C1 Advanced part 7 – an inside look

C1 Advanced Cambridge

Last month we carried out a small survey to find out which parts our students found the hardest in the C1 Proficiency exam. The results we got were, to the least, surprising. 98,2% of our students chose the C1 Advanced Part 7.

QUICK INFO ABOUT PAPER C1 Advanced PART 7: Reading and Use of English

  • Time for the whole paper: 1 hour 30 mins (for this part approx 18 minutes)
  • Number of exercises: 6
  • Task: Gapped text (fill in with paragraph)
  • Marks: 12

Let’s start.

In this part you are given a text where some of the paragraphs have been removed and jumbled at the end. The texts are usually from newspapers, from novels or from academic and scientific essays. In order to help you identify the genre of the text, the text usually includes a title and a sub-heading.

The main aim is to decide which paragraph goes into each gap. However, and keep this very much in mind, there’s an extra paragraph that isn’t needed. So, try not to fall for it.

What does this part require from me?

This part of the exam tests your ability to understand the cohesive structure of any given text and, of course, the global meaning. This could mean that, even though, you understand each and every word, you may have trouble understanding the whole text and its context.

What’s the best way to choose the correct missing paragraph?

We have found that the best way to do it is to divide answering this exercise in two parts:

A. Find the important language

  • Firstly, read the whole text quickly. Don’t worry about understanding all the difficult words for now. All you need to do now is get an idea of what the text is about and how the events are unfolding.
  • Next, read all the paragraph options and try to identify people, places, references that were also mentioned in the main text.
  • VERY IMPORTANT! Underline the linking expressions used un both the paragraph options and main text.
  • Underline the different pronouns use in these paragraphs and start thinking about what they could possibly be referring to.

B. Make your choices

  • Look at the development of the main text and language you have underlined before and after each gap. Very often, in C1 Advanced, it’s the language which follows a space the one that gives you more clues about the cohesion of the text.
  • Begin putting in the missing paragraphs you are almost sure about, followed by the ones which you are less sure about. However, don’t ignore the paragraphs that you have already used and be prepared to change your answers if they don’t quite match. Remember that getting one wrong, might mean you have two of them wrong.
  • Read the whole text again to double check the story flows well and sounds cohesive.

Practise this part of the exam by applying the few suggestions above. If you need to practise this part more you can always sign up to our C1 Advanced course.

Don’t forget to visit our C1 Advanced Preparation Group on Facebook.

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