Hello again! This is ABC English Levels and Valentine speaking. We start the new series of audio lessons about the FCE exam, and it is dedicated to its last paper – Writing. From today’s episode, you will learn some general features of this part and, hopefully, helpful bits of advice to feel more confident about the task. Let’s start.
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What does FCE Writing Paper consist of?
FCE Writing Paper includes two parts. In part 1, you have one compulsory essay question and short notes. In part two, you may choose one task from three task types. The task types are an article, a letter, an email, a review, a story. The tasks are situationally based and presented through a rubric and possibly a short input text.
How long does FCE Writing Paper take?
They will give you 1 hour 20 minutes to complete both tasks.
What does FCE Writing Paper test?
This paper tests your ability to write using different degrees of the formal/informal styles and fulfil different functions, such as advising, comparing, describing, explaining, persuading, expressing opinions, recommending and suggesting.
Take into consideration
To complete the Writing Paper with flying colours (successfully), you have to master the structure of each task type, register of the language, discourse markers. Why is all this important?
The structure helps organise your thoughts logically. Generally, there’re an introduction, main part and conclusion in each type of academic writing. In the introduction, we point out why we are writing; in the main body, we explain our view on an issue; and in the last part, we make a conclusion or suggest something.
Register of the language
It’s about the way we speak in different circumstances. Informal situations, for instance, allow using slang, jargon, some colloquial phrases, which is different from formal situations where respectful communication is expected. So, let’s say, a letter to your old friend will be far more casual than a report for your boss.
Let’s see some examples of informal words and expressions and their formal substitutes.
ask – enquire; say sorry – apologize; book – reserve; help – assist; begin – commence; end – terminate; deal with – handle; small – diminutive; wait for – await; mad – insane; fight – combat.
Note that almost all loan words, that is to say, acquired by English from some other languages, mostly Latin, Greek and French, belong to the formal register in English. Combat comes from French, terminate – from Latin, apologize – Greek.
The words like well, I mean, firstly, secondly, in addition, moreover, etc. are called discourse markers and function as a guide of our communication. They indicate the start and end of a conversation/writing, change of a topic, where additional information is. Discourse markers make people follow what we’re saying and understand it easier.
Well, let’s stop here. Next week I’ll tell you about the first part of the FCE Writing Paper.
This was ABC English Levels and Valentine.
Take care and communicate successfully). Cheers!