FCE Reading and Use of English Part 2 Tips
This is very similar to part 1, except you don't have a choice of words - you have to think of the answer all by yourself! Oh, my god!
What does it look like?
Here's half of one:
The answer to (0) is 'as'. I work as a stunt rider.
Should I read the whole text first?
It's a good idea to read through the text before you start thinking of answers. If you don't read and understand what the writer wants to say you could put the wrong answer. For example, some words will be negative.
Can I write 'don't' as the answer?
No. Don't is two words - do not. He'll is two words - he will.
But can't is one word, because it's the contraction of cannot.
What are the most common answers?
You'll never have to write 'umbrella' in part 2. It's always grammar stuff.
I need to go to THE shop.
Heaven is A place on earth.
When WILL I be famous?
Who HAS eaten all my chocolates?
But ALTHOUGH the ozone layer is recovering, we must continue to take care of it.
One of the problems, HOWEVER, is that this technology is very expensive.
It was in HIS bathroom that he had the idea for the flux capacitor.
They discovered the kittens were living in THEIR garage.
The Black Widow spider, WHICH is perhaps the most famous of all arachnids, is actually rather friendly.
The person WHO ate my chocolate is in for a world of pain.
He was as tall AS his brother.
But shorter THAN his father.
- Sometimes you'll be able to choose an answer just by looking at the words before and after the gap. Practice doing that.
- Sometimes you have to read the whole sentence, especially when we're talking about linking words.
- If your answer is a verb, make sure it agrees with the subject. i.e. I play, you play, he plays.
- Never use abbreviations. Write 'something' not 'sthg'. THIS IS AN EXAM NOT A WHATSAPP CHAT. :)
- As always, be careful when filling in the answer sheet. Make sure you write the words in the right spaces!
FCE Reading and Use of English Part 3 Tips
Guess what - it's another text with 8 gaps. This time it's a test of your ability to turn words into adjectives, nouns, verbs, or adverbs. You also need to know negative forms, like turning 'interested' into 'disinterested'.
What does it look like?
You get some text with words missing, and on the right is a 'root' word. You have to change that word to fit the sentence that it's next to. In example (0) the word you have to use is 'common'. The answer could be something like 'uncommon' or 'commonplace' (though that's more a CAE word). This time we need 'commonly'. You HAVE to change the word - you couldn't leave it as 'common'.
Just to make things clear
It's not a task where you match things on the left to things on the right. Everything is right next to where it should go.
Now, this part of the exam is a lot about nouns, adjectives, and all that stuff. So let's take a look.
The next few paragraphs are a VERY quick guide. To understand this grammar properly you need a good grammar book. I recommend Destination B2.
These things are nouns:
- Names (Captain Jack Sparrow);
- Concepts (time, information);
- Names of jobs or types of people (skiiers, doctors, scientists);
- Things (cheesecake, flowers).
Sometimes you know a noun because of its ending. Look out for: -eer; -tion; -ment, -age, -al, ance, -hood, -iety, -ness, and so on.
Plural words or possessives are nouns.
Words connected to 'the, my/your/their (etc), whose, another, other, a/an' are probably nouns. Look:
- I want another banana.
- My banana is bigger than your banana.
- Whose banana is this?
- A banana is a wonderful thing.
How does this relate to FCE part 3?
Change the root word to make nouns that fit the sentences.
It is my __________ that global warming is a big threat to the planet. BELIEVE
The __________ of One Direction is a complete mystery to me. POPULAR
It was a great __________ to meet you today. PLEASE
Adjectives describe nouns.
Notice that adjectives often come after the verb 'to be'? What kind of word do you expect in this gap?
It is __________ to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables.
Yep, an adjective.
So if the root was 'IMPORT' you'd probably know you needed to write 'important' in the space.
What are the adjective forms of:
Now plug those answers into these sentences. In one case you need a negative form.
Going to the beach can be very __________.
The way Bolt accelerated through to the finish line was __________.
People being interviewed expect the interviewers to be __________.
Adverbs are my favourite! Like adjectives describe nouns, adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.
Remember this sentence from a minute ago?
People being interviewed expect the interviewers to be objective.
People being interviewed expect the interviewers to be __________ objective. COMPLETE
(Answer: to be completely objective.)
Can! Will! Should! Must! These are all followed by the infinitive without 'to'. So if you see this in the exam:
The most important factor seems to be how quickly muscles can contract and thus __________ the time a runner's foot is in contact with the ground. MINIMUM
The word 'can' there connects with the verb 'to contract'. But it ALSO connects to the word in the gap. They're both verbs. So all I need to do now is learn what the verb form of MINIMUM is.
The most important factor seems to be how quickly muscles can contract and thus minimise the time a runner's foot is in contact with the ground.
Positive or Negative?
Read the sentences carefully because some of the words you need are in the negative form.
When I began cycling, I found the flat rounds easy but the hills almost __________. POSSIBLE
That's a pretty clear example of a sentence that needs a negative word in the gap. The first adjective, 'easy', is positive. Then there is the word 'but' which introduces a contrast. Using another positive word would be kerrrrazy. Also, we HAVE to change the word. We cant' leave it as 'possible'. So that leaves us with the only option of 'impossible'.
Even skilled interviewers may, without realising it, __________ favour people who make them feel at ease. CONSCIOUS
This is from a text about job interviews. What kind of word do we need in the gap? The biggest clue is the word 'may'. I know that may connects to the word favour. That means that favour is a verb. So the word that goes in the gap describes a verb - that's called an adverb.
The adverb of conscious is 'consciously'. But the meaning of the missing, which I know from the context of the whole text, has to be negative. The negative word we're looking for is 'unconsciously'.