Which do you find harder; the Reading portion or the Use of English portion of the C1 Advanced/Cambridge Advanced English exam? Neither is easy, certainly, but with these tips, you’ll have a few more strategies under your belt to tackle Reading and Use of English Part 3.
Part 3 is a Word Formation task. This means you must change one type of word into another form — such as changing a root or word into its noun, verb, adverb, adjective or even negative form. You will have to be familiar with prefixes, suffixes, spelling, and picking up on reading cues.
Here’s an example:
The whole idea behind marketing sports cars was to make them _______ [EXPENSE] and fast.
Where do you even start?
First, dissect the sentence as much as you can. On the whole, English follows the S-V-O (subject-verb-object) grammatical construction consistently. Can you find the noun and verb? Are there other words nearby that create a parallel construction? For the above example, the words “and fast” clue us into parallelism. Remember that “and” must join like constructions, as in adjective and adjective or verb and verb. Because “fast” is an adjective, I can guess that the missing word is also an adjective. What is an adjective stemming from the word “expense”? The answer: EXPENSIVE.
Let’s try another one:
As with any business idea, an honest _______ [APPRAISE] should be undertaken to determine value.
Using the same strategy as above, let’s dissect this sentence and the words around the missing word again. Where is my main noun? It seems to be missing. I see the words “an honest” — an adjective only. Where is my main verb? “Should be undertaken” — a passive modal construction. But a sentence without a noun is not a sentence at all! So far, it seems to suggest that my missing word must be a noun. What is the noun form of APPRAISE? APPRAISAL.
We know that adjectives and determiners come before nouns (creative + hobby or their + goal). We also know that adverbs typically come after verbs (run + quickly or read + carefully). Adverbs can also modify adjectives, in which case they must come before the adjective — which would then come before a noun (increasingly + beautiful + scenery). Using these basic constructions help you decide what kind of word is needed to complete the sentence. Don’t forget to also read carefully to determine whether a negative form is needed. You can decide this by getting an understanding of the overall meaning/feeling of the sentence or paragraph.
For more strategies and an overall preparation of the course, join our C1 Advanced/CAE class at ELC Santa Barbara next year!