FCE Reading Paper: Roll-out of FREE Practice Tests

Our articles on tackling the FCE Reading Paper has proven very popular among our visitors.

We have, therefore, decided to run a new series of articles on tackling the FCE Reading Paper. However, this time round, we will be including a FREE FCE Practice Test with every article.

Updated FCE Reading Paper

As of January 2015, students sitting the FCE Exam now have to complete 7 parts on the FCE Reading Paper during 1 hour and 15 minutes. Parts 1 to 4 replaces the old Use of English Paper and you will have to read a range of texts and do grammar and vocabulary tasks.

Parts 5 to 7 are reading texts, and you will be required to read a series of texts and answer questions. These parts will test your reading ability and show that you can deal with a variety of different types of texts.

The FCE Reading Paper is probably the most important paper to get right as it counts for a total of 40% of the overall score on the FCE exam.

Manage Your Time on the FCE Reading Paper

Bad reading techniques are one of the main reasons for running out of time on the FCE Reading PaperNot only do you have to read about 2,200 words, you will also need to answer in total 52 questions in the space of one hour and fifteen minutes.

Good reading techniques are vital and can only be built up over time. The two most used speed-reading techniques are skimming and scanning.

You use this technique when you want to roughly know what a text is about. Move your eyes rapidly across the text to get its gist – that is, so that you get the general meaning of the text without any of the details.

Effective skimming can be difficult if you are not familiar with the vocabulary as the eye tends to stop when it comes across an unfamiliar word. The trick is for you to train yourself to avoid this problem. Why not try out the “Reading for Gist” method described in the FCE Reading Paper: The Key to Success (Step 2) article?

You use this technique when you need to find answers to specific questions. The answers you will be looking for are often short and factual and may be numbers or names.

The most effective way to scan a text is to first read the question and then let your eye run over the text until you find the relevant section. To find the answer, concentrate on this section only. This technique allows you to answer the questions without having to read the whole text. Something that will save you time on the FCE exam.

Unfortunately, to become a rapid reader there is only one thing for it: practise, practise, practise using FCE practice tests and other English reading material.

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