Emma is coming to grips with Use of English which is part of the Reading section. It is yet another part of the exam she feels ill-prepared for as it covers elements such as vocabulary, collocations, shades of meaning, phrasal verbs, and idioms – also called fixed phrases through different types of texts such as newspapers, fiction, and magazines.
EMMA: From what I’ve read about the Use of English, I think it’s going to be the part I’ll struggle with most in the exam.
GORDON: Ok don’t worry Emma, why don’t you tell us what you already know, then we can all discuss tips for tackling this section?
EMMA: Basically, I know there are 7 parts. The first part is ‘multiple-choice cloze’, then there is a part called ‘open cloze’, the third part is ‘word formation’, the fourth part is “sentence transformation”, the fifth is Multiple choice text, the sixth is gapped texts with missing paragraphs, and the seventh is called Multiple matching where you have to find where information is located in a text.
TERRY: Yeah that’s it. So, can you tell us what the different parts involve?
EMMA: Um, yeah. So in multiple-choice cloze, you have to fill in gaps, for each of these gaps, you choose one answer from four. Open cloze is similar, but with this there are no multiple-choice answers so you have to completely rely on your own resourcefulness which means it is more difficult. For word formation, you have to take a stem word and form this to create another word, for example changing an adjective to an adverb by adding the suffix ‘-ly’ or something like that. Then, for sentence transformation, you have a sentence, which is followed by a second sentence containing a gap. You need to use between two to five words to fill in this gap, being sure to use the keyword which will be provided in capitals. Essentially, you are changing the structure of the first sentence but putting across the same meaning.
GORDON: Excellent knowledge of four of the seven sections, Emma. You can study parts five to seven at home. Tell me, how have you been revising so far?
EMMA: Well, I’ve been making sure I’m familiar with lots of linking words and prepositions.
GORDON: Ok, well now we can talk more about specific revision techniques so you know how to revise for all parts.
SYNONYM or DEFINITION
to come to grips with
to tackle, to deal with, to grasp
to find something difficult, to have difficulty doing something
a piece of advice
to deal with something, to get to work on, set one’s hands on
a test in which one is asked to supply words that have been removed from a passage in order to measure one’s ability to comprehend text; a “fill in the blanks” type text
to rely on
to depend on
initiative, inventiveness, self-motivation, creativity
a stem word
root, main part, origin
to put across
to communicate, to convey, to make clear
to deal with, to take care of, to attend to, to sort out
an element placed at the beginning of a word to adjust or quality its meaning
an element placed at the end of a word to adjust or qualify its meaning
an expression, a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words
Commonly misspelled words. Here is the first half of some of the most commonly misspelled words in American and British English.
capitol capital (both words exist)
jewelry (UK: jewellery)
license lisence (US always license)