In preparing for the Use of English paper, you should try to learn whole phrases, rather than just individual words. Knowing grammatical patterns and context is just as important as knowing the meaning in many of the tasks in the paper. This is equally important in real life!
All the texts in the paper have a title. You can make use of the title by thinking about what it suggests to you. In this way you can try to predict what you are going to read, which will help you to understand the text.
In this part you are given a short text. This text has fifteen missing words. For each gap, you must choose the word which best fits the gap from the four options given. The main focus of this task is vocabulary. However, in some cases knowing the meaning will not be sufficient; you will also need to choose the word that fits in with the grammar of the sentence.
[insert Part 1 sample task]
Part 2 is a text containing fifteen gaps. A single word is needed to fill each gap. This part focuses on grammar and vocabulary and tests your knowledge of, for example, verb tenses, infinitives, -ing forms, pronouns and prepositions. There may be more than one correct word for a gap, but you only need to give one word. It does not matter if you do not use capital letters (or if you use them incorrectly) but you must spell the words correctly.
Learning words and expressions will help you in this part of the paper.
[insert Part 2 sample task]
Part 3 contains ten key word transformations. For each question you are given a prompt sentence, followed by a response sentence which has a gap. You must fill this gap with between two and five words. One of these words must be the key word which is given to you. This word must not be changed. Areas being tested in Part 3 include reported speech, passives and verb tenses. This part tests your knowledge of the language, but practice of transformations also helps you to develop the skill of expressing your ideas in a different way.
[insert Part 3 sample task]
In Part 4 you must decide if the fifteen lines of a text contain a wrong word or not. Most lines contain errors and they are the sort of errors that learners at your level are likely to make in writing, such as incorrect auxiliary verbs, prepositions, pronouns and articles. The text looks like something that a student at FCE level might write.
You can help to prepare yourself for this part by correcting your own (or your classmates’) written work. This will help you to improve your accuracy when writing.
[insert Part 4 sample task]
Part 5 is a word-building task, based on a text with ten gaps. A single word is needed to fill each gap. The stems of the missing words are given next to the text and must be transformed to provide the missing word. You will need to show that you know the various ways in which words can be formed in English, including the addition of affixes (e.g. friendship), compounding (e.g. timetable) and internal change (e.g. long > length).
[insert Part 5 sample task]