually developed for a superior (e.g. a teacher) or a peer group (e.g. members of an English club). The question identifies the subject of the composition and the areas to be covered. Candidates must provide some factual information and make recommendations, but there is space for them to incorporate their own ideas and experiences.
is written traditionally for an English-language magazine, newspaper or website. The main purpose is to describe and express a personal opinion about something which the writer has experienced (e.g. a film, a holiday. a product, a website etc.) and to give the reader a clear impression of what the item discussed is like. Description and explanation are key functions for this task and a review will normally include a recommendation to the reader.
- Candidates write best when they select tasks and topics aligned with their interests and background. In preparation for the exam, expose yourself to a wide variety of tasks and topics. You will benefit from guidance on the particular features of each task as well as the appropriate style and tone for your readers.
- Read each question closely, highlight the most important facts and develop a response that addresses all of the points required by the task. This will facilitate your ability to develop well-structured and balanced compositions.
- Be sure to not simply reproduce an essay you may have written in preparation for the test. lt is unlikely that at previous response will satisfy the exact requirements of the exam.
- Practise developing ideas fully to illustrate a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures to express more complex ideas where appropriate.
- Make effective use of linking words and phrases to polish the flow of your ideas. In addition, to enhance the logic and ease of your composition use a variety of cohesive devices and organisational patterns.
- Employ a range of complex language structures where suitable. The examiner will give you credit for attempting for sophisticated modes of expression, even if you make some mistakes, as long as it does not preclude the comprehension of the overall idea you are trying to convey.
- The time permitted allows for a brief period of planning and then the composition of your essay. lt does not account for time to compose fair copies or to count words. Each item on the Writing section carries with it equal marks. So practise using your time carefully on each question.
- Write legibly so that your answers can be marked fairly, though the quality of your penmanship will not be assessed. lt is immaterial whether your handwriting is joined up or not, nor whether you write in upper or lower case characters.
- Practice writing the compositions within the word limit so that you are well versed in w hat is required. lt is wasteful to spend time counting words and this often leads to poor alterations that erode the overall quality of your essay.
- Check your work for spelling, grammar and errors in punctuation. These mistakes are not penalised specifically but these mistakes can preclude communication and/or have an adverse effect on the reader.
- Practice writing your essays without a dictionary, for they are not permitted in the examination room.
As you can see, C1 writing is not that easy at all. See what are the most common mistakes you should avoid.