CAE Exam Tips CAE Writing Test Tips

CAE Exam Tips CAE Writing Test Tips


You have 90 minutes to write two texts. Each text should always be about 220-260 words long (look at relevant questions section at the bottom if you have concerns about the word count). Part 1 is definitely 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 are doing the task you were asked to complete?
  • Communicative achievement – Do you utilize the tone that is right level of formality?
  • Organisation – Do you link paragraphs together? Can there be a logical flow?
  • Language – Did you show your sparkling vocabulary off or did you merely use First Certificate words? Do you make a lot 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 a decision Grammarly, a free writing aid, was not useful – this is basically the story of how one Russian student convinced us to change my mind.

Time management

You’ve got 90 minutes to create 2 texts. Both texts is going to be in regards to the same length, and so are worth exactly the same wide range of points. Obviously, you should spend the amount that is same of for each! Personally, I would spend as much time planning as possible, since it makes everything else easier. The exact time split depends on how fast you write, but try something similar to this:

  • Planning – 10 minutes (i have made a video clip concerning the planning process – it really is in section 8 below.)
  • Writing – 25 minutes
  • Checking – 10 minutes


Plenty of students hate planning and think it is a waste of valuable exam time. But do chefs head into a kitchen and just start cooking? Needless to say not – they set down their ingredients, make certain their utensils are clean, and also their recipe nearby.

Your plan may be the recipe you are going to use to cook up a great piece of writing. Think of how many paragraphs you want then get some ideas concerning the content of each. But even as of this early stage you should start planning the language you intend to use. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Where may I use a form that is passive?
  • Where can i take advantage of an inversion?
  • What CAE-level vocabulary do i understand about this topic, and where can it is used by me?
  • How do you link from one paragraph to another location?

Thinking about solutions before you begin writing could be the easiest method to solve problems!


The first thing you’re assessed on is the content. That basically means reading the task carefully and doing what you are told to do! In part 1 you will be given three bullet points but are asked to fairly share TWO of those. (You’re also given some opinions on the topic if you desire, however you need not. which you can use) Here’s an example of the three bullet points and a task:

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

Another point that is important to say that is far better. I’d probably write one paragraph about ‘giving rules’, and also the paragraph that is next be about ‘setting an example’ – I would make sure to give main reasons why it had been an even more efficient way to influence younger people.

How about part 2? Again, it’s important to see the relevant question carefully and also make sure you include everything it instructs you to.

Listed here is the sort of task which will show up:

Listed here is an outline you might follow:

  • Intro
  • Evaluation associated with programme
  • The essential useful areas of the programme
  • Year suggested changes for next
  • Summary

Not very imaginative, you’d be going to get full marks in terms of content!


Which is better English:

Dear Sir or Madam

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

This can be a giant topic and there is not space that is enough get into it in detail here. I’ll list a couple of external resources that can help, but a good coursebook will provide you with lots of guidance.

The main tip buy essay is usually to be consistent – students often write a written report this is certainly 95% formal, and then throw in certain exclamation points, slang, contractions, and informal vocabulary. Which is bad! It suggest you don’t have control of your tone.

Find out about formal vs informal English:

Task types

You really need to invest some time making certain you understand the difference between a letter and an essay, and between a study and a proposal. Here are a few quick tips:


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


Write an email utilizing the same opening/closing as a letter. In these you talk about your experiences that are personal. Your writing will have a purpose, like responding to a newspaper article you do not agree with.


Use headings for each paragraph. The task shall let you know some of the content you’ll want to include and you’ll be able to use your imagination to add a few more ideas. You might be asked to judge if some goal has been achieved and/or to suggest alternative courses of action. A proposal will have more scope in making suggestions and more significance of polite language that is persuasive.


Cambridge love linking words and cohesive devices. These are items of text like ‘firstly’, ‘whereas’, ‘in addition’, ‘however’, and so forth. Properly used, they shall create your writing flow and make your text easier to read. You can’t do well in CAE without using these phrases.

Here is a web page with some basic ideas about cohesive devices – make an effort to include them in your writing. Here is another one with tips for the IELTS exam.


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

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

You will need to make use of many different structures – passives, inversions, cleft sentences, questions, sentences with semi-colons. The greater variety the higher!

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

So instead of writing like this:

A lot of politicians say they are going to improve bus and train services. Having trains is wonderful for those who have to go to work. This means they don’t really need to use the motor car to function. It is probably faster. If everyone takes a train to operate there won’t be any traffic jams.

You are able to produce this:

Why do progressive politicians pledge to prov >mass transit systems in their cities? The solution is obvious: 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 is one question; one colon; one semi-colon; one ‘not only but additionally’; one imperative. Pretty good, right? It is possible to write like this if you practice and when you aren’t afraid to create some mistakes as you go along.