Cambridge Proficiency essay writing is the mandatory exam task in part 1. Here we will look at what you need to know.
What you find in the Cambridge Proficiency Exam
In Part 1 of the exam, the essay question asks you to summarise the key points in two given texts and to evaluate them with your own supporting opinions. Each text is approximately 100 words each.
How to write your essay
Initially you need to identify the key points in each of the texts. While the truncated nature of texts makes this task reasonably straightforward be mindful of what the supporting sentences do in the context. Linking them with their respective key information should also simplify the process. Another essential element of this and other Proficiency writing tasks is the emphasis on the use of your own ideas and language. You should avoid “lifting” phrases, even individual words from the texts and put your effort into drafting your own alternatives.
As always this is just a brief overview of what the essay intends to consider. Some initial comments on the topic for discussion and the overall context tend to provide the best approach. Having a strong initial sentence can also help focus reader attention on what you have to say.
There are many ways to address this question. A common method is to combine the respective key points together in two paragraphs for discussion. As the initial texts provided context, these points will more readily combine in the exploration of a particular facet of the theme.
A second approach might be to place each point in its own paragraph to explore. While such an option potentially facilitates better individual examination of points, the word limits in the question make such an approach a lot more challenging
The conclusion should draw the essay to a natural end with some commentary and thoughts on what has preceded and on the themes provided by the texts. You may also find it an opportunity to add some further ideas that the essay has brought up.
Some points to think about!
- Answer the question fully
This means successfully identifying the key points and discussing them in detail.
- Vary your language
Try to use a wide range of vocabulary and structures. Be mindful too to focus on language you can use with confidence and try not to use the essay to experiment with new expressions.
- Look at example of essays
Search online for examples of essays. Many quality newspapers and magazines regularly publish such essays, also commonly known as opinion pieces.