FCE Use of English tips


Reading and Use of English Part 1

- Read the text quickly to understand the topic, style and tone of the piece.  Read the whole text and don’t look at the possible answers on the next page: they are designed to confuse you!

- Sometimes it is possible to guess the missing word without looking at the options. 

- Pay close attention to the words before and after the gaps, they will help you decide what words can and can’t be used.

- Now look at the answer choices.  Select any answers that you guessed and then read the sentences carefully, before and after the gaps, to help you confirm you decision.

- Don't spend too much time on this part. You can't find the answer using logic. If you don't know the answer, move on. Put an asterix next to the ones you are not sure about.


  • Autoenglish (commonly confused words, phrasal verbs, preposition combinations, linking words and a timed example question)
  • esl-lounge (18 quizzes)
  • Flo-Joe (synonyms, collocations, phrasal verbs, phrases and expressions, linking words and practice tests)




Reading and Use of English Part 2

- Read the entire text once quickly.  Notice the topic, the style and the opinion of the writer.

- If the missing word jumps out at you, note it down.

- Now read it again more carefully, filling in the gaps while paying close attention to the words before and after them.

- If you don’t know what the missing word is, read the whole sentence again carefully and identify what function it has: is it a pronoun? an auxiliary verb? part of a phrasal or prepositional verb?  part of an expression?  Analyse the sentence to find out what is missing.


  • Autoenglish (conjunctions and linkers, prepositions, determiners, pronouns, auxiliary and modal verbs, multi-word verbs and a timed example question)
  • esl-lounge (18 exercises)
  • Flo-Joe (parts of speech, pronouns, articles and quantifiers, modal and auxiliary verbs, conjunctions, prepositions, sentence level practice and practice tests)




Reading and Use of English Part 3

- Quickly read the entire text to notice the topic, style, tone and attitude of the writer.

- Now read the text again and change the words given.  Remember that every word must be changed.

- The context of the sentences is important because there is usually at least one word that must be made negative.

- After you have changed the word, read the sentence again to check that it makes sense and the grammar is correct (does the word have to be plural?).

  • Autoenglish (conversions: v-n, n-adj, n-adv, v-adj, negative- positive and internal change)
  • esl-lounge (18 exercises)
  • Flo-Joe (exercises on prefixes, suffixes  and difficult spellings)




Reading and Use of English Part 4 

This is the most difficult part of the Use of English. Take your time to be analytical.

· You must use the words given

· You must not change the word given

· You must use between two and five words

- The questions are each worth two points, you get one point for using the key word correctly and another for identifying the remaining grammar or vocabulary needed to complete the sentence.

- Read the two sentences and compare them. Find everything in the first sentence that is also in the second sentence. Put a line through these words, this will help you to concentrate on the part of the sentence to be transformed.

- Look at the key word and identify how you need to use it.

  • Autoenglish (exercises on modal verbs, phrasal verbs, passive forms, verb patterns, reported speech and other areas)
  • esl-lounge (28 exercises)
  • Flo-Joe (exercises on compartives/superlatives, indirect speech, passive forms, auxiliary verbs, conditionals, unreal past tenses, verb patterns and phrasal verbs)


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