exams · STUDENT

C1 WRITING – WRITING A REVIEW FOR TASK 2 OF THE CAE EXAM

This post aims to explain how to write a review for the C1 Advanced Cambridge exam (CAE). A review is one of the options in the 2nd task of the writing exam. The main purpose of a review is to give your personal opinion about something, suggesting what is good or bad about it. Reviews are usually written for newspapers, websites or magazines and therefore have a fairly informal style. The text should be personal and include your personal opinion.

It is a good idea to include:

  • a title
  • state what you are reviewing
  • a brief description
  • recommendations of target audience and summarize the review

5 Simple Ways to Improve your Written English

OTHER TEXTS ON WRITING

C1 WRITING – HOW TO WRITE A REPORT FOR TASK TWO OF THE CAE

C1 WRITING – HOW TO WRITE A LETTER/EMAIL FOR THE CAE

C1 WRITING – WRITING AN ESSAY FOR TASK 1 OF THE CAE EXAM

C1 WRITING – HOW TO WRITE A PROPOAL FOR THE CAE

 

In the writing part of the CAE (Cambridge C1) exam there are 2 tasks that need to be completed in 1:30 minutes. The 1st task is compulsory and the students must complete an essay. The 2nd task is a choice of 3 options (letter/email, proposal, report, review). The word count for each task is 220-260 words and students should not write fewer than 220 words nor go over the 260 mark. STUDENTS ARE NOT DIRECTLY PENALIZED FOR DOING SO BUT THE EXAMENER WILL LOOK MORE CLOSELY AT THE CONTENT PART OF THE EVALUATION AND IT COULD LOWER YOUR GRADE.

 

Evaluation scale:

All Cambridge exams are marked in the same way but the evaluation scales leave some room for interpretation and are, therefore, a little subjective. Examiners mark tasks using assessment scales that were developed with explicit reference to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The scales, which are used across the spectrum of the Cambridge English General and Business English Writing tests, consist of four subscales: Content, Communicative Achievement, Organisation, and Language:

Content focuses on how well the candidate has fulfilled the task, in other words if they have done what they were asked to do. DO NOT INCLUDE IRRELEVANT INFORMATION. YOU SHOULD ANSWER THE POINTS IN THE TASK TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY. FOCUS ON WHAT THEY ASK YOU TO DO.

Communicative Achievement focuses on how appropriate the writing is for the task and whether the candidate has used the appropriate register. YOU MUST USE APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE WHETHER IT BE FORMAL OR INFORMAL. EACH TYPE OF TEXT HAS ITS OWN REQUIREMENTS.

Organisation focuses on the way the candidate puts together the piece of writing, in other words if it is logical and ordered. THE TEXT MUST BE EASY TO FOLLOW BUT ALSO INCLUDE COMPLEX GRAMMATICAL STRUCTURES AND VOCABULARY. DO NOT OVER COMPLICATE THE TEXT! THE USE OF ADEQUATE COHESIVE DEVICES IS ESSENTIAL.

Language focuses on vocabulary and grammar. This includes the range of language as well as how accurate it is. CANDIDATES MUST BE ADVENTUROUS WITH THEIR LANGUAGE USE AND USE SEVERAL COMPLEX GRAMMAR STRUCTURE (passives, inversions, cleft sentences, conditionals, modal verbs, relative clauses etc.) TO GET A GOOD GRADE WITH REGARDS TO VOCABULARY YOU SHOULD TRY TO INCORPORATE IDIOMS. 

 Responses are marked on each subscale from 0 to 5.

 

When marking the tasks, examiners take into account length of responses and varieties of English:

Guidelines on length are provided for each task; responses which are too short may not have an adequate range of language and may not provide all the information that is required, while responses which are too long may contain irrelevant content and have a negative effect on the reader. These may affect candidates’ marks on the relevant subscales.

Candidates are expected to use a particular variety of English with some degree of consistency in areas such as spelling, and not for example switch from using a British spelling of a word to an American spelling of the same word.

 

Example question:

You have seen this announcement on your favourite music website.

Have you ever been to an amazing concert venue?

Write a review of the best music venue in your local area and tell us about what makes it so special. Say who you would recommend it for a why?

The best entries will be published on our website.

Example answer:

The Apollo: The Theatre of Dreams

Never before have you seen such an amazing spectacle as you will see in the Apollo. It´s not only the facilities and personnel that make this venue so great, but also the amazing acoustics of such a large venue.

From the moment you enter the place there is an awe about it. All of the greatest acts of recent times have played here and you can feel the buzz as soon as you enter. The crowd are so close to the stage that they can literally feel the droplets of sweat coming off of the brows of their favourite artists, this creates an amazing connection between the musicians and the audience and I can tell you, the fans go wild!

I´d definitely recommend this venue to anyone, it has a great feel to it and the prices are at the lower end of what you would expect to pay in such a place. They also don’t go over the top on drinks prices, and through it sounds weird, it´s not all that difficult to get to the bathroom which is a plus. So, without a doubt, the next time your favourite group is playing, come on down to the Apollo, oh, and did I mention it is in London? It couldn´t get any better.

Useful phrases:

  • In my opinion, …
  • In my eyes, …
  • To my mind, …
  • As far as I am concerned, …
  • Speaking personally, …
  • From my point of view, …
  • As for me / As to me, …
  • My view / opinion / belief / impression / conviction is that …
  • I hold the view that …
  • I would say that …
  • It seems to me that …
  • I am of the opinion that …
  • My impression is that …
  • I am under the impression that …
  • It is my impression that …
  • I have the feeling that …
  • My own feeling on the subject is that …
  • I have no doubt that …
  • I am sure / I am certain that …
  • I think / consider / find / feel / believe / suppose / presume / assume/reckon that …
  • I hold the opinion that …
  • I dare say that …
  • I guess that …
  • I bet that ….
  • I gather that …
  • It goes without saying that …

 

Linking:

  • As I have said before…
  • With respect to the point on…
  • Regarding…
  • Like I have said…
  • In relation to…
  • Taking into account…

 

Speculating :

  • Probably – He will probably do the exam next week
  • Perhaps/maybe – Perhaps he doesn´t have time
  • May/might/could – You might be luckier next time
  • What if – What if he doesn´t arrive on time?

 

 General advice for improving writing skills:

READ. To improve writing skills it is essential to read a lot, in general. Texts of all levels and also to do it frequently. CONSISTENCY IS KEY!

WRITE. You must write every day and all types of texts including; letters, notes, messages, emails, essays, reports. DON´T JUST DO EXAM EXAMPLES!

COPY. You should read example questions and answers to make sure that you know the level required to pass the exam. DON´T COPY ENTIRE TEXTS BUT TAKE PHRASES AND GRAMMATICAL FEATURES FROM THESE EXAMPLES AND USE THEM.

ORGANISATION. You need to learn the format of each writing task to make sure that texts look the way they should. IT IS THE FIRST THING THAT THEY EVALUATE!

EXPERIMENT. Class time and at home is the best time to experiment with language, You should practice new vocabulary and be adventurous with language. IN THE EXAM, ONLY USE WHAT YOU KNOW IS 100% CORRECT!

USE YOUR FAVOURITE PHRASES. You should have a bank of vocabulary and fixed expressions that you like to use frequently. YOU SHOULD KNOW YOUR FAVOURITE EXPRESSIONS BY HEART AND BE VERY CONFIDENT IN HOW TO USE THEM IN VARIOUS CONTEXTS!

 

USE OF ENGLISH CAE USE OF ENGLISH AND READING – INCLUDES FREE REPHRASING PDF

SPEAKING Advanced Cambridge Speaking exam – FREE EXAMPLE QUESTIONS

LISTENING LISTENING FOR THE CAE

5 thoughts on “C1 WRITING – WRITING A REVIEW FOR TASK 2 OF THE CAE EXAM

Leave a Reply