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B2 First (FCE) Reading and Use of English – Part 6

The B2 First (FCE) tests your ability in English across a range of skills – reading, writing, listening, speaking, and Use of English. You need to score a minimum of 160 points to receive a grade. You will be given a grade for each skill area and an overall grade. The certificate never expires but be aware some employers etc might ask for a more updated one if it is too old. Whether you take the exam for a specific purpose or as a personal test for yourself, it is a great achievement.

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What’s in Part 6?

The question type you will need to answer here is gapped text. This means that you are given a reading passage that has sentences missing. Below the text are the missing sentences in the wrong order. You have to decide which sentences belongs in which gap. There are 6 questions in this section and each one is worth 2 marks. The skill being focused on here is being able to understand the structure and development of a text. There is also an extra sentence in the answer choices.

How to answer this?

There are different ways to approach this. One way is to read the text up to the gap and the sentence below, then find the sentence that best fits. Underlining the key words in the missing sentences is also good practice and will help focus the meaning of the sentence. This can also be good to do in the sentence before and after the gap. You have to choose the method that helps you understand better.

Here is an example of a part 6 question.


Einstein rarely wore socks and he avoided the telephone. He didn´t drink any liquor and served none to his guests, who were offered tea or ginger ale instead. MISSING SENTENCE 1 But sometimes he would rise abruptly – even in the middle of a sentence – and state apologetically yet firmly, ‘I have to work now’. He would then retire to his study without any further ceremony, leaving it to his wife and faithful secretary to entertain the guests a little longer. There was nothing in the least offensive about this. It was obvious that on such occasions Einstein’s brain had suddenly begun to spin and, without further delay, he ‘had to work’ whether he or anybody else liked it or not. It seemed as though he had received orders from elsewhere, and he followed them good-naturedly, expecting the very same attitude from everyone around him.
Even if his behaviour seemed unusual at times, he never played the eccentric. He merely did as he pleased, and was therefore almost always pleased. He didn’t enjoy going to barbershops, for example, and therefore never went. MISSING SENTENCE 2 Once an excited fellow astronomer called him from India to tell him about a breathtaking discovery. Einstein told his secretary to advise the impatient Indian to sit down and write him a letter instead. ‘If he really has made an important discovery, it certainly should keep for a week or two’.
In his later years he contributed to the world of science and mathematics becoming one of the most famous scientists of all time. MISSING SENTENCE 3 He lived in his simple house in Princeton, New Jersey, and didn’t permit himself any luxuries except to sail occasionally in his small boat. Once, at 71, he capsized and had to be pulled out of the water. But this did not dampen his enthusiasm for the sport. Einstein also enjoyed playing the violin and the piano. The difference was that on the violin he played a considerable range of standard compositions, while he used the piano mostly to play his own creations as they came to him while he played.
MISSING SENTENCE 4 He once carried on a lengthy conversation with a 12-year-old boy on the subject of whether the earth was turning or not. The boy took the position that is just didn´t seem as though the earth was turning and that he therefore didn´t believe it. Einstein told the boy that he was merely stuck in the pre-Galilean view, that astronomical observations indicated that either the entire universe with all constellations was turning around the earth in the most complicated and improbable fashion or that the earth, too, was moving in certain ways, and that of the two explanations the second one was by far the more probable. When the boy replied that there might be a third as yet undiscovered answer, Einstein said, ‘Of course. But have you found it? If so, we shall discuss it.’
Before Einstein died, he regained consciousness during his first night at the hospital, after having lost it in the afternoon. He talked for quite a while. MISSING SENTENCE 5 Nurses and doctors were more concerned about the patient’s physical situation than his parting words. They didn´t know German and merely recorded the fact that he spoke. In this way his last words were lost forever. Whether this is a misfortune for humanity or not, it seems a form of higher justice. MISSING SENTENCE 6 What he said on his deathbed he might not have intended for posterity, anyway.

A. However, Einstein didn’t feel that his fame or accomplishments entitled him to any particular privileges.
B. Every person who talked to Einstein was taken completely seriously by him.
C. He never hurried and never permitted anyone to hurry him.
D. Generally speaking, he was a polite and pleasant host.
E. People were always very shy around him and didn’t dare to ask him any questions.
F. Einstein didn’t seem to be a man who expressed every thought that came to his mind.
G. The problem was he did so in his German mother tongue, and it was one of those tragic, or perhaps not so tragic, turns of fate that there was nobody around who knew German.

I need more practice! What can I do?

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We also have written articles on the other FCE Reading Use of English Part 4Part 2Part 3Part 5, Part 1, and Part 7.