Monday, 26 October 2015


Gold_Advanced_Exam_Maximiser_with_2015_exam_s Page 121

Workexchange for skill acquisition: a tough but rewarding experience


The aim of this report is to assess my experience of working abroad in one of our Company's many divisions in Europe. The benefits and drawbacks of the experience will be briefly discussed and recommendations will be given to other colleagues who may be willing to embark in the same learning-and-work travel adventure next year.

Benefits and drawbacks
The main benefit is without any doubt, learning new skills and procedures. Being able, for example, to observe the way in which our colleagues from a different country deal with our everyday work problems, is a very enriching experience. One learns to think outside the box and try new approches.

Among the difficulties, it must be stated that not speaking the language is a major challenge. Team work is very difficult due to the language barrier. In addition to this, not having any friends at work and not being able to talk to anyone (at least at first), can be depressing.

For anyone interested in travelling on work exchange next year, it would be infinitely preferable to have at least an intermediate level of the language of the country of visit. This will ensure good communication and enable team work. 
Apart from this, I would not recommend the experience to anyone who has difficulty making friends or adapting to new work environments.

In view of all this, I can confirm that the benefts outweigh the drawbacks. The exchange programme is a fantastic opportunity to upgrade one’s own abilities and skills, as well as to meet new fascinating people.

Sent by Natasha Samousenko

Wednesday, 30 September 2015


Gold Advanced Exam Maximiser by  Lynda Edwards, Jacky Newbrook.

Proposal on new facilities and servicies for the Sport Centre

The aim of this proposal is to provide ideas for new facilities and services in our Sport and Leisure Centre. 

A brand-new cutting-edge Lab
It is of great necessity to adapt to the modern times. Our users need a place where they can have access to Internet and devices like smartphons and tablets. 
The implementation of this Lab and the adoption of the latest technology will also make possible credit card payment and acloud-based on-line services. To give an example, there will be virtual trainers and app for users to track their own training progress. 

New services: new courses
Other Sport Centres offer the service of Personal Trainers. But this service is very expensive and difficult to implement. As a more doable alternative, we suggest "Small group Martial Art classes". More and more people, in partucular, women are interested in achieving self defense skills in our community. We can offer, to give an example: Karate, taekwondo and ju-jitsu. These sports are also appealing to children, because they teach them discipline and self control.

Recommendations can be easily summarised in two points:

1. Implementation of a new lab
2. Opening of new personalised/small group courses

These innovations will certainly, attract more people and bring financial benefit. At the same time, they will promote satisfaction among our members.

Sample sent by: Natasha
# Words: 230

Tuesday, 29 September 2015



You belong to an international film club and have been asked to write the club´s annual report this year. This report is written for club members and has to include information about the main events held over the last twelve months, to present plans for activities in the coming year and to summarise the current financial position of the club in respect of money received and payments made.

Source: Task comes from the book "Objective Proficiency" by Annette Capel and Wendy Sharp.

Report on the film club

This aim of this report is to inform our international film club members about the events held throughout last year and the activities planned for the upcoming one. This report will also provide details on the financial position of the organisation.

1. Events of last year

Annual dinner. 
Before  the summer holidays, all the club members met for a farewell meal at a film-like decorated restaurant; which was a real success.

Thematic weekends. 
Arranged twice a month, these sessions featured Italian, science fiction and a series of Meryl Streep films. All of the club members were asked in advance about their favourite movies to ensure all preferences were catered for. 

2. Future plans

A talk by Sofia Coppola.
Being acquainted with the renowned director, the president of our club has invited the actress to attend one of our weekly meetings in May next year. She is due to talk about her latest film and to offer advice to future cinematographers among our fellow members. She has kindly agreed to being interviewed for June´s issue of the club´s magazine.

Video Library. 
All members will enjoy free access to a video library in the coming year. Library cards will be delivered during the first gathering and we will be able to rent up to five films for a maximum of two weeks. In addition, members are encouraged to shoot their own short films and documentaries and to donate  a copy to the Video Library.

3. Finances

Money received last year. 
32 new members were welcomed into our club last year. This signifies a grow of 30% and a positive increase on the club´s finances.

Payments made. 
New stationery material and purchase of the latest Hollywood films, were the two main expenses made last year. A complete chart with statistics can be found on our website. It is also available to be downloaded.

Sample sent by Patricia de Pastors

Words: 312.

Monday, 21 September 2015

CAE Report sample for 2015 exam

Task Type: Report
You have been asked to write a report for the World Information Organisation on the following topic:
What are the greatest threats to the environment in your country today?
What are the solutions?
Write your report. (220-260 words)

Italy: the greatest environmental threats
The aim of this report is to provide an overview of the most significant environmental threats in Italy, as well as to present ideas which may help improve the situation in the foreseeable future.
Air pollution
According to the latest statistics on air pollution in the Italian cities, the main problem is the massive use of wheel transport. This situation lies deep in the historical evolution of this country, where the development of road transport infrastructure has always been promoted. Taking into account the population density in Italy and the Italian passion for cars, it is indeed one of the major threats.
Soil pollution
There is an extensive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The Italians love food and possess a booming agriculture industry, however industrial emission and badly-threated industrial waste present a risk for the country and its beautiful landscapes.
Recommended solutions
The need for structural changes within the country is evident, and so the following ideas are suggested:
1.    Expand and improve public transport networks with environmentally friendly-vehicles, and timetables and prices attractive for workers and students.
2.    Tighten control over the use of pesticides and industrial emissions and provide strict monitoring to factories.
It is utterly important that the government takes these actions to protect the environment.

260 words.
Sent by Natasha (Italy)

Sunday, 6 September 2015


You read the following in an international magazine :

Poverty exists in almost every country and the difference between the rich and the poor is growing all the time. What can we do about the situation ?
The magazine has asked people to send in ideas in the form of a proposal, suggesting ways of reducing poverty. You decide to send in a proposal

280-320 words

TIP: A proposal should have a title and subtitles. And of course ideas (recommendations/proposals) to solve a problem.

There is usually first: an introductory paragraph and a paragraph to explain the problem or current situation. Then follow the recommendations. There needs to be a conexion between the Current Situation paragraph and the Recommmendation paragraphs.

Proposal on economy inequality in the world

The aim of this proposal is to present ideas on how to tackle the problem of the international growing inequality between the rich and the poor.

Current situation 
The latest statistics show an earth-shattering gap between the rich and the poor with one fifth of the world’s population living beneath the poverty threshold . This gap can be accounted for the changes in the structure of the population and the labour market. The mentioned gap is very evident especially in three aspects: Education, work and income.

In view of the growing number of undereducated people emphasis should be put on education. All the children that will represent the new generation should  be given the chance to pursue studies in higher education. It is also of paramount importance that schools  equip all young people with the skills required to fit with the labour market . (TIP: Say how.) It is necessary for the Government, for example to provide all classrooms with internet and teach students to speak a foreign language.

Inequalities in the labour market is not to be forgotten. Policies to protect the unemployed should be implemented, (tip: give examples) take the example of Germany, where people receive help from the government when they lose their jobs and need to look for a new one.
To promote new working opportunities, the National Employment Agencies can work in close collaboration with businesses and  the Government should grant subventions to any companies  willing to create new jobs and thus help reducing the unemployment rate.

The widening income gap also suggest that measures should be put into effect . Unemployed people should be guaranteed welfare  benefits and also equality of salaries, this is to say for example that men and women who do the same job, should be paid the same amount of money.

It is urgent to implement measures to reduce inequalities. Shall the ideas mention above be taken into consideration, it is my belief the poverty would decrese and there would be a marked improvement in the people’s lives.

340 words


Your class has had a discussion about the negative effects of globalisation on local culture. You have made the notes below:
Effects of globalisation:
  • the dominance of the western music/film industry.
  • the loss of national identity.
  • the undermining of values of a local culture.
Write an essay discussing TWO of the effects listed in your notes. You should explain which effect is more important, giving reasons in support of your answer.

The effects of globalisation

Undoubtedly, globalisation dominates our society in many aspects, such as the economy and culture. In a way or another, all nations are affected by this global phenomenon, sometimes in positive, but also in not so positive ways. The following essay aims to focus on the negative effects of globalisation on the local cultures.

To begin with an example of how globalisation has an impact on a country's culture, let's bring the topic of Music into discussion. There is a world wide expansion of western music, and countries have different reactions towards it. In France it is prohibited to  broadcast more than 20% of English songs. Maybe there is a national fear of losing their own identity. A second example regards the film industry. Films represent the western style of life, they are regarded as uter inocent fun, but it may be the case that they impose models of supposedly good/desirable lifestyle patterns.

There is a feeling that this slow and capillar penetration leads to the loss of national identity. Constant dropping wears away a stone, as the saying goes. One final exam concernes teenagers and the language they use. Is the use of anglicismos a threat to linguistic identity? The next step for us as a society is to reflect on the negative impacts that globalisation may have in our societies, and if they can in  long term have a bad impact in our national values system.

241 words

Sunday, 30 August 2015


You have read an online article about changes in the types of subject taught at secondary schools. The article says that some traditional subjects may no longer be taught at school. Four of the subjects discussed are mentioned below, along with some of the readers’ comments. 220-260 words 
‘Why do we need to know the names of rivers and mountains around the world?’
‘It’s all about the past. At schools, we need to be focussing on the future.’

Write an essay discussing TWO of the subjects mentioned above. You should explain why you think these subjects should continue to be taught at secondary schools, giving reasons to support your answer. ( Task from: )


Pre-writing reflection/tips

TIPS: Paragraph 1: Introduce + present your opinion clearly. Read task, it says: You should explain why you think these subjects should continue to be taught at secondary schools

This means you need to write an essay: In favour of Geography and History, giving reasons to support your answer. Before you write ask yourself the following question: Why is it important to learn geography and history? And think of some arguments.


Our socierty is changing. Lately we are asking ourselves about the education of our children, trying to figure out whether subjects such as geography and history are still relevant. In the following essay, I intend to make clear my position in favour of those subjects, which I consider undoubtly very important. 

First of all I would like to state that knowing about Geography is a signal of culture and education. It is true that we have no need to memorise the names of all the rivers in the world, but certainly being able to name the capitals of the countries is well-worth general knowledge. In order to make gegraphy more attractive to children, we could make use of more appealing subjects such as information technology. With the help of computer programmes, games and APPs the whole process of learning about the world, can be made even ejoyable.

Secondly, I would like to state that History helps people to understand their own future. “Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it”, says a famous saying. Obviously, it refers basically to tragic historical events rather then to happy life times. Knowing about the march of history, dates and personalities, and above of all, understanding the evolution of human development would prevent us from repeating errors and wars, and give us a clearer vision of the future.

Finally, I would like to say that not all students at secondary school are aware of the importance of these subjects, but it is our mission as teachers and parents to speak about it.

Sent by Natasha 
Tips and edition by CPESampleWritings


Upstream Proficiency by Evans and DooleyYou are a member of a cinema society which regularly reviews new films in its newsletter. Write a review for the newsletter, describing the last film you have seen and saying whether you would recommend it to other members of the society. Your review should focus on the main points of the film and give the readers a clear idea of what it is about : 280-320 words

Magic in the moonlight 

"Magic in the moonlight", released in 2014 and directed by Woody Allen, is a whimsical romance film set in the 20s in the South of France. Stanley, an illusionist played by Colin Firth, is commissioned to uncover the charming medium Sophie Baker, played by Emma Stone.

It all begins with the introduction of the main character: Stanley. He is a worldwide-known magician who can instantly make an elephant disappear and teleport his assistant from a sarcophagus to a pivoting chair. So magical are his tricks that his audience always remains spellbound after his shows. Standly accepts a job proposal from his old friend Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney) to unmask Sophie Baker, a woman accused of cheating and trying to steal money from a rich family.

The plot circles then around Sophie, a so-called swindler who pretends to be gifted with exceptional mind-reading skills, and Standey, who will try to unveil the mystery of her tricks and discover if she is a phony.

The brilliantly directed plot of the movie is accompanied with touching acting and excellent dialogues. Exceptional is also the work of Colin Firth as Stanley. Another aspect to highlight is the setting: The sublimeness of the scenery and costumes along with the jazzy music background immediately takes us back to the 20s.

"Magic in the moonlight" is undeniably if not a masterpiece, one of the best pieces of work by Woody Allen. The story is charming and well-worth seeing. Whether you are interested in magic or not, this is definitively a thought-provoking film which can teach the viewer something about the powers of illusion.

By Syb

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

CPE REVIEW Sample Tomorrowland

A REVIEW : 280 – 320 words

This task comes from the book «  UPSTREAM PROFICIENCY » by Virginia Evans (Author), Lynda Edwards (Author)

I watched quite recently an American science-fiction film entitled "Tomorowland", which was produced by Brad Pitt and stars George Clooney.  It was released in 2015 and set mainly in Enchanted Kingdom-like theme parks in the USA.
The film tells the story of a teenager bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor, who embark on a dangerous mission to unearth the secrets of a mysterious place. The story begins with the opening of "The Universal Exhibition" in 1964.  A young man comes to present his latest invention and somehow finds himself propelled into a futuristic town, to which only the greats inventors and  scientists have access. The plot follows with ups and downs as the main two characters  tackle a series of problems, living unexpected events which will forever change the face of the world and their own destiny. The film offers a  spectacular insight of a futuristic world thanks to its  3D-effects, and is gripping enough to retain the viewer’s interest throughout the end. 

What makes Tomorrowland ideal for English learners is that it suits students of all levels, as words can be easily picked up by associating them to the images in the screen. In addition to this, its light-hearted plot fits young people and families. 

On this account, I strongly recommend watching  "Tomorrowland" as an additional material to English courses, regardless of the level. Watching it does not only enable students to learn new words, fixed phrases and idioms, but it is also of great help in terms of listening practice.

Posted by SYB

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

CPE exam 2015 set books

Hello to all our blog-followers, just a repost of this year's Cambridge CPE set texts for the writing part.