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

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.