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B2 First Writing Section – Part 1

The writing section has two parts and you have one hour and twenty minutes to complete them. They focus on your ability to writing different types of text in English. Being able to express yourself, understand different styles of writing, and use all the grammar and vocabulary you have, to show off your writing skills is very important. Punctuation is also key! Many test candidates forget about commas and full stops etc as they are more focused on grammar and vocabulary. It is essential to master this part in order to have a good score to the Cambridge B2:First.

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What’s in Part 1?

You will have 40 minutes to complete this writing task. You should write between 140-190 words expressing your opinions. You will be given either a question to answer or a statement to which you will support or argue against.

How to approach a writing question.

When you first read a writing question it can be quite overwhelming. You might panic and think you don’t know enough or how are you going to write about this topic etc. Don’t panic! You can always find something to say. You need to look at the question and decide what type of question is it – opinion, argument, compare and contrast. It also helps to underline the key words in the sentence to identify the topic.
The next step is to make some notes on the topic you choose – ideas for each paragraph and examples that can go in them. This really helps with the overall planning of the writing piece and then you just focus more on your grammar and vocabulary.

Here is an example of a test question.

Some people think success is everything. For others, happiness is all they need. In your opinion, what’s more important, success or happiness?

Write about:
1 money
2 stress
3 ……….……….………. (your own idea)

Model Answer (this is just a guide)
What’s more important, success or happiness?
People don’t always agree on what matters the most in life. Some believe success is the priority, others that happiness, rather than wealth and recognition, is the most important ingredient.
Money and recognition, which come as a result of success, make life easier and can help avoid suffering in some way. However, there is no guarantee that success will protect you from everything. Successful people suffer from jealousy, illnesses, drug addictions and other things just like everybody else.
Success also usually requires tremendous dedication and effort. It often comes with big responsibilities and that can have a very negative effect on people’s health and general well-being. Stress can actually kill people.
It all depends on the time you have available to spend with the people you love. What’s all the success in the world worth if you do not have time to spend with your friends and family? It seems like a superficial achievement.
To sum up, success is beautiful if you are able to satisfy the basic human needs of love and companionship as well. On its own it’s not worth anything. Happiness is a much more complete achievement.

Keep writing…

If writing is something you need more support with and access to model answers, like the one above, then an online exam preparation provider might be the best option for you. Global Exam is a provider than can help. They have a good reputation and success rate helping test takers prepare for their exams. You will have access to grammar and vocabulary training materials and full test practice, including model answers. Take a look at their website and see if it can work for you.