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FCE Exam Writing Tips

Written By onci on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 | 8:06 PM

The FCE exam has been updated. The changes are fairly minor, however, you'll still want to know what it means for your students?

Here is your opportunity to get FCE exam tips from Fiona Joseph and Peter Travis the Founding Managers of Flo-Joe (shortlisted for the British Council ELTON Award 2007 and Winner of the British Council ELTON Award 2003)

Essentially, the key differences in the updated Cambridge FCE exam are:

1. There are three parts instead of four. One of the two current multiple-matching tasks has been removed.

2. The number of questions has been reduced from approximately 35 to 30.

3. The time allowed is reduced from 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour.

4. There is a fixed number of items for each part and therefore for the whole of the Reading paper.

5. In the gapped text (now Part 2), only sentences, not paragraphs or sentences, will be removed from the text.

6. The multiple choice (now Part 1) has a wider test focus.

What reading skills are being assessed? The same reading skills as before:

Part 1: detail, opinion, gist, attitiude, meaning, tone, purpose and main ideas.
Part 2: text organisation (how language achieves cohesion and coherence)
Part 3: specific information, detail, opinion and attitude.

Tips for candidate preparation:

Not surprisingly, we're going to say that students need to read, read, read! As well as texts from coursebooks try to encourage reading outside the classroom. Students may appreciate time in class to share opinions on an English language story they've enjoyed, or a newspaper article.

For candidates, consider the set text option. The Updated FCE Writing Paper will give candidates an option to answer a question based on the reading of two set texts. ('Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens and 'The Phantom of the Opera' by Gaston Leroux' are the novels for 2008-2009.)

If your students want to tackle this question they must have read at least one of the books in advance, and it's advisable to study the book as a class. Other texts that are suitable are English-language newspapers, magazines, articles, reports and literature.

For additional information go to the Flo-Joe FCE Exam Guide:
http://www.flo-joe.co.uk/fceexamguide.htm

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