Wednesday 6 November 2013

Writing Part 3

Writing Part 3
A Story

Characteristics of a good story:
  • It has a good title
  • There is a beginning, middle and end
  • It must be interesting
  • You need to use narrative verb tenses (past simple, past continuous and (if appropriate) past perfect) and linking expressions.
  • You need to plan the content of each paragraph
  • Use a variety of language – especially adjectives and adverbs to make it interesting:
1.         Here is a model question and answer:

    • Your teacher has asked you to write a story.
    • Your story must begin with this sentence.
I was standing beside someone famous
    • Write your story in about 100 words.

A famous meeting
I was standing beside someone famous!  I was so excited that for a few seconds I couldn’t do anything.  I was standing and looking at him.  He was taller and more beautiful than he seemed on TV.
Suddenly, he turned his head and stared at me.  I was petrified!  He smiled and said hello.  I opened my mouth but I couldn’t say anything.  He asked me how I found the show.  Finally, I answered him.  I managed to whisper that I loved his music – especially his last album.  I asked him to sign me an autograph.  Then he shook my hand and walked away.

2.  Did you enjoy the story?  Why or why not?
3.         Read the story again and notice examples of:
    • past continuous
    • past simple
    • interesting adjectives
    • interesting adverbs
4.         When is the past continuous used?  Why?
5.         Is the story easy to read?


1. The story begins using the past continuous.  This sets the scene and helps the reader feel more involved in the story.  The past simple is used to describe the main events of the story.

2. The writer has used some excellent verbs, adjectives and adverbs to describe what happens and how he/she is feeling:
  • Verbs – stare, whisper, turn, manage to
  • Adjectives  -  petrified,
  • Adverb – suddenly, finally

3. The story is easy to read.  There is a beginning, middle and end

4. The story is well organised in paragraphs with a logical sequence.

Friday 25 October 2013

Writing Part 1

Writing Part 1
Key Word Transformations
In Part 1 of the Writing test of the exam, you will be given five sentences relating to the same topic.   For each question, you are given a complete sentence, with a ‘gapped’ sentence below it.  You need to transform the gapped sentence so that it means the same as the complete sentence by using a different grammar or vocabulary structure.
Example:                      Jack joined a football team 5 years ago
                                Jack has been in a football team for 3 years.
In this example, a past simple sentence has been transformed into a present perfect simple sentence.  You need to complete the sentence with the correct preposition.
  • This part of the exam tests your grammar and vocabulary precision.
  • There are five sentences.
  •  Use between one and three words to complete each gap.  Contractions count as TWO words.
  • Each sentence is worth 2 marks.
  • Spelling is important.
  • The questions can test any area of grammar or vocabulary.

Action Plan
  • Read the first sentence and identify the grammar and vocabulary.
  • Read the second sentence.  Decide if you need to change the grammar, or look for a synonym.
  • Underline the words you think you will have to change in the first sentence.
  • Complete the gapped sentence with between one and three words. (Contractions count as two words).
  • Practice as many as Key Word Transformations as you can.
  • It’s a good idea to repeat exercises you have done in the past to help you recognise and remember the grammar and vocabulary structures.

Thursday 24 October 2013

Reading Part 2

Reading Part 2
In this part of the exam you will read five descriptions of people and eight short texts on a variety of subjects.  You need to match each person to one of the eight texts.
The focus of this exam is reading for detail.
Action Plan
  1. Read and underline the key facts about each person before you read the eight short texts.
  2. Read the short texts as quickly as possible to get a general idea of what it is about (scan).
  3. Read again more carefully (scan) to look for specific information
  4. You may need to paraphrase (read and understand the same thing written in a different way), using different words and phrases.  This is where your knowledge of vocabulary is important.
  5. Do not leave any questions unanswered.  If you are not sure of the answer, make a guess.
  6. Eliminate the paragraphs you have already used, or are certain are not the answer.  Then concentrate on the paragraphs that remain.

Thursday 17 October 2013

PET - Writing Part 2 - Short Messages

Do you know how to invite someone to an event? How to give advice? How to give a recommendation? Here is a quiz with lots of useful expressions to help you memorise some useful expressions for PET Writing Part 2 - have fun!