Eye on the CAE: Reading and Use of English Part 5

The Cambridge Advanced Exam is one of the most popular C1 exams out there. It’s a great choice to certify your advanced English level because it’s a very practical exam, which means you continue learning and improving your English while you prepare for the exam.

The Reading and Use of English portion of this exam tests your grammar skills as well as your reading comprehension level. This series of blogs will look at each section and clarify any doubts you may have as well as help you prepare yourself for the exam.

Reading and Use of English Part 5

Parts 5-7 of the Reading and Use of English section of the Cambridge Advanced English Exam focus primarily on your reading skills.

In part five you will be working with a skill known as reading comprehension. This type of exercise will be something you have surely encountered before.

This part is normally quite easy, comparatively, for candidates. You are given a long text followed by six multiple choice questions. Questions 1-5 are typically more focused on details and synonyms (going in order of their appearance in the text) and question six is often about gist, the general idea of the text overall.

Start by reading the title and subtitle of the text as well as looking at any pictures that you might have been given. Try and get a general idea for what type of reading it is (article, excerpt of a novel, etc.) and the overarching topic. Remember the possible topics are the same as those found as the topics for the units in both the Complete Adanced and Objective Advanced text books. If you can’t tell then scan the text with particular emphasis on the introduction and conclusion. This will help you focus on the topic at hand and not be so lost as you begin reading.

Then read the text in detail. One you have given it a thorough reading go ahead and look at the questions BUT NOT THE ANSWERS!

Multiple choice answers in the Cambridge Advanced English Exam are always a trap. All answers will be mentioned in the text and more than one may even be true but not answer the question or not be the best possible answer. So first read just the questions and go back to the text to underline the word, phrase, or sentence that you believe gives you your answer. Only then look to the options to see which ones most closely resemble the answer you have found.

Last but most certainly not least, after you have finished all six questions please remember to check your work. Not so as to second guess yourself but so that you can catch any silly mistakes you might have made. In this section it is very important to check why the other options are wrong. Finally check to be sure by reading the question and your selected answer again in case you missed a negative or past tense or the like.

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