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The C1 Advanced has 4 parts : Reading and Use of EnglishListeningSpeaking and Writing. Let’s take a more detailed look at what it inside the writing paper of C1 Advanced (formerly CAE) exam. The writing paper is designed to test your ability to communicate in written form. You might be asked to write a letter or email, an essay, a proposal, a report or a review. Remember that each has a different style and tone. Going beyond basic grammar and lexis is expected at this level.

This section of the exam has 2 parts and a total allocated time of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Start reading now and get on the right track to ace the CAE exam!

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What’s inside the writing test?

Let’s look at each part separately and see what skills are required to complete these tasks, and how much time you have for each.

Remember – you must write in pen on the answer page not pencil, and make sure your answer is easy to read.

Man writing a text.

Part 1

This is a compulsory question. You are only given one and you have to answer it. You will be given a short text to read and write an essay on the points in the text. So this is an essay writing question. You have to explain which of the two points is more important and give reasons for you opinions. You should write between 220-260 words.

The skill focus here is to develop points as much as possible to show a range of structures, lexis, and language functions, such as expressing opinions, justifying, evaluating, and persuading etc.

Here is an example (taken from the sample paper on Cambridge English website).

Your class has attended a panel discussion on facilities which should receive money from local authorities.

You have made the notes below:

Which facilities should receive money from the local authority?

  • Museums
  • Sports facilities
  • Public gardens

Write an essay discussing two of the facilities in your notes. You should explain which facility it is more important for local authorities to give money to, giving reasons in support of your answer.

You may, if you wish, make use of the opinions expressed in the discussion, but you should use your own words as far as possible.

Part 2

In this part you will be given three questions and you must choose only one to answer. They are based on different text types – meaning you could be asked to write a letter/email, proposal, report, or review. The skills practiced here are being able to write different types of text, showing understanding of structure, formal and informal language, grammar, and vocabulary. You should write between 220-260 words for this task too.

Remember – both writing questions are worth the same marks. They are not weighted differently.

Practice with us!

GlobalExam is an online exam practice platform that will allow you to develop and practice the skills above, and all the other skills needed to pass the C1 Advanced exam. Our platform has areas for language development, exam skill practice, progress tracking, and a full test to be taken under exam conditions.