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CAE Exam Tips CAE Test that is writing Tips


You have 90 minutes to create two texts. Each text ought to be about 220-260 words long (see the relevant questions section at the bottom for those who have concerns about the word count). Part 1 is obviously an essay, while in part 2 a choice is had by you of 3 tasks (letter/email; proposal; report; review).

The examiners assess you on 4 elements:

  • Content — Did you will do the job you were asked to complete?
  • Communicative achievement — Did you use the tone that is right degree of formality?
  • Organisation — Do you link paragraphs together? Is there a logical flow?
  • Language — Do you show your sparkling vocabulary off or do you merely use First Certificate words? Did you make plenty of grammar mistakes?

With your writing before you continue with this guide, I strongly recommend you read about this free tool that will help you:

Last year I made the decision Grammarly, a writing that is free, was not useful — this is basically the story of how one Russian student convinced us to change my mind.

Time management

You have 90 minutes to publish 2 texts. Both texts is supposed to be concerning the length that is same and are worth the exact same number of points. Obviously, you should spend the amount that is same of on each! Personally, I’d spend as much time planning as possible, since it makes everything else easier. The exact time split is determined by how fast you write, but try something like this:

  • Planning — 10 minutes (I’ve made a video about the planning process — it really is in section 8 below.)
  • Writing — 25 minutes
  • Checking — ten full minutes


Plenty of students hate planning and think it is a waste of valuable exam time. But do chefs walk into a kitchen and just start cooking? Needless to say not — they lay out their ingredients, make sure their utensils are clean, and have their recipe nearby.

Your plan may be the recipe you’ll used to cook up a great written piece. Think about how many paragraphs you want then find some ideas about the content of each. But even only at that stage that is early should start planning the language you need to use. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Where may I use a passive form?
  • Where can I use an inversion?
  • What CAE-level vocabulary do I know concerning this topic, and where can it is used by me?
  • How can I link from a single paragraph to the next?

Thinking about solutions before you begin writing could be the way that is easiest to solve problems!


The thing that is first’re assessed on is the content. That basically means reading the task carefully and doing what you’re instructed to do! In part 1 you will be given three bullet points but are asked to talk about TWO of those. (You’re also given some opinions on the topic that can be used if you need, however you don’t have to.) Here’s a good example of the 3 bullet points and an activity:

Because I feel like I have more to say about those topics if I were planning my essay writer answer, I’d probably choose ‘giving rules’ and ‘setting an example’ as my two points. (just how much would I write on ‘offering advice’? Nothing! Because i will only come up with a few things!)

Another point that is important to express which can be far better. I’d probably write one paragraph about ‘giving rules’, therefore the next paragraph would be about ‘setting an example’ — I would make sure to give reasoned explanations why it absolutely was an even more efficient way to influence younger people.

Think about part 2? Again, it’s important to browse the question carefully and then make sure you include everything it instructs you to.

Here is the type or variety of task that will show up:

Listed here is a plan you can follow:

  • Intro
  • Evaluation regarding the programme
  • The absolute most useful elements of the programme
  • Suggested changes for the following year
  • Summary

Not so imaginative, however you’d be going to get marks that are full terms of content!


Which is better English:

Dear Sir or Madam

Well, it depends whom you’re talking to! If your task is to write a report for the ‘serious’ organisation you should use a tone that is formal. If you’re writing a magazine article for teenagers you will be more informal.

This is certainly a massive topic and there’s not room enough to go into it at length here. I’ll list a few external resources that might help, but a coursebook that is good give you lots of guidance.

The primary tip is to be consistent — students often write a report that is 95% formal, and then throw in a few exclamation points, slang, contractions, and informal vocabulary. That is bad! It suggest you don’t have control over your tone.

Learn more about formal vs informal English:

Task types

You ought to invest some time making sure you know the difference between a letter and an essay, and between a study and a proposal. Here are some tips that are quick


You’ll want to give your opinion in an interesting way. CAE essays are often academic in tone, so practice of formal writing shall be helpful.


Write an email aided by the same opening/closing as a letter. During these you write about your personal experiences. Your writing shall have an intention, like giving an answer to a newspaper article you don’t agree with.


Use headings for each paragraph. The duty shall inform you a number of the content you will need to include and you will certainly be able to use your imagination to include a few more ideas. You may be asked to guage if some goal happens to be achieved and/or to suggest alternative courses of action. A proposal may have more scope in making suggestions and more dependence on polite language that is persuasive.


Cambridge love linking words and devices that are cohesive. They are components of text like ‘firstly’, ‘whereas’, ‘in addition’, ‘however’, and so on. Properly used, they shall create your writing flow and make your text better to read. You can not do well in CAE without needing these phrases.

Listed here is a full page with a few basic ideas about cohesive devices — you will need to include them in your writing. Here is a different one with strategies for the IELTS exam.


Organising a text, using linking words, and getting most of the content points is a start that is great however for a top grade you will need to use advanced vocabulary and much more difficult sentence structures.

When you look at the planning stage for the exam think about which words that are high-level know for that topic and think by which paragraph you need to use them. For example, if the subject is approximately transport you might use phrases like ‘mass transit system’, ‘to commute’, ‘congestion,’ and ‘pressed for time’.

Then you need to utilize a variety of structures — passives, inversions, cleft sentences, questions, sentences with semi-colons. The greater amount of variety the better!

Also a number of sentence lengths. This picture explains the reason:

So rather than writing like this:

A lot of politicians say they will improve train and bus services. Having trains is perfect for individuals who have to head to work. It indicates they do not need to take the motor car to get results. It is probably faster. If everyone takes a train to focus there won’t be any traffic jams.

It is possible to produce this:

How come progressive politicians pledge to prov >mass transit systems in their cities? The answer is clear: Not only do pressed-for-time commuters benefit, but there is also less pollution. Let congestion be a plain thing of history; let flowers bloom next to every tram stop.

In those three sentences there clearly was one question; one colon; one semi-colon; one ‘not only but additionally’; one imperative. So good, right? You can write similar to this if you practice and when you are not afraid to help make some mistakes as you go along.

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