Tuesday, 29 March 2016

F.A.Q: CPE WRITING EXAM TIPS?

Dear CPEsamplewritings,


First of all, I really enjoy your blog. It is so instructive and there are so many samples. I have been working as an English teacher for a couple of years now. In order to graduate I still have to pass one exam, which is cpe writing.  I am terribly bad at writing essays, articles  etc. I have no idea how to pass this test.

While on the website I came across an essay about food (http://cpesamplewritings.blogspot.nl/2016/03/2016-cpe-essay-sample.html) - this was the exact same task I had back in November and of course I didn't pass. Do you have any tips for me? I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards,
 F. G

......

A warm hello to you F.G and to all the CPE-holders and CPE-takers following this blog and reading our posts.

I believe that the first thing you need to do is to get familiar with the exam, typical questions (tasks) and the way that the exam is assessed. As you can see from the collection of writings that we have here in the blog, typical tasks include writing an essay, an article or an email.  Visit the Cambridge official web page for more info:  http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams/advanced/ 

What do we know about the way Cambridge evaluates the texts submitted by students? As far as we know, they focus on:

- content (student wrote what he was supposed to, according to the instructions in the task)
- language (student used advanced grammar/ vocabulary)
- style (formal, informal or neutral when appropiate)
- layout (organisation of text, number of words)
- reader (capacity to communicate a message effectively)

TIPS:

Before you write
Read the task carefully and think: What do I have to write about? Do I need to write an essay? An article? What are the characteristics of an essay? What are the characteristics of an article? Do I need to use formal language? Informal? Neutral? 

While you write
Remember to use paragraphs, to separate paragraphs with a line, to use the best grammar and vocabulary possible, to respect the number of words. But most important: to do the task! and to communicate your message effectively.

After you write
Check and re-check. Did I do what the task asked for? Is my message clear? Do I need to change anything? Do I need to add something?


In this blog, I recommend reading:
How to write an essay?
How to write an article


I really hope I was able to help you F.G
And to anyone wanting to submit a post or to ask a question, please feel free to write to: gustavo.albarracin.q@gmail.com