B2 First Reading and Use of English Parts Five, Six and Seven

What is part five?

Part five consists of some text and six multiple-choice questions which test your ability to understand things like attitude, opinion, details and the main idea behind the text.

How to answer this question

1. Read the text FIRST. This will make it much easier for you to understand and answer the questions.

2. The questions are in the same order as the text – see example below:

B2 First reading and use of English paper part five

Don’t bring your own opinions into the topic and only base your answers on what it says IN THE TEXT. You might know a lot about football, or karate for example, but don’t allow your own opinion about a particular topic to affect your judgement when answering the question.

Be very careful of questions where the answer just seems too easy or too obvious, for example if the word in one of the answers is in the text, then it’s more than likely not the answer. Cambridge like to put in traps for you that can be easy to fall into if you’re not careful.

Worked example

The rest of this article will examine the sample question above and also explain how you should think about the question.

31. In the first paragraph, the writer is aware of

A a critical attitude from Kate.

B the concern of the other actors.

C the need to reassure his readers.

D having been in a similar situation before.

With it being the first question, you’re told where to look and you need to decide what the writer is aware of. So, before you look at the options, go back and read the first paragraph to get the general feel for what it’s about. Then look at the options.

Straight away we can eliminate option A, since there’s nothing written about Kate’s attitude, nor does it say anything about the concern of the other actors, so we can also eliminate option B. So, it’s now between C or D. For option D, there’s nothing written that says the writer has been in a similar situation before, leaving us with option C, which also coincides with the last sentence ‘But fear not, this is all strictly pretend!’. So the answer is C.

Do you see what we did there? By the process of elimination, you can save yourself time by eliminating the options it’s obviously not and you can base your answer ONLY on what’s written in the paragraph.

32. How does the writer feel when Kate mentions the tin can?

A worried about hurting Kate.

B relieved that Kate is just pretending.

C concerned that it may injure his head.

D convinced that he won’t take it seriously enough.

Again, go back to the text first and find the paragraph where the tin can is first mentioned. Read the rest of the paragraph to get the gist of what’s being written about. Then, go back to the options.

In this question, when you read the first option, it probably seems quite clear to you that this is the answer, because the writer says:

‘hoping desperately that I don’t miscalculate the angle and end up doing damage to her face’

However, just to make sure, check it with the other options. For option B, there’s nothing written before or after the tin can about Kate pretending. It’s easy to be tricked into thinking it might be option C because the writer does say he hopes that he won’t damage HIS face, but he isn’t the person being kicked – it’s Kate. Finally, with option D there’s nothing written to suggest he’s convinced about not taking it seriously enough.

So the answer is option A.

33. When Kate and the Writer repeat the fight scene from Noises off, we learn that

A the writer isn’t sure of his instructions.
B Kate has adapted it slightly for the writer to try.
C the writer is initially unwilling to do it.
D Kate has to react quickly to a mistake the writer makes.

How can we efficiently answer this question? Find the part in the text where it mentions Noises off and read the whole paragraph. Then, as with the other questions, look at the options. There isn’t anything written to say that the writer wasn’t sure of what he had to do, so we can eliminate option A. You might think option B is the answer because there is sentence after Noises off which says:

‘One of the fight scenes is fairly close to the one we’re trying out now. I’ve just slowed it down a bit.’

For option C, there’s nothing written in that paragraph about the writer not wanting to do it, nor does it say anything about Kate having to react quickly to a mistake the writer makes for option D. So the answer is B.

34. What does the phrase ‘no small order’ (line 22) tell us about stage combat?

A Kate knew she would love learning about it.
B It is something very few people ever perfect.
C Studying it required a lot of obedience and respect.
D Qualifying to teach it would be a long and difficult process.

Go to line 22, that’s marked on the text for you, and read the sentences before and after ‘no small order’. Without even looking at the options you can probably see that ‘no small order’ refers to something difficult, so immediately we can eliminate option A. Option B refers to something you have to perfect and this paragraph is about getting onto the official register of stage fight directors, not perfecting a martial art. So we’re left with options C and D. While we know that getting a black belt in karate would require a lot of obedience and respect, that’s not what the writer states here and the question is about teaching stage combat. The writer mentions the need for a certificate in advanced stage combat, as well as needing a black belt in karate and proficiency in fencing, which Kate had done before. So the answer is D.

35. What does the writer tell us about the sword fight in the play Richard III?

A Its details need to be made up.
B It’s a particularly challenging scene to do.
C Its action is conveyed through spoken words
D It is widely agreed to be the most exciting of its kind

Skim further along the text to find ‘Richard III’ and read the sentences before and read the whole paragraph again. The part we’re interested in is ‘With no instructions left by the great playwright other than – Enter Richard and Richmond: they fight, Richard dies – the style and sequence of the fight is down to Kate and the actors’. So, it might be option A but lets check the other ones just to be sure. The above quote from the text doesn’t explicitly mention that it’s a challenging scene to do, so we can eliminate option B. Also, the previously mentioned quote says the opposite to what’s written for option C, so we can also eliminate that. Finally, for option D, the text states ‘a famous sword fight’ but not anything about it being the most exciting of its kind, so the answer is A.

36 What does ‘it’ refer to in line 30?

A information
B a fight
C a particular period
D a dramatic story

Just like we’ve been doing with the other questions, go to line 30 (as indicated in the margin of the text) and read the whole paragraph. This question is a little more challenging than the others since all of the options are mentioned in the paragraph with line 30 in it. The point Kate is making is that there’s a lot of information (hint ;)) about what people might have done in a sword fight during that time and it’s her job to make it dramatic and entertaining for the audience. So, knowing this, you should be able to comfortably decide that the answer is option A.

Now onto part 6!


Part Six – missing sentences

In part six of the FCE reading and use of English test, you are tested on your ability to understand how text is structured. You will be given an article with six missing sentences and seven possible options and you must decide which sentence best fits each gap.

Part Six Example


The key to completing this section is to look at the text before and after each gap and identify any nouns, pronouns and linking expressions which might relate to one of the options. You should follow this strategy:

1. Like with the other parts, read the title, sub-heading and text to understand the general idea of what it’s about.

2. Read the text before and after each gap and predict what you think might go into the gap.

3.Look for any nouns, pronouns, contrasting words, linkers and conjunctions etc. Then look at the options and decide which one relates to any of the information you just identified.

4.Look for topic words, synonyms and anything that references what you just read.

5. Go through each question using the above strategy and then re-read the text again with the gap filled in and check to see if it makes sense. Make sure you haven’t used any sentences more than once.

6. Check to see if the unused sentence doesn’t fit in anywhere.

7. Transfer your answers to your answer sheet.

Using clues and grammar to help identify the correct sentence

Working through the exam question shown above, you will see how to use the identified words in the text to choose the correct option.

37. It didn’t take me long to come up with my design: only a day or two. *GAP*. But I already had arrows and angles in my mind because on my course i’d done a presentation on recycling waste water.

What do we have here? The biggest clue for this first question is the fact that he said it only took him ‘a day or two’ to make the design. So the answer is E.

38. So when I sat down to enter the competition, I thought about a field trip in elementary school to a newspaper office where we’d been shown how paper was fed over rollers as it was printed. *GAP*. The three arrows in it look like strips of folded-over paper.

The key information to this one is the part about him remembering what he saw on his field trip. Option B is the only sentence which references to the field trip because it says ‘I used what I’d seen to create the image’. So the answer is B.

39. I think I found out I’d won the competition in a letter. Was I excited? Well yes, of course- but not that excited. *GAP*. So it just seemed like, of course I would win!

The sentence which starts with the conjunction, ‘So’, is the key bit of grammar and line which helps you identify the option before and it’s used to explain a result, which in this case is the fact that he thought he was more important than he actually was. The correct option is therefore option G.

40. I was afraid that it would make me look as if I was interested in graphics, rather than urban planning. *GAP*. I remember seeing it once on a leaflet, which had been produced on recycled paper, but then it disappeared.

What can we predict about the missing sentence? If we read after the gap, he mentions seeing his design on a leaflet, so is there an option about what had happened to his design? If you look at the choices, option F talks about this. So, the answer is F.

41. And it was bigger than a beach ball! *GAP*. I was really taken aback. That was quite a long time ago though.

What does does the pronoun, ‘it’ refer to in the sentence before the gap? You can predict that he is referring to the logo he made. Additionally, the sentence after the gap says he was very surprised (taken a back). Is there an option which talks about what made him be surprised and mentions his design? There are several options which are about the design itself, but if you look at option D, we have the reason as to what made him surprised – ‘there it was right in front of my face’. The answer is therefore option D.

42. Maybe this design had been more important to me than I’d thought. *GAP*. There’s more to me than the recycling symbol.

Now that we’re on the last question, firstly eliminate the options you’ve used – E, B ,G, F and D. This leaves us with just either A or C. The sentences before and after the gap give you the strongest hint to the answer. Ask yourself what does he mean when he says this and why does he say it? He says it because he realises that he hadn’t considered the importance of the design to himself but also that he doesn’t want to be defined as a person who just made a recycling symbol. Option A begins with the adverb ‘still’ and it’s used here in the same way ‘nevertheless’ could be used. The sentence after the gap also confirms how he feels about the design. So the correct option is A.

And that’s all there is to part 6!


Part 7

Part 7 is by far the easiest part of the reading section. You will be tested on your ability to identify specific information in some text, and on understanding writers’ opinions and attitudes. There are 10 marks available and so if you’ve dropped some marks in the previous sections this part gives you the chance to win some of them back.

Part 7 Example

You’ll either be given four to six short paragraphs which are about the same topic, or a longer piece of text divided into four to six paragraphs. The text is NOT written in the same order as the questions. You can be asked a question about each paragraph more than once.

B2 First reading and use of English part seven text and questions

How to answer part 7

1. Read the questions first for this last part. This will help you complete it quicker. Highlight any keywords.

2. Read each title and any sub-headings, then skim read each paragraph quickly to understand what each one is about.

3. Look for similar words or phrases in the text which are similar to the ones in the questions. You do not need to read in detail.

4. Make a note of your answers on your question paper but don’t mark them on your answer sheet just yet because you might read extra information in other paragraphs that is similar.

5. Check the information carefully again to confirm your answers.

6. I always say it, NEVER LEAVE A QUESTION BLANK. If you’re between two options or you just don’t know, put the one which you think it is. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE.

7. Mark your answers on your answer sheet.

Rock on! You’ve just finished the FCE Reading and Use of English Exam!

Go back to reading parts one-four