The writing part of the B1 (preliminary) exam is joined with the reading part of the exam. You have 3 tasks. This post seeks to advise students how to write a story that will get you a great score at B1 level.
- 5 rephrasing questions (see HERE)
- A short text of 35-45 words – normally a message, email or note (SEE HERE)
- a letter (see HERE) or a story of 100 words
The first thing to mention is that at B1 level they want a simple text with some complex grammar. It should be very easy to read and follow with very few mistakes. You must follow the instructions in the question!
TO AVOID ERRORS YOU SHOULD NOT GUESS VOCABULARY OR GRAMMAR STRUCTURES. ONLY USE WHAT YOU KNOW WELL. YOU SHOULD EXPERIMENT WITH LANGUAGE IN CLASS AND WHILE STUDYING, NOT IN THE EXAM
When writing a story, there are a few problems that most students find:
- In only 100 words, how can I complete the task?
- How do I organize the text?
- What do they mean by complex grammar?
The answers to these questions are simple:
- Find a good teacher to guide you through the questions CHECK 🙂
- Practice the task a lot. Not only writing full stories but also write frequently. Write sentences to improve vocabulary, messages and notes.
- Organize your text in a simple way. Use a clear start, middle and end. A TITLE IS OPTIONAL UNLESS STATED IN THE INSTRUCTIONS
Ways to start your story
- Once upon a time
- One day
- At the beginning
- When it all began
- When it al started
Time Phrases (for the middle of the story)
- Firstly, secondly, thirdly
- in due time
- as long as
- as soon as
- just in time
- at the moment
- in good time
- in the meantime
- in a moment
- in ages
- now that
- without delay
- all of a sudden
- at the present time
- from time to time
- sooner or later
- at the same time
- as soon as
Ways of ending the story
- In the end
- When it all ended
- After all of that
- After everything that had happened
- Once and for all
- At the end of the day
- reported/direct speech
- Wish/ if only
- Past perfect
- Modal verbs
- relative clauses
The use of connectors is essential in the organisation of stories. Use them to sequence the story and make it easy to follow.
|And, also, as well, in addition, besides, above all
|However, but, although, on the other hand, despite, in spite of, even though, though, whereas
|Such as, for example, like, for instance, as follows:
|Similarly, equally, likewise, in the same way|
|Also, furthermore, moreover, above all, not only… but also||So, therefore, as a result, because of this, consequently, thus, hence, in that case
|Otherwise, in other words, then, in that case||In conclusion, to sum up, in brief, to sum up, therefore, to summarise
|SEQUENCE||STATING THE OBVIOUS|
|Firstly, secondly, thirdly, lastly, next, after, to start with, to finish,||Obviously, clearly, naturally, of course, naturally, surely, after all
MY ADVICE IS TO WRITE THE STORY IN THE PAST UNLESS THE INSTRUCTION OBLIGATES YOU TO USE THE FUTURE. THIS WAY THE GRAMMAR STRUCTURES ARE SIMPLE AND IT IS EASIER TO WRITE, YOU ONLY NEED A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF 3 GRAMMAR STRUCTURES:
- Past simple
- Past continuous
- Past perfect
For a better grade include WISH + PAST PERFECT or 3RD CONDITIONAL
Example of a story
Start the story with…
As soon as I woke up, I realised that it was the most important day of my life.
As soon as I woke up, I realised that it was the most important day of my life. I had been preparing for this day for as long as I can remember. We had studied all year for our final exam and we knew that when it was over, we would be qualified doctors. I couldn´t wait because it had been my dream since I was a kid. My parents would be so proud and they were planning a party for when I got my results. As I had studies so hard I knew I would pass without a problem. My plan was to finish the exam and then go clubbing with some friends. It was going to be a night to remember.
A start and a clear ending are essential in the writing of a good story at B1 level
Use complex grammar structures (SEE COMPLEX GRAMMAR)