Cambridge First (FCE) writing tips
Upper intermediate level (B2)
Many people will be taking the Cambridge First exam this summer. To get ready you will probably need to write a lot of essays. An important tip is to keep a list of your most common FCE writing mistakes and check this list before you write.
It takes time to learn from your written mistakes so it is never too soon to try to reduce them. Your list will, of course, be personal but many students have very similar problems. Here is a list of some of them:
- Check for countable/uncountable mistakes such as ‘I have a good work‘ or ‘You can find a lot of informations‘.
- Check whether your verbs are followed by ‘to’ or ‘ing’ or an object, for example, ‘She enjoys going to the countryside’ or ‘We intend to complain to the manager’ or ‘I told him to go away’.
- Remember how to use ‘there‘ to start a sentence. It is very common in English.
- Check whether you should be using modal verbs to express your ideas (can, could, may, might, will, would, shall, should, must).
- Have you used commas in the right places?
- Are your sentences too long? If they are, make two out of one long sentence.
- Check that words like ‘but‘, ‘however‘, ‘so‘, ‘therefore‘, ‘although‘, ‘despite‘ are used in a correct position in a sentence.
- Is your use of ‘if‘ and ‘whether‘ correct?
If you don’t understand the points above, check in a good vocabulary/grammar book or Google them. The checklist for FCE writing is to remind you not to make the mistakes you sometimes do.
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