What you need to know about Cambridge B2 Review Writing

On this page we look at review writing for the Cambridge B2 exam. The review is a writing task in Part 2 of the exam and like all other forms of writing has a word limit of 140-190 words. While you can be asked to write a review of anything, the following topics are commonly what you can find in the exam. Generally the writing style is neutral. Here are some typical review topics 

  • Film or DVD
  • Book
  • CD
  • Holiday or Hotel

We’ll use the film review as an example to show you how to write your review.

What you have to do in the Cambridge B2 Review

In real life we use reviews to help us make decisions about what to read, watch or buy. When we read a review we expect to find out information about a film, book, or CD for example. We are also looking for details on the positive and negative aspects along with the writer’s recommendation.

A review should include a number of  pieces of information. As we said above we’ll use a film review example.

  • Title
  • Story or Plot  
  • Positive Aspects
  • Negative Aspects
  • Recommendation

Take a look at this example.

Example Question

Film Reviews Wanted

Have you seen a film recently which had a big effect on you?
Write a review of the film, explaining why it affected you. 

You should also say if you would recommend the film to other people.

The best reviews will be published on the website.


Write your review



Organising your review writing

From the points above we can now see a simple method of writing the review. As always we suggest writing 4-5 paragraphs.

We start with basic information about the film and we can include details about some or all of the following.

Film Details

What is it called?
What type of film is it?
When was it released?
Who is the director?
Is it a sequel?

After this we introduce the general plot. Don’t tell the full story because then the reader has no reason to watch the film! This should include details of the characters in the film. Our example here is of the Star Wars -The Force Awakens film.

Film Plot

The film is set 30 years after the original 1970s films and includes many familiar faces. In the film we meet Rey, a young girl from a desert planet and  Finn, who was a solder. The film tells the story of their adventures and of how they meet up with the Resistance and face another evil enemy.

When we talk about the qualities of a film we need to include  relevant details. The main areas we should mention are plot or script, acting, effects or visual aspects of the film.  For example, in a historical drama we would probably not include special effects. We’ve used the Star Wars film as an example of this part of the review.

Positive Aspects

The two new characters are played with great energy by Daisy Ridley and John Boyega with lots of great support from the old faces. With a script full of jokes and a fast pace, the film doesn’t feel like two hours. As usual with this type of film there are lots of spectacular effects .

Although we don’t have to find negative aspects, it is always useful to point out things that readers should know. This makes the review balanced.

Negative Aspects

This film is entertaining but the plot is very similar to the older films. Sometime it is very predictable although It happens so fast it’s not a problem. The one disappointment is the bad guys, who are just copies of every other bad guy in films.

At the end of the review the recommendation should say why you recommend the film.  It is probably clear from what you have said but it helps to remind the reader and they expect you to make a recommendation.


While Star Wars is an action film and science fiction, it is very entertaining. It has all the classic features of the originals and can introduce the magic of Star Wars to a new generation.

Review writing, as we can see here, has a particular format. In any type of review we follow a similar type of organisation.  There is always a recommendation and we always make comments about the positive and negative aspects of what are reviewing.

Learn more about each of the Cambridge B2 writing exercises

Learn more about each of the Cambridge B2 writing exercises