How to Succeed on the FCE Writing Paper

Want to become a good writer for the FCE Writing Paper? Unfortunately, there is only one thing for it – keep writing. Like with so many other things in life, the more you practise, the better you become.

As writing is a means of communication and self-expression, learning to write well is not only a skill needed for passing your FCE Writing Paper. It is also a skill you will need to make use of throughout your life.

Make Every Word Count on the FCE Writing Paper

The number of words you have to write on the two tasks is the same, between 140 and 190 words.

As each tasks carry equal marks, it is important that you make every word count. Too many students only count the number of words they write and forget to look at

  • how the text flows,
  • how they use the vocabulary, and
  • the spelling of words.

The word count is important – your text should not be too short or too long. However, what is more important is your content. The more writing practice you put in, the more successful you will be in writing within the word limit without constantly counting your words.

Word counting during the exam often leads to poorly structured writing pieces with many alterations.



Choose the Right Task on the FCE Writing Paper

Be clever about which task you choose on the second part. Effective writing is best achieved by choosing tasks and topics that suits your interests and experience.

The Devil Is in the Details
The FCE Writing Paper is full of details that you have to pay careful attention to. For example, many students miss out on important details as they don’t read through the input text properly.

By missing information, students often fail to complete the task adequately and get a reduced mark, or even worse, fail the FCE Writing Paper.

Plan for Success on the FCE Writing Paper

The FCE Writing paper requires you to have two different types of writing plans:

  • a FCE writing strategy plan
  • a FCE writing task planfor each of the two tasks

The writing strategy plan will help you manage your time and could look something like this:

  • Pick the task you want to start with.
  • Spend max. 10 minutes on making a detailed, structured writing task plan.
  • Spend max. 25 minutes on writing.
  • Start on the second task.
  • Spend max. 10 minutes on making a detailed, structured writing task plan.
  • Spend max. 25 minutes on writing.
  • Spend the last 10 minutes going over your two writings and make corrections if necessary.

It is easy to “go blind” when you read your own work straight after writing it. You often read what you expect to be on the page, not what is actually there! By leaving your writing piece to one side and coming back to it later, it will be much easier to spot any potential mistakes.

How to Make a Writing Task Plan

We have included a short video, which explains how you can make a general writing task plan that you can use for any type of task that you write. In our next article on the FCE Writing Paper, we will look in detail at how to write an article.

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