Monday, 20 March 2017

CPE EXAM Practice. Writing correction and feedback

Hello Gustavo,

I have been preparing for my CPE exam for a few months now, but I concentrated mostly on the grammar, listening and reading parts. My writing has been rather neglected, since i passed my FCE exam about 4 years ago. 

I started visiting your blog and it really inspired me to start preparing more thoroughly for the exam, so I would be grateful if you could take a look at the article that I wrote and point out the mistakes that i'm sure i made a lot of. I took the liberty of using the task about happiness, that somebody sent to you, i hope that's ok. 

One last thing -I am aware that the word count is way above the limit, but since it is my first writing in a very long time, i didn't want to restrain myself ( on the exam I'll stick to the official word count limit ;) ). I hope that won't be a problem. 

Best regards,


An English languange magazine is running a series on the topic of happiness. You decide to send in an article.

You shoud briefly describe one or two situations in which you have expreienced a sense of happiness. you

should also analyse what contributes to feelings of happiness for many people, and suggest whether the pursuit 

of happiness is a worthwhile aim

A formula for happiness

Even though the sense of happiness is most likely familiar to most people, the causes of it can differ for everybody. Some individuals can experience contentment doing the most basic tasks and activities like spending time with their loved ones, working out or taking up a new hobby. Others, can have a different approach and find happiness in the oddest of situations like bungee jumping or on the contrary- lying in bed all day. Who are we to judge?

For me personally, happiness is a feeling, I try to aim for every single day, because is usually appears alongside others like love, empowerment or the sense of achievement. I can recall a few situations, which had me filled with happiness and which I consider milestones of my life. One of them, concerning my relationship is quite cliché, but to be honest, which relationship story is not? Before my fist boyfriend, I never really knew what people meant when they referred to “ butterflies in their stomach” . Little did I know about the swarm of butterflies that would came flooding in, when on one beautiful day, my boyfriend told me for the very first time that he loved me . Never before have had I felt so filled with love and happiness. So I guess what they say is true- that the fist “ I love you” is a moment you do not forget. (Feedback: Last line gives the impression you are taking about love. Maybe better to re-write and say something about "happiness").

Another moment in which I felt indescribable happiness, is connected with my academic career. A few years ago, I applied for a student exchange program in my university and I was extremely anxious since there was only one spot available and my competition was rather strong. After the results were announced and it was revealed that I was the one who got the spot, I felt like I could conquer the world- the feelings of happiness and achievement were overwhelming.

Happiness is a feeling experienced by a great number of people around the world every single minute. So what exactly contributes to this feeling ? The answer to that question is unfortunately, not that easy. Happiness is a very personal and individual concept, so the means to achieving it can be different for literally everybody. Obviously, there are some things that are universally known for contributing to this feeling like family, love, realising dreams and even money, but there is no formula or recipe for happiness. When you think about it, that is a good thing- it helps us discover ourselves on a different, psychological level.

The pursuit of happiness is a lifelong experience. It can be hard, it can be challenging, it can even make you want to give up on chasing a feeling, that can be so easily taken away. But it is important to remember, that once you finally find it, you will realise that everything leading up to that moment was worth it. That, in my opinion, is the purest of human needs- wanting to be happy. (Feedback: What you write as a conclusion must be somehow connected to what you wrote before. I fail to see this connection. It is not so clear to me).

General Feedback:

All in all well done. The text is organised and the level of grammar and vocabulary are more than just Ok! 

Just remember to stick to the number of words and you should do great in the exam. Best wishes and please give us a Like on Facebook or Google+

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