Thursday, 19 March 2015

CPE Essay Sample

Write an essay summarising and evaluating the key points from both texts. Use your own words throughout as far as possible, and include you own ideas in your answers.  

The effects of music  
We humans are a musical species no less than a linguistic one. This takes many different forms. All of us (with very few exceptions) can perceive music, harmony and rhythm. We integrate all of these using many different parts of the brain. And to this largely unconscious appreciation of music is added an often intense and profound emotional reaction. Shakespeare referred to music as the "food of love", and for most people their lives would be poorer without music. Music is capable of stimulating both passion and compassion, speaking to our very core and taking us to the heights and depths of emotion. 

Music in schools? 
There is little doubt that regular exposure to music, and especially active participation in music, may stimulate development of other abilities. Some argue that music is as important educationally as reading or writing, and suggest that a musical education advantages those with mathematical aptitude. What people do not agree about, however, is which kind of music is the most educationally valuable. Some regard classical music as the only kind of music that should be taught in schools. However, leaving aside the problem of defining "classical" in different cultural contexts, there is a strong case that all types of music are equally valid in stimulating an individual's potential. 

Write your essay. 

Humans and Music 

Music has accompanied human beings throughout history and has undeniably become an essential factor in our lives. Both pieces of text focus on the effects of music on us and discuss whether it should be taught in schools and why.

Let's start by stating that there is a strong connection between all kinds of music and the human emotions. We have an aptitude to appreciate the harmony brought by a series of carefully arranged rhythms, be it Mozart's nineteenth sonata or Justin Bieber's latest single.  It is currently widely accepted that music induces hormonal and thus, emotional responses in our brains. Some would even compare songs to drugs, since they could conceivably become addictive: take the case of any summer hit.

But not only is there a connection between music and our emotions; music is also linked to education. Opinions actually differ about which type of music is the most potential-stimulating, but all scientist agree it has a positive effect on students. For instance there are theories which suggest that young children who play a musical instrument are later  better at maths.

To conclude I would like to state that everybody is attracted to music. Everyone has a favourite style with which they feel identified, as well as a song that enables them to feel at ease during the toughest moments in life. The truth is that music makes memories more vivid, empowers long-time relationships and what is more, turns dull and mundane nights into special moments in our lives. 

Sent by Diana Yang
*Task taken from a Cambridge CPE exam past paper (2012)

Saturday, 29 November 2014


We invite you, our readers, to submit an article on new technology and how it affects your life. We will publish one article from each country . Your article should outline the impact of new technology on your life now. You should also explain what further changes are likely to take place in the near future and how these could affect you.

Write your article 220-260 words


Nowadays we have in the market a wide range of smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other efficient and attractive gadgets. With their flawless functions  these devices have really transformed my life. 

I must admit I can not do without my smartphone. It enables me to send emails, message my friends, connect to social networking sites and also keep track of the news at real time. If I didn't have my phone, communication would probably take ages and my life would be a complete bore.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


CAE past paper June 2009

International fund for the environment
The International fund is awarding grants to develop projects which will have a positive impact on the local environment. Write a proposal describing one environmental project you think should be developed and explaining how it would benefit your local community

#words 250

Proposal on an environmental development project

The aim of this proposal is to present an environmental development project and to describe the positive impact it would have on the people of this community.

The town's main problem
Rubbish is the principal problem we have got in this town. Landfill areas are currently scarce, reason for which the garbage that is collected has to be burnt. The black smoke which arises during the burning process reaches the homes of people and causes severe health problems. I strongly believe this community needs to find a healthier way to treat their household waste. Therefore I suggest implementing a system that enables the safe disposal of the waste.

Saturday, 22 November 2014


This question is from CAE past paper, year 2007  #Words:250

cae past paper 2007

cae past paper 2007

Proposal on how to improve the college’s website

The aim of this proposal is to outline why it is important to improve the college's website, as well as to describe the changes which need to be made and to present a plan on how to do it.

What needs improvement
According to a group of students surveyed it is very difficult to find information in the website. There is no tool to search for old posts which makes this process complicated. Apart from that the colour and layout of the website is considered dull and extremely unattractive. Some students also mentioned that the information offered in the website is quite limited. Being an international college, they believe there should be a wider amount of up-to-date information available.

Necessary amendments
In order to make this website more appealing we should change the layout and colours of the site. Also some animations and attractive banners can be set up. I am sure that IT students will be eager to help with this task.
To make searching for information easier, we could design a query box so that posts can be searched with keywords. This will be extremely beneficial to us as it will save time. I also think it would be advisable to include a message board, where students can be informed of important events taking place, and a sports page.

Updating the website will certainly benefit the students of this college. Therefore I hope you will consider the suggestions and authorise the financial help for this project.

Sent by Seema Hassan

Friday, 21 November 2014


Report on the Water Circuit Park

The aim of this report on the Water Circuit Park in Lima city is to display some recommendations on how to enhance the park facilities and to give account on why making these positive changes would attract more tourists and visitors to this venue.

The facilities
The Circuit Park, is one of the best well-known tourist attractions in Lima. It is a site which has thirteen ornamental fountains of water which offer an unforgettable lights show when darkness reaches the Limenian sky. Since all the fountains are interactive it allows children to play in the water as well. Each fountain reflects colourful lights and plays enchanting music. Appart from that there are resting areas for adults to sit down and use the free wi-fi.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


You recently tried to buy an old camera on an internet auction site but had some problems. You want to tell your friend what happened. Write a letter to your friend explaining what happened, what you did and giving your friend advice about buying things on auction sites.

Write your letter 220-260 words

Dear Jenny,

How are you doing ? It seems it has been ages since we last wrote to each other. I just hope everything is fine with you.  Let me tell you about a terrible experience I had trying to buy a camera via an auction site.

You remember how fond I am of old cameras, right? Well, I spot this one on a website. This was no ordinary camera, this is the camera I had long wanted to complete my collection. So, without hesitation,  I bid for it until it was mine. I  was on seventh heaven. I sent a juicy cheque to the seller and was confident to receive the valuable item.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


F.A.Q: What can you tell us about the evaluation criteria for the CPE Cambridge Exam?

Monday, 10 November 2014

CPE ESSAY SAMPLE (Writing Paper Part 1)

CPE Writing Paper model . In the Proficiency in English Cambridge Exam (Paper 2- Writing, Part 1) you are given two pieces of text and are asked to write an essay based on the information given. #Words: 240-280

The life we want. 

A better job, a higher salary, improved healthcare services and friendlier neighbours are just a few of all the things most people dream of. But do we really need it all in order to have "good quality of life"? 

According to the first text, only a small group of lucky ones live in such perfect conditions. They are even fortunate enough to live in a country with nice weather, which understandably is a factor we cannot control. It seems like some are born with good luck whereas others have to live in the cold or struggle to make ends meet.

Friday, 7 November 2014


cae writing franceTASK
Your local tourist office has asked you to contribute to an information sheet for visitors to your country. The purpose of this information sheet is to inform visitors about the main public holidays that occur throughout the year.

Write your information sheet in 220-260 words


The country´s top public holidays

France has numerous  public holidays in each season. There is always something to celebrate all year round. Here there is a list of the most important ones. Be warned that all  banks and most  businesses are closed on days marked with *.

Autumns are mild in France. It is a pretty good season  for a walk in our beautiful forests. November is marked by 2 public holidays which are certainly the most important ones:
·         All Saints Day ( 01/11)*
·         Remembrance Day of the 1st World War ( 11/11) *

Tuesday, 4 November 2014


travel in germany cae writingTASK

Participate in this competition to win a trip to London.
Choose one of these two categories related to travel:
   -  face to face encounters - people       or animals
   -  the personal approach - issues in       travel

Write your competition entry in 220-260 words.

 Issues in travel

Most travellers, including the most experienced ones, come across unexpected events. This is what happened to me a couple of years ago.

It all started at the airport. I was excited about my journey to an exotic destination, but hardly had I arrived when complications began.  I had to spend a lot of time queuing to have my luggage registered and my identification checked. To make things worse the plane was delayed without any warning. What a waste of time, don’t you agree? 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


cae writing video gamesAn international magazine for young people has asked readers to send in articles on the topic of ‘Computer games- a complete waste of time and money’. Write an article supporting or disagreeing with the statement, and give your reasons.

Write your article in 220- 260 words

Is the game over?

Nowadays a mind-blowing number of  computer games are available on the market. They have turned into a popular leisure time activity especially among the young  people. This fact makes some of us wonder whether computer games are a loss of time and money and what we can do about it.

Friday, 24 October 2014


Cambridge writing cpe past paper

Proposal on the "Careers Day" 

The purpose of this document is to provide recommendations on how to make the Careers Day at college a real success. The ideas submitted come from the students who attended last years´ event and the     students´forum.

Saturday, 18 October 2014


You would like to start a monthly magazine in English for students at the college where you are studying. You have decided to send a proposal to the college asking for permission and financial support. Your proposal must include the following : why you want to start the magazine, what the first issue would includ, what support and financial help you need from the college.

Write your proposal in 220-260 words

Proposal to launch an English magazine

The purpose of this proposal is to ask for the college permission to launch a monthly English magazine and to ask for financial support. This proposal also outlines the plans and reasons concerning this idea.

Thursday, 16 October 2014


You bought some CDs to help you improve your English. You were not happy with the Cds and have decided to write to the Publisher, CD World.

Write a letter to CD World explaining why you bought the CDs, why you are dissatisfied and saying what you would like the company to do.

Write you answer in 180- 220 words

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you to express my extreme dissatisfaction with the set of 6 CDs of English conversation which I purchased from your company two weeks ago.

Thursday, 25 September 2014


As we regularly do, we’re asking you, the readers, to add your contribution on the subject of one of our feature articles. So tell us what you think. 

Portobello House Dusseldorf
Are young people given too much too soon in their lives? We don’t just mean famous youngsters, we mean youngsters in general. Are they spoilt? Do their parents indulge them too much? Is it better for them to go without certain things so that they learn the value of having to struggle to get what they want? Are they given the impression that life is easy because it is too easy for them? Or is it the opposite in a lot of cases? Is life too much of a struggle for too many youngsters? 

Maybe you have personal experience you’d like to share with the readers. We’ll print some of your articles in future editions.

Write your contribution in 220-260 words

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


Read this CAE ESSAY SAMPLE sent to us by a CAE student. Surf our web for more on CAE. We recommend How to write an Essay

You have recently had a class debate in which students discussed whether knowledge or social connections were more useful in achieving success. Your teacher has asked you to write an essay giving your opinion on the following statement:

« It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts »

Write your essay in 220-260 words


Read this CAE REPORT SAMPLE sent to us by a CAE student. Surf our web for more on CAE. We recommend  How to write a Report for CAE.

free time caeAn international research group is carrying out an investigation into changing trends in the way young people spend their free time. You have been asked to write a report about the situation in your country.

Write your report in 220- 260 words

Friday, 19 September 2014

CAE December 2014 Writing Paper. What to expect in the exam.

Are you taking the Cambridge CAE exam in December 2014? Then you are probably wondering what to expect in the Writing Paper. Read this post to find out.

Friday, 12 September 2014


Read this COMPETITION ENTRY sample sent to us by a CAE student. Surf our web for more on CAE. We recommend  How to write a Report for CAE.

zidane cae competition entry
We are planning a series of TV programmes about the 10 greatest sportmen and women of all time. Which sportperson would you nominate to be included in the series?

Write to us describing this person’s achievements and explaining why you feel he or she should be included.

Write your competition entry in 220-260 words

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


Take a look at this very well-written Restaurant Review sent to us by a CPE student from Chantilly, France. For more on Reviews, you can also visit our page How to write a Film Review.

Your local newspaper is asking its readers to write a review of a restaurant where you have eaten recently and would recommend to others.

Write your review in 280-320 words

Thursday, 10 July 2014


Take a look at this excellent report sent to us by a CPE student. Then visit our page How to write a report.

Omar Ortecho Zucchetti. Photo by Joseline UrcoYou belong to a committee that helps to organise a yearly music festival in your hometown. This year’s event has just taken place and you have been asked by the event leader to write a short report highlighting its success and making recommendations for next year.

Write your report in 280-320 words

Thursday, 3 July 2014


CPE Writing Paper model . In the Proficiency in English Cambridge Exam (Paper 2- Writing, Part 1) you are given two pieces of text and are asked to write an essay based on the information given. #Words: 240-280

Take a look at this essay sample. Then visit our pages How to write an essay and Tips to write an essay.

Quality of life

This comes from the Objective Proficiency Workbook by author Eirca HallWe all have dreams of having more and longer holidays, getting a better job, being fitter and living in a wealthier place. However, it is difficult to further our dreams for several reasons. Both texts deal with the concept of «quality of life» pointing out how it influences our health and how difficult it is for some to have access to it.

Monday, 30 June 2014


Writing an Essay at the CPE Cambridge exam:

-   Read both pieces of text.
-   Underline the 2 key points in each paragraph , points 1+2 and 3+4.
-   Decide how far you agree with these points.
-   List some relevant ideas.
-   Plan your answer in 4 or 5 paragraphs.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Using different English Idioms will help you to impress the examiner in the CPE Speaking Exam. You can also use idioms in your writings but take into consideration that idioms are informal. This means that it is a good idea to use them in a friendly letter or in a light-hearted article, but not in a formal document like an essay or a report. Click to see How to write a Report and How to write an Essay.

List of idioms from A to Z


A chink in sb´s armour.
Example: She is the best student in the class but her poor spelling is the chink in her armour.


Spill the beans.
Example: I know you have a secret. C´mon tell me. Spill the beans.
Spill the beans idiom

C the cat out of the bag.
Example: You are not good at keeping secrets. Tell us now. Let the cat out of the bag.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014


Learning these medical vocabulary will help you when taking the CAE and CPE exams. Knowing this vocabulary will prove useful when dealing with the Reading and Use of English Papers.

A slipped disc medical vocabulary

A splitting headache English vocabularyA SPLITTING HEADACHE

Example: Are you going to the party? 
No, sorry. I´ve got a splitting headache. 
I feel like going to bed early tonight.

Monday, 23 June 2014


Improve your level of English. Learn these idioms with parts of the body.

Be a pain in the neck idiom


Example: I can't stand those naughty children. They are a pain in the neck.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

CAE/CPE Vocabulary practice

You need to improve your English to be ready to take the Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) and Certificate in Proficiency in English (CPE) University of Cambridge exams. 

Try doing these Idioms and Vocabulary exercises and then visit our pages to check your answers. Very good luck in successfully passing these English exams. 

Unrequited love vocabulary

unputdownable book vocabulary

born with a silver spoon in the mouth idiom

A chink in the armour idiom

Sunday, 8 June 2014


CPE Exam. Write a report 280-320 words

You belong to an international film club and have been asked to write a report for the club members including information about the main events held over the last twelve months, the present plans for activities in the coming years and a summary of the current financial position of the club in respect of money received and payments made.