In this post we’ve assembled a collection of what we think are the best tips for doing the Cambridge First (FCE) writing exam.
#1 Answer the question
While this is a very obvious point sometimes in an exam people write an answer that does not match the question. The simplest thing to do here is to highlight the key information in the question that you’re answering. It’s also a good idea just to check what you’ve written is an answer to that writing question.
#2 Respect the word limits
If you only write the minimum number of words of 140 it is quite difficult to communicate your ideas successfully. You should try to write somewhere between 170 and 190 words in your written answer.
#3 Choose a Part 2 exercise you can do
Choose a Part 2 writing exercise that you have practised or one that you can do. Sometimes people choose a question in Part 2 because it looks nice but they may not have had much practice in writing this type of exercise.
#4 Watch the time
You have 80 minutes to complete both exercises so you should give yourself 40-45 minutes for the essay and 35-40 minutes for Part 2.
#5 Know the format and style of a writing exercise
Make sure you are completely clear about how to write an essay and you know about styles and formats for the part 2 exercises.
#6 Always use paragraphs
Paragraphs help you organize your writing and they help the reader understand what you’re trying to say. This can help you with your score in the writing exam.
#7 Check your work
As you are writing do a quick check on your work. Look out for spelling and grammar mistakes as they can affect your score.
#8 Make a plan
A plan is a great way for you to think about what you are going to write. Some people can write without a plan but it’s always useful to have one you can check to see if you are writing what you want.