|EE-020d| C2: Proficiency – Reading and Use of English [Part 4]

Hello ExamSeekers,

If you have been following the blog on Instagram, you know that during this week, #CambridgeDay is happening online. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not possible to gather a lot of people in a closed place, and we are still under quarantine. So Cambridge decided to keep the event online!

I wrote a text about it a couple of weeks ago, so make sure you check it out. You can also register for some of the events since Cambridge day goes up to Friday! 🙂


If you are, however, waiting for the sessions to start, you can study a little bit more about the C2: Proficiency, or the former #CPE.

So far, we have seen Part 1 – Multiple-Choice, Part 2 – Open Cloze, and Part 3 – Word Formation. Now, I present to you the fourth part of the exam, which is a little bit different from all the parts so far.

PART 4 – Key Word Transformations

In this part, there are presented to you six discrete items with a lead-in sentence and a gapped response to complete in 3–8 words, including a given ‘key’ word. As you can see in the sample below.


This is the type of test that assesses your knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, and collocation. If you read a lot of books in English and you know the language in-depth, you are expected to complete the blanks without overthinking, because these are usually fixed expressions. Let’s check the example give so that you can understand a bit of what I am saying:

The sentence given is, Do you mind if I watch you while you paint? We need to rewrite this sentence using the word objection in a way that the previous sentence has the same meaning, but using this “Do you ……………………………………………………… you while you paint?” structure. However, we cannot change the word provided, but we can add other so that the space is filled with 3-8 word. Clear?

So, if you are familiar with the English language, you know that “Do you mind” is the same as “Do you have any objection”. So you see that it wouldn’t be that difficult to make the change. However, the problem is that you didn’t finish the sentence. “Do you have any objection ……… you while you paint”. You still need some more words. Locate the sentence verb. This is the verb you are going to use to complete the sentence. Moreover, you have to maintain the same verb tense. So if it is in the simple present, you have to keep the idea of a simple present sentence, given though you might have to make some other adjustments.

The way to do that is by changing “if I watch” to “to my watching”. They offer the same idea, and if you use it, the second sentence connects well. So the answer would be: “Do you have any objection to my watching you paint?”. Six words wore used, and the sentence makes sense. The problem in this sentence was changing the “if” but maintaining the conditional idea.

Let’s try again:

You have the sentence: It’s impossible to predict how long it will take to do this job, and you have to use telling in the sentence: There is ……………………………………………… will take.

There is another way of doing that that is by dividing the sentence into parts?

  • “It’s impossible”>> There’s no way/no chance
  • “to predict” >> (of) telling

Again, the first part was pretty easy to deduct. You know that there are a couple of ways of saying something is impossible. And before the ING of telling,  a preposition was needed.

What we have to do is to figure out how to complete the sentence:

  • how long it will take >> how long ____ will take

What is the “it”? If you read the whole sentence, you will see that the answer is in the end: “the job”. So what you have to do is to invert the sentence:

  • to do this job >> the job will take.

There is no way/no chance of telling how long the job will take

Eight words exactly!!! Good?! Well, this is a different task from the other; therefore, Cambridge gives you 2 marks if you answer part 4 correctly, but if you do half correct, you get half a mark, which is also good! It’s not a zero 😀

Well, I hope I was able to help you and understand how part 4 works. Try to do it by yourself and see if you can finish the sentences! 🙂 If you still have questions, please comment in the comment session below. Don’t forget to check the overview of C2: Proficiency Exam here to get an idea of what C2: Proficiency Exam looks like. And also… don’t forget to follow the blog at:

Have a great week,
Patricia Moura

PS: All samples (and dictionary meaning) are provided by Cambridge. And here are the answers:

25. no (way / chance of) telling | how long this/the job/work
26. is | (very) little demand for OR is not/isn’t | a lot of/much (of a) demand for
27. impressed to see/by/with/at | (just) how skilled/skilful/skillful a
28. resignation / resigning / decision to resign came | as a (total/complete) surprise / shock to
29. was no / was not any vegetation | whatsoever in OR was nothing | whatsoever growing in
30. the height of | his success

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