Hi everybody! ABC English Levels and Valentine welcome you again to our new audio lesson. Today we’re talking about Reading & Use of English Part 5 of the FCE exam. You’ll learn what this part consists of and what you should know to cope with it better. As usual, I’ll give some practical tips that, I hope, can be helpful for you.
Well, let’s start.
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What is the Reading and Use of English Part 5 like?
Reading and Use of English Part 5 is a text of 550-650 words and six multiple-choice questions about it. There are four options (A, B, C, D) in each question.
What does the Reading and Use of English Part 5 test?
It tests your ability to understand main ideas and details, the author’s opinion and what something means from the context.
How is the Reading and Use of English Part 5 marked?
For this part, they give you 2 marks for each correct answer.
Like with any other task, it’s helpful to develop a strategy to complete the Reading and Use of English Part 5 better. I suggest the following practical steps that always help my students.
- Skim the text, that is, look through it very quickly to get the gist (main idea). Pay attention to introductions, titles and subtitles of the paragraphs if there are any.
- Read the 1st question. Do NOT read the given options at this stage.
- Find the paragraph which refers to the question. This time, read it carefully. Remember that you might not need to read all the parts of the text. So, if you can find the necessary excerpt quickly, it will save you a lot of time at the exam.
- Answer the question using the information you’ve found.
- Now, read the options A, B, C, D. See if your opinion is close to any of the given answers.
- Choose the most appropriate variant.
- Do the same with the rest of the questions.
Examples and tips
The first tip refers to the English sentence structure. It’s essential to remember that it has quite a fixed word order and there’s a definite connection between the words. A subgect+a verb+an object is a core of an English sentence. How can it help? In situations when you aren’t sure about the meaning of a word. I’ll give you an example with non-existing words.
Topiok rubits banki. And you have the question: What does Topiok do? which refers to the action, the verb. If you know that the subject is Topiok, the verb is rubits and the object is banki, you’ll easily answer the question: Topiok rubits banki. If the question were Who rubits banki? The asnwer would be Topiok. And What does Topiok rubit? – Banki. I mean, it’s possible to give the correct answer even if you don’t know the meaning of a word.
What ‘s for the connection between the words in a sentence, remember that adjectives define nouns and normally go before them; and adjectives give information about people’s or objects’ qualities: a beautiful building, a fast machine, etc. On the other hand, adverbs define verbs, explaining how we do something, and go after verbs or verbs+objects combinations: speak Spanish quickly, sleep well, etc. Keeping this in mind can help in the same situations. Let’s see. I’ll add some more non-existing words to the previous sentence. Promuzi Topiok rubits banki persimenti. So, we can suggest that promuzi is an adjective and persimenti is an adverb according to their position in the sentence. If the question were How does Topiok rubit banki? the right answer would be persimenti. And for the question What is Topiok like? we could respond promuzi.
Doubtlessly, the relations between words and sentences are far more complicated, and you need to learn many things like discourse markers, linking words, etc. But I hope you’ve got the idea. Don’t be afraid of unknown words.
Remember about key words. They’re your key to success). Key words are very important words in a sentence that can give you a clue to the right answer. For instance, what are the key words in the following question? What happened to Jilly in the evening? Happened, Jilly, evening. Say, it’s all clear about «happened» and «Jilly». But why is «evening» the key word too? Because in the text, there might be something else happened to Jilly on the same day but in the morning. Right?
Remember that you should never search for the same words as you see in the questions. You’ll need to look for synonyms or synonymous phrases. Sometimes the right answer is implied, but not conveyed directly, and you have to figure it out from the context.
Let’s see an example.
I knew that people were suspicious of journalists. So, I decided to go along and see what it was all about pretending to be a single 24-year-old lawyer… I informed my chief, and she agreed with the idea.
The writer decided to pretend to be a lawyer because
A she wanted people to trust her
B she thought being a lawyer is more prestigious than a journalist
C people don’t like journalists
D her boss said so
The right option is A, she wanted people to trust her. Be «suspicious» means be mistrustful, doubtful. So, she wanted the opposite reaction.
B is not correct because there’s nothing about comparing the two professions.
C refers to feelings of liking/disliking which is not the same as trust. And here be careful! You might think that if you are suspicious of sb, you don’t like them. But it’s your opinion. The text doesn’t say this. Forget about your opinions when analyzing texts. You have to find proof in the words of the author.
D suggests that she pretended to be a lawyer because her boss said so, but it’s not true. The text says that her boss just agreed with the idea.
Well, let’s stop here. Thanks for staying with us. If this lesson is helpful, share it on social networking sites. You can get more information about our courses on our web site abc-englishlevels.com and ask questions via the contact form.
This was ABC English Levels and Valentine. Take care and good luck!