In general, questions in written English are used more in informal rather than formal language. I’d therefore advise candidates not to use them in Part 1. However, in Part 2, if the register required is informal, you can certainly use questions to good effect. For example, if you have to write a letter or email … More When to use questions in FCE Writing?
FCE Writing questions always tell you who are you writing to. This is your Target Reader (TR). When you know your TR, you can decide in which register and style you need to write. For example, in Part 1, the instructions always state, ‘Your teacher has asked you to write an essay’. You’re writing an … More Who am I writing to?
Here’s an FCE-style job application question: You see this advert on a jobs website: Assistants wanted Summer sports camp for five- to sixteen-year-old children requires assistants. You need to be able to play different sports, speak English well and have experience of looking after children. In another post I cover how to write the first … More How to write a job application? (2)
It’s very common to see a job application question in Part 2. If you want to write a letter of application, you need to do a little homework before the exam. You can find millions of example letters of application online. Here are a couple: Example 1 Example 2 Notice how letters of application always … More How to write a job application?
In Part 1, you always have to write an essay. In Part 2, you have to choose one question from three. The text types will be three of the following: article, email / letter, report or review. Considering email and letter are more or less the same, that means that you only have five text … More What do I have to write?
For both Part 1 and Part 2, three to five paragraphs is about right, with four or five being the most common. Whatever you do, don’t write one long paragraph. It creates a negative impression on your reader because it looks horrible. In addition, it shows that your organisational skills aren’t good because it’s difficult … More How many paragraphs should I write?
Well, obviously, 5 for Content, Communicative Achievement (CA), Organisation and Language is the best score, but it’s unrealistic for most students. In fact a top score of 20 in FCE is the same as a solid pass in CAE. 5-3-3-3 is a reasonable score to aim for. You should always get 5 for Content. If … More What’s a good score?
The score you get for Language is an indication of how good your grammar and vocabulary are. If you accurately use a range of vocabulary and grammar, including high-level words and complex grammatical forms, you’ll get 5 for Language. If you use a range of both everyday vocabulary and simple and complex grammatical forms then … More What is Language?
Writing 135 words and not 140 is not a big deal. However, writing 50 or 100 is. Examiners instinctively know – or they can see – when a text is too short. If your text is much too short, you’re in trouble and you’ll probably receive a lower score in all four subscales (Content, Communicative … More What if I write too few words?
This is a question which often interests candidates. In both Part 1 and Part 2 of FCE Writing, you’re required to write from 140 to 190 words. First of all, examiners don’t usually count the number of words you write. They don’t have time. But they have an instinct. They mark hundreds of exams and … More What if I write too many words?