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.

Monday, 13 July 2015


Taken from Cambridge Englsh Proficiency 1 by Cambirdge ESOL 2012

Essay on the importance of food

Undeniably, food plays a mayor role in our society. People´s interest in food is evident in the popularity of cooking TV shows such as Master Chef. However, hectic as life is nowadays, there is very little time for families to make home-made meals and share time around a table. So, what is the importance of food? The following essay summarises the main ideas of two texts in this topic. 
Thorsten Muller Koln Deutschland
To begin with, it is necessary to state that consuming food is more than just satisfying a biological need. A shared meal is a perfect way to tighten bonds, to celebrate special occasions, and even to show someone how much we care for them. In addition to this, good food is healthy. Family doctors advise strongly to consume diets rich on vegetables and fruit. But not only this, in a bigger scale, food is even a national symbol, and can be linked to a society's identity. Take for example the tapas in Spain, which symbolise the Spanish joy for friendship, party and life. 

Finding a way to combine good, slow, healthy food with our busy fast moving lives is tricky, but very important. Millions opt for the easy already-made-meals available in shops 24/7, which enables them to spare essential time for other "more important" activities, but to my mind this is not correct. It is my belief that in the fast moving world that we live in, it is of fundamental importance to find quality time for each other and to cook daily meals with the whole family present. This can help us to deepen and reafirm the bonds that we hold with each other.

Posted by Wilma Roobol
#words 280

Thursday, 19 March 2015

CPE Essay Sample on Music

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.

Reiko Sakai Cologne, GermanyLet'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.