FCE Writing Paper: The Key to Success (Step 2)

UPDATE: We have a new and updated article: How to Succeed on the FCE Writing Paper.

Be clever about which task you choose on the FCE exam! 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 on the first paper because the input material is about 160 words and they don’t read through it 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.

The input material is made up of a text and notes and it can also be supported by:

  • pictures
  • timetables
  • advertisements
  • etc.

So, how do you avoid missing out on the details? Systematically work your way through all the input material and make a writing plan.

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

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

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

  1. Pick the task you want to start with.
  2. Spend max. 10 minutes on making a detailed, structured writing task plan.
  3. Spend max. 25 minutes on writing.
  4. Start on the second task.
  5. Spend max. 10 minutes on making a detailed, structured writing task plan.
  6. Spend max. 25 minutes on writing.
  7. 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 will be covered in one of the future posts in our FCE Writing: Key to Success series.

Would you like to have your writings corrected by an experienced FCE teacher? Join the FCE Correction Club and receive your first feedback in three working days!

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