B2 First (FCE) Reading and Use of English – Part 3

The B2 First exam is an English language exam that tests your understanding and use of the language over 5 skill areas – reading and use of English, writing, speaking, and listening. The Reading and Use of English paper focuses on your grammar, vocabulary, and ability to read and understand texts.

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What’s in Part 3?


The question type here is called word formation. There are 8 questions to answer in part three. This section of the test focuses on your vocabulary. Each question is worth one mark. It is similar to parts 1 and 2. You are given a text with 8 gaps where one word completes the sentence. Unlike parts 1 and 2, at the end of the line the gap is on you are given a prompt which you have to change in some way to get the answer.

Answering this type of question.

This question type is about knowing different forms of the same word e.g. how is changes – special, specialise, specialism, specialist etc. For this you need to understand word forms, prefixes, and suffixes to answer. Working your way through a book or activities that specifically focus on vocabulary will help with this. Reading is also another good way of seeing how word form changes and how it is used in text. It doesn’t have to be complex reading, a newspaper will do.

Here is an example of a part 3 question

Shopping with bare hands

The future of grocery shopping changed in Canada last Monday when one of the largest supermarket chains in the country offered fingerprint (0)………………..(IDENTIFY) as a method of (1)………………..(PAY) for the first time in its stores. Before launching the new system, they carried out an (2)………………..(OPINE) survey among their regular customers to measure their interest in this new technology. In only 48 hours over 200 applications to use the system were received at the supermarket’s headquarters. In order to use this method as an (3)………………..(ALTERNATE) to card or cash, (4)……………….. (SHOP) had their fingerprints previously registered on a secure database. Based on the fingerprint´s (5)………………..(MEASURE) , the system generates an encrypted number that is then linked to the customer’s identity and bank details. This code is (6)………………..(DECIPHER) except by authorized users.
To pay for their shopping, customers only have to place their fingerprint on a reader, which compares the scanned image to the information in the database and either approves or declines the (7)………………..(TRANSACT) . This process only takes a few seconds. The innovative system has quickly gained (8)……………….(POPULAR). among customers who enjoy carrying nothing with them but their own hands when they go shopping. They seem to be convinced of the safety of the system as the chances are one in 250 million that two people have the same fingerprint.

Try the activity above and see if you can do it (answers at the bottom of the article)

Keep going…….

Needing more practice of different question types is key to being able to get a good grade in B2 First. Having a good level of English isn’t enough. If you like the example above and want instant feedback and explanations on tasks, then take a look at GlobalExam. We have a lot of content like this that you can access anytime on different devices. We help candidates study for different language tests and have a good success rate.

Answers 1. payment 2. opinion 3. alternative 4. shoppers 5. measurements 6. indecipherable 7. transaction 8. popularity).

We also have written articles on the other FCE Reading Use of English Part 4Part 2, Part 1, Part 5Part 6 and Part 7.

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