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Cambridge Exam Blog 1

Welcome to the Cambridge English exam blog!

Each week we will give you tips on how to get the best mark possible in the First Certificate exam!

The Cambridge English First Certificate in English (FCE) consists of 4 parts

Part 1 – Use of English and reading comprehension

Part 2 – Writing

Part 3 – Listening

Part 4 – Speaking

Today we are going to focus on Task 1 of the Use of English – ‘Multiple-choice cloze’

What does it consist of?

The first task consists of a text with eight gaps. You are given 4 options of words and you have to choose the one which fits correctly in the text.

What is each correct answer worth?

Each answer is worth 1 point of the total of 36 points in the Use of English part.

How long should it take?

You have 75 minutes to do 7 tasks – 4 Use of English and 3 reading comprehensions.

Bearing in mind that the reading comprehensions tend to take longer, we recommend dedicating 7 minutes to this task.

Does this task only test my grammar?

No! Besides grammar this part of the exam also tests your vocabulary.

¿What parts of speech are tested in this part of the exam?

‘Set phrases’

Eg. safe and sound, time flies, not have a clue, cross your mind, ring a bell, keep track, A great deal of, , a wide range, get/keep in touch, get on someone´s nerves, except for, in search of, , good value for money..

‘Dependent prepositions’

Eg. Capable of, consist of, insist on, blame for, succeed in, aware of, responsible for, prevent from, discourage from, concentrate on, congratulate on, dedicate/devote to, depend on, object to, get married to….

‘Phrasal verbs’

Eg. Set up, look forward to, put off, give up, take up, get rid of, bring up, grow up, get over, come across, come up with, let down, run out of, put up with, get around, make up for, cut down on, make up, work out, pick up, hurry up, fill in

‘Linking words’

Eg. However (normally at the beginning of a sentence followed by a comma)

Although/ Even though

In spite of/despite (followed by noun /gerund /the fact that)

Unless , while, otherwise, whether

owing/due to(followed by noun /gerund /the fact that)

Furthermore, moreover, besides


Have fun, make an effort, put at risk, pay attention to, make a mistake, lose/gain weight, do sport, set fire to, take place, take part, take a break ,play a part/role, come as a surprise, come to a conclusion, take interest in, put at risk, put the blame on, make a complaint, do your best, do someone a favor,

´Definitions and use´

Eg. win or beat

spectators or audience

look at or watch

reach or arrive

carry or wear

win or earn

know or meet

steal or rob

argue or discuss

notice or realice

remember or remind

Some advice!

Look at what goes before or after the gap – infinitive? gerund? direct object?

Study your prepositions!

Never leave an answer blank – points aren’t taken away for wrong answers!

If you aren’t sure of an answer go with your instinct – normally what sounds correct is correct!

At the end read through the text one last time to make sure it makes sense with your answers!

Good luck!