Hello Exam Seekers,
Another week to keep on working with the Reading and Use of English for B2: First. If you missed the previous posts, you could check them by clicking here for part 1; here for part 2; and here for part 3.
The fourth exercise of the Use of English, the Key Word transformations, is perhaps my favourite one! However, I would say it is also one of the most challenging. This is because you need to change a sentence into another one with the same meaning but using the word given. To make it even more complicated you need to write your sentence according to the number of words established – between two and five words.
But looking on the bright side, part of the sentence is already there, so you just need to write the piece missing with no more than five words, including the word given. Do not forget that if you write contractions, they do not count as one word, but as two, so bear this in mind when you are doing the exercises. Also, remember that you cannot change the word given, different from the previous part, where you were supposed to change it to fit in the text.
Still, this exercise is excellent to develop paraphrasing, as you need to rewrite a sentence using a different structure and, at times, even different combination of words to mean the same idea. So, not only is this activity testing your variety of vocabulary but it also evaluates your grammar knowledge. Thus, both are vital to working with when preparing for this part.
Try and get more familiar with idioms and phrasal verbs, as well as structures like reported speech, passive voice, perfect tenses, conditionals, and gerund and infinitive, as those are likely to be in the test. Nevertheless, it is crucial to emphasize that even though those structures may be in the exam, it does not mean that you should not study or know other structures. You should prepare accordingly, learning as many structures as you can, but these may have more preference for this activity, for instance.
In terms of marks, each exercise accounts for up to two marks, which means that you can get up to 12 marks in your final score with this exercise. Therefore, spare some extra time to focus on this activity, and always try to complete it with something, even if you are not absolutely sure, as it can give you at least one mark if you write part of the answer correctly.
Now, let’s work with the sample above. For instance, in the first gap, if you complete with ‘a good idea going‘, you would at least get one mark, since the most appropriate answer to get the two marks would be ‘a good idea to go‘. Therefore, each and every attempt is valid!
For the second gap, the word given is ‘that’, which means that you have two sentences put together as one. Also, you have the adverb ‘so’, which can be followed by an adjective. Since Arthur has the talent, you can say he is talented. Additionally, the other -part of the – sentence would need a personal pronoun, as you have the word could followed by the complement. Since I assume that Arthur is a boy, the final answer would be, Arthur is so talented that he could become a concert pianist.
Now, finish doing the exercise above before moving on to the second sample!
When preparing for this sort of exercise, try rewriting some sentences differently, exploring different structures you could use to express the same meaning as the initial sentence. That will help you be more comfortable with paraphrasing and lead you to make your final grade better, as this will come in handy not only for this exercise of the Use of English section but also to other sections, such as writing and speaking, for example.
Below is another sample for you to try on your own. Remember the tips given above and check your answers with the key we put at the end.
As we have already said, both samples were taken from the Cambridge website. These are from the two samples they enable learners to download and practice for the exam, and they are updated versions, from the most recent versions of the exam.
So, after checking the answers below, tell us about the things you found easy and the ones you had some problems. We would love to understand your questions better to help you work them out to succeed in the exam! Don’t forget to share your difficulties with us as we will work as fast as we can to sort them out with you! (:
How are you enjoying this sort of post? Would you like to see more like this one or would you want us to give you some extra tips when studying and preparing for exams? Share with us, we would love to hear from you!
Have an excellent week,
Eve and Patty.