This part of the exam is split into 2 different exams, The reading part and the Use of English part. In total there are 7 parts to this exam and you have 1hr 15 mins to complete it. Part 1, 5, 6, and 7 are for the Reading exam, and parts 2, 3, and 4 are for the Use of English exam. Here we are going to take a deeper look into the Use of English parts.
Use of English is something that all B2 candidates dread to do when it comes to the exam. It can be a difficult challenge but with practice and help on how to approach the exam, you may overcome such task with the results you desire.
Lets now take a look at the 3 parts.
To start, you will be given a text with 8 gaps and you need to write one word for each gap. This will test your grammar and vocabulary but answers are not going to be words like ‘Balcony’.
REMEMBER – Words like ‘won’t’ counts as 2 words – will not.
I suggest you read the whole sentence before deciding the words so that you can get the general gist of the sentence. Also, check your spelling…you will lose points if it is spelt incorrectly.
These are the most typical type of answers:
The, a, an
However, although, despite…
As…as, …er than, the most…
Who, which, where…
Will, must, may…
Does, will, has…
His, her, theirs…
You will see a text containing eight gaps. Each gap is missing a word. At the end of the line is a ‘prompt’ word which you have to change in some way to complete the sentence correctly by adding a prefix or suffix to the word.
This is going to test your ability to turn words into adjectives, nouns, verbs, or adverbs.
And for the final part, each question consists of a sentence followed by a ‘keyword’ and a second sentence with a gap. You have to use this keyword to complete the second sentence by using between 2 – 5 words. The second sentence needs to have the same meaning as the first. There are 6 questions in total. 2 points for a completely correct answer, 1 point if partially correct
You cannot change the form of the keyword. If the keyword is ‘allow’, then you cannot write allows or allowance. Also, remember that contractions count as 2 words and you must not use more than 5 words.
Try to use all of the information from the first sentence.
John finds trains very interesting.
John is interested in trains. = Partially correct
John is very interested in trains. = Completely correct
NEVER leave a sentence blank though, as you may still get 1 point which can make a huge difference in your final mark!
The are many areas to look at when answering these questions because they are many possibilities of what type of answer it could be.
For example, the answers could one of the following:
- A fixed expression
- Verb with gerunds or infinitive
- Verb + preposition + ing
- Phrasal verbs
- Present perfect/past simple
- Linking words
- Active and passive
- Third conditional
- Reported and direct speech
Once the exam have been completed, B2 First results are then reported on the Cambridge English Scale.
You will receive a separate score for each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and use of English, giving you a clear understanding of your performance. These five scores are averaged to give you an overall result for the exam. You will also be given a grade and Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level.
Feel like you need to practice some exercises? Or want to try out the other parts of the exam?
If you have any questions, you can contact us anytime. Good luck with your exam!