B2 first writing skills with an example and teachers tips 1

FCE First Certificate Course Lesson 10

Dialogue Lesson 10

Dialogue 10: FCE Writing parts

Gordon has now gauged Emma’s needs. He is targeting her weakest points. Terry is also of great help as he is able to reassure Emma through his own personal experience.

TERRY: Ok Emma, so what do you already know about the writing part of the exam

EMMA: Well, there are two parts, right? In the first part, I have to stick to whichever format they give me but in the second part, I have a choice. The word count for part 1 is between 120 and 150 words whereas for part 2, it is between 120 and 180 words.

TERRY: Yeah exactly, in part 2 you choose two writing formats out of six. The possible formats that might appear are a letter, essay, article, report, review and short story.

EMMA: Ok, so I mean if the same ones always come up, could I just revise two and then give perfect answers for those?

TERRY: Well…

GORDON: That’s not a good idea Emma, even if you know two formats really well, what if the subject matter for these two in the exam is really difficult, and it’s really easy for the formats you won’t have familiarised yourself with? You’ll lose marks. It’s best not to limit yourself.

TERRY: Yeah, I remember I wasn’t going to focus on reports in my exam preparation because I didn’t like the sound of them. But I’m so glad I revised that format in the end because in the exam the topic was closely related to my degree so I could write a great answer, if I had chosen the article, the format I was most comfortable with, it would have been a disaster!

EMMA: Good point. Thanks guys. Any more advice?

GORDON: What I’d say is, don’t start writing as soon as you’ve read the statements. Read all the options carefully and just think for a few minutes before deciding which one to answer.

TERRY: Definitely, I had a checklist in my mind to know what to include in my answer. Things like, making notes before writing a final draft, making sure I had used the correct tenses and a good array of grammar, structures and vocabulary. Also it’s absolutely essential to check that your tense formation is spot on. One of the most important things is to make sure you answer the question, stay on topic and don’t wander from it. Oh, and of course; stick to the word limit.

GORDON: Oh, and one last thing. Make sure your handwriting is legible. Imagine if you wrote the perfect answer and didn’t get any marks because the examiner couldn’t read it!

Vocabulary Lesson 10



to gauge

to measure, to assess, to evaluate, to determine

to stick to

to abide by, to hold to, to adhere to, to keep


one of a set of alternatives

a format

a plan, structure, configuration

an essay

a composition, a paper, a dissertation

a report

an account given of a particular matter, official document

a review

a critical appraisal of a book, play, movie, exhibition etc.

a short story

a story with a fully developed theme but significantly shorter and less elaborate than a novel

to come up

to occur or present itself, esp. unexpectedly

to revise

ti re-examine and make alterations to

a subject matter

the topic dealt with or represented

to familiarise yourself with

to acquaint with, to habituate to

a mark

a grade, a score

the sound of something

the first impression something gives you, ideas or impressions conveyed by words

as soon as

the moment that

a checklist

a list of things to be done or points to be considered, used as a reminder

the final draft

the definite version of a piece of writing. Not: the rough draft which is the unfinished version.

an array of

a range of, a selection of, a variety of

spot on

completely accurate, accurately

to stay on topic

to remain on topic

to wander from (a topic)

to stray / to digress / to deviate from the topic, to go off on a tangent, to get sidetracked

somebody’s handwriting

a person’s particular style of writing


readable, easily deciphered, easy to read, neat, plain, clear, intelligible

Exam Tips 10

Connectors, linking words and time sequencers.


  • And.
  • In addition. additionally, an additional.
  • Furthermore.
  • Also.
  • Too.
  • As well as.


  • For.
  • Because.
  • Since
  • As.
  • Because of.
  • The cause of.
  • The reason for.


  • For example.
  • For instance.
  • That is. (i.e.).
  • Such as.
  • Including.
  • Namely.


Logical, or,  sequential order.

  • Firstly, secondly, thirdly. etc.
  • Next, last, finally.
  • In addition.
  • Furthermore.
  • Also.
  • At present,  presently.


Order of importance.

  • Most, or, more importantly.
  • Most significantly.
  • Above all.
  • Primarily.
  • It is essential, essentially.



  • However.
  • On the other hand.
  • On the contrary.
  • By (in) comparison.
  • In contrast.



  • As a result.
  • As a consequence.
  • Therefore.
  • Thus.
  • Consequently.
  • Hence.


  • Similarly.
  • Likewise.
  • Also.

Grammar and Vocabulary recommended Videos

Exercises FCE 10

Vocabulary Exercise

Comprehension Exercise

Grammar Exercise