FCE Reading Paper: The Key to Success (Step 1)

The key to success on the FCE Reading Paper is reading …

The more you read, the better you will do not only in the Reading Part but also on the entire FCE exam as extensive reading:

  • helps you acquire grammar
  • helps you acquire vocabulary
  • improves your writing ability
  • improves your reading skills
  • improves your other language skills such as speaking

It can be hard to find time for reading, so get into the habit of reading when you are travelling to and from work or school. Why not start by reading a book that you will enjoy?

Picking the Right Book
But before you can start reading, you need to pick the correct book. First of all, make sure that your book is at the right level of difficulty for you (Upper Intermediate/B2). A number of publishers publish an extensive selection of graded readers (books adapted to various levels of English):

The books on offer range from modern, contemporary books to your favourite classics. Or maybe you prefer a more factual book? It is all there. Some of the books are also offered in an eBook format.

You should try and read as many books as you can, in as many different genres as possible. Start with the topics that interest you the most, and move on from there.

Form a Reading Circle
Why don’t you team up with other FCE students and form your own reading circle? You can each buy a different graded reader and when you have finished reading it, swap it with one of the other members in the circle.

If you don’t know anyone else doing the FCE, log on to Amazon.co.uk (they deliver all over the World). Here you can buy new and second-hand books as well as sell your own books – just type “graded reader in English” into the search field.

Improve Your Other Skills
Do you want to improve your listening and speaking skills as well? Why not invest in a graded audio book? Graded audio books not only improve your reading and listening skills, it will also improve your pronunciation.

Want to improve your Writing exam? Choose one of the FCE set books. Students going for this option on Part 2 of the Writing Paper tend to get a slightly higher mark. How to explore a set book question to your advantage will be covered in future posts.

Future posts will also cover how you can make the most of your graded reader and graded audio book in your preparations for the FCE exam.

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