As I am reading over a few writing assignments, I thought I should provide you with some tips for  the CAE Writing Paper. 

You must always answer Part 1 of the Writing Paper but in Part 2, you will always have a choice of 3 different options and forms of writing. So here are my tips:

  • Choose a question that you are interested in. You will write better if you know the subject.
  • Read the instructions carefully before you start. Make some quick notes. You must include all the points in the instructions to get all points.
  • Make a plan before you start writing. Decide what information to put in each paragraph.
  • Think about whom you are writing to and use an appropriate style of language.

       If it’s a letter to your friend, it’s okay to write informal language but if you are writing to the headmaster of a school or your manager, it should be formal. Beware of contractions!

  • Try to use a range of complex language but don’t overdo it as you want to sound as natural as possible.
  • Try to leave enough time to check what you have written. It is extremely important to re-read your writing as you will be able to find silly errors you might have missed in the midst of your thinking process. 

Your writing is assessed using four criteria:

  • Content – have you answered the question correctly? I will reinforce this point again; please don’t use a bunch of words to fill up paragraphs to meet your word limit. Answer the questions appropriately.
  • Communicative Achievement – have you completed the task in the right sort of language?
  • Organisation – have you structured your writing with paragraphs? It is important to separate your ideas. Each new idea in a new paragraph. If you are writing an essay for example, and have to discuss two main points you should have at LEAST 4 paragraphs. (Introduction, Point A, Point B, and finally, a Conclusion)
  • Language – have you used a good range of grammar and vocabulary? Again, trying to sound as coherent and natural as possible.  Don’t use big words because it’s the last thing you learned or because you think it will make you sound more educated. Use words that you know! Make sure you are using the correct vocabulary but also be careful with things as simple as “Persons are” You are sitting the Advanced Exam, you shouldn’t have silly those errors!

I hope these tips are helpful and I am looking forward to seeing them in use.