Exams » B2 First (FCE) » B2 First (FCE) – Exam 1 – Reading and Use of English
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  • Cambridge B2 First (FCE) – Exam 1 – Reading and Use of English

    Part 1 – Questions 1 to 8

    For questions 1 – 8, read the text below and decide which answer (A, B, C or D) best fits each gap.

    The Mystery of Ancient Inks

    In recent years, researchers have been fascinated by the discovery of ancient inks used in manuscripts and artworks. These inks, some of which are over 2000 years old, have turned 1 __ in various archaeological sites around the world. The composition of these inks often 2 __ clues about the methods and materials used by ancient civilizations.

    One particular ink found in an Egyptian tomb was made using a mixture of soot and gum. It had been blended with a unique metal, which 3 __ that it was used for special documents or ceremonial purposes. “The complexity of the ink’s composition is truly 4 __,” says Dr. Emily Carson, a chemist specializing in historical artifacts. “It shows a high level of skill and knowledge of materials.”

    These ancient inks have 5 __ interest among historians and chemists alike. They provide 6 __ not only into the writing practices of the past but also into the cultural and trade connections of the time. In some cases, the ink’s resilience through the centuries is a 7 __ of the advanced techniques used in its creation.

    Interestingly, the ability of these inks to withstand the test of time has puzzled many researchers. 8 __ exposure to harsh environments, many of these inks have remained remarkably intact, preserving the history written with them.

    1 Gap 1


  • Cambridge B2 First (FCE) – Reading and Use of English

    The Reading and Use of English section of the Cambridge English B2 First exam consists of 7 parts and 52 questions. You have 75 minutes to complete this section. This part of the exam represents 40% of the final mark. Here’s a breakdown of each part:

    Part 1: Multiple-choice cloze.
    This part involves a text with eight gaps. Each gap has four choices for you to select the correct word. It tests vocabulary and grammar with a maximum of 8 marks.

    Part 2: Open cloze.
    You’ll find a text with eight gaps, but no word choices are provided. You need to think of the correct word for each gap, focusing on grammar and vocabulary. This part can earn you 8 marks.

    Part 3: Word formation.
    There’s a text with eight gaps. You are given a ‘root’ word for each gap and must transform it appropriately to fit the text. This tests your knowledge of word formation and can get you up to 8 marks.

    Part 4: Keyword transformations.
    Each of the six questions contains a sentence and a ‘key’ word. You need to complete a second sentence, so it means the same as the first, using the keyword. A maximum of 12 marks can be achieved here.

    Part 5: Multiple-choice reading.
    This includes a text with six multiple-choice questions. Each question has four options, testing your understanding of detail, opinion, tone, purpose, main idea, and implication. You can score up to 12 marks in this part.

    Part 6: Gapped text.
    Involves a single text from which sentences have been removed and placed in a jumbled order. Your task is to put these sentences back in the correct place. There is one extra sentence that you don’t need to use. This part tests comprehension and cohesion. It consists of 6 questions, and you can score up to 12 marks.

    Part 7: Multiple matching.
    You’ll see 10 statements followed by one text divided into sections or several short texts. You need to pair each statement with the section or text where the information is located. This part focuses on reading for specific information, detail, opinion, and attitude. There are 10 questions that can get you up to 10 marks.

    General tips for the Reading and Use of English part of the B2 First

    Understand the format of the exam

    Familiarize yourself with the types of questions, number of questions and time limit for each section of the test. Practise using exam samples like the ones provided on our website or other published materials.

    Get regular reading practice

    Practice reading a variety of materials, such as online articles, fiction and non-fiction books to enhance your comprehension and speed. It’s important that you find materials that are appropriate for your level. You should be able to understand most of the words in the texts you read.

    Work on your vocabulary

    Learn new words and expressions regularly, and practice using them in context.

    Use past papers

    Use previous years’ papers to practise and get a feel for the types of questions you can expect in the exam.

    Underline and analyse the keywords

    The first thing you need to do when reading a text is to read the questions and underline the most important words. Then, analyse those words and decide which are the correct answer.

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