CAE writing Part 1 – Essay

CAE writing Part 1 - Essay

by Derrick Smyth

The CAE written test takes 90 minutes and is divided into two parts. Part 1 requires that you write 220-260 words about a given topic, considering both sides of the argument. You will be provided a starting point based on something like information from an advertisement, an email, a short article etc. Here is a sample taken from the Cambridge website.

Your class has attended a panel discussion on facilities which should receive money from local authorities. You have made the notes below:  

 

Which facilities should receive money from local authorities?

  • museums
  • sports centres
  • public gardens

 

Some opinions expressed in the discussion:

“Museums aren’t popular with everybody!”

“Sports centres mean healthier people.”  

“A town needs green spaces – parks are great for everybody.”

 

Write an essay discussing two of the facilities in your notes.  You should explain which facility it is more important for local authorities to give money to, giving reasons in support of your answer.

You may, if you wish, make use of the opinions expressed in the discussion, but you should use your own words as far as possible.

 

Before you begin

 

The most important task is to identify ALL parts of the question. Take a few minutes to read and underline the important parts noting which are obligatory and which, if any, are optional. For example.

 

Write an essay discussing two of the facilities in your notes.  You should explain which facility it is more important for local authorities to give money to, giving reasons in support of your answer.

You may, if you wish, make use of the opinions expressed in the discussion, but you should use your own words as far as possible.

 

Create a plan

CAE Writing planning Cambridge LetterNext, create a plan of everything you wish to include and how you will arrange it. Remember, good writing is arranged logically and uses clear formatting such as paragraphs. This is only possible with planning.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

 

  • Benjamin Franklin

 

Assessment criteria

Cambridge CAE Writing LetterYour writing will be assessed on the following criteria which is important to understand before you begin.

 

  • Content - Have you answered all of the question?
  • Communicative Achievement - Have you used the right style of writing?
  • Organisation - Have you structured your writing logically?
  • Language - Have you used a good range of grammar and vocabulary?

 

Example of a plan

 

First make a list about the pros and cons of each choice.

 

Facilities - Museums Sports centres Public gardens
educational
good for adults and kids
might not appeal to everybody
promote tourism
can be boring
promote health and fitness
not weather dependent
can be expensive
not used as much by the elderly
encourage outdoor activity
good for the environment
unused in winter
free to use
good for pets / animals

 

Next decide which two you are going to write about and which points you would feel most confident comparing.

 

Primary points marked in red

Secondary points marked in orange

Unused points in blue

 

Facilities - Museums Sports centres Public gardens
educational
good for adults and kids
might not appeal to everybody
promote tourism
can be boring
promote health and fitness
not weather dependent
can be expensive
not used as much by the elderly
encourage outdoor activity
good for the environment
unused in winter
free to use
good for pets / animals

 

Writing task

Because you are writing an essay you must write in a semi-formal style. Here you will find an example of how you might structure such a letter with useful phrases in bold.

 

After attending the discussion regarding how best to allocate the funds for a new facility I would like to discuss a few of the options.

 

PARAGRAPH 1 – INTRODUCTION. What you have to do is introduce the topic (go from general to concrete). I would suggest three sentences here. Make the third one a question.

 

PARAGRAPH 2 – Discuss the first bullet point. Write a good topic sentence and give reasons to support your argument. Point out advantages and maybe also disadvantages (on the other hand, it is ....). Use examples where possible.

 

PARAGRAPH 3 – Discuss the second bullet point you have chosen in a similar way. It’s not obligatory to point disadvantages again (bear in mind you have to write up to 260 words).

 

PARAGRAPH 4 – CONCLUSION. State your opinion. Write two or three sentences. Point out clearly which of the two discussed aspects is more important, on the basis of what you have written above. The conclusion should put a full stop to what you have written and not open a new argument.

 

NOTES:

 

STYLE

 

Semi-formal to formal. Be objective and not too emotional. Avoid too expressive words (amazing, magnificent, disgusting).

 

LANGUAGE

 

Use various structures and vocabulary with more set phrases and idioms. Pay special attention to appropriate linking devices.

 

.........

 

Introducing the topic: Some people believe that, It is often said that.

 

Supporting your argument: Firstly, Secondly, Last but not least.

 

Adding information: In addition, Furthermore, What is more, Moreover.

 

Expressing an opposite point of view: On the other hand.

 

Summing up: In conclusion, To sum up. - See more at: https://examwriting.blogspot.ie/2015/01/how-to-write-essay-for-new-cae-format.html#sthash.5YuEXLSw.dpuf

 

Write an essay discussing two of the facilities in your notes.  You should explain which facility it is more important for local authorities to give money to, giving reasons in support of your answer.

You may, if you wish, make use of the opinions expressed in the discussion, but you should use your own words as far as possible.

 

Remember to allow 5 - 8 minutes to check your work before the time ends.

Find out more about our Cambridge English Courses in Dublin.

For more detailed information and practice tests you can visit this free website (www.flo-joe.co.uk)