FAQs (reading)

What aspects of reading are tested in this paper?
You will need to show that you can understand specific information, main idea, text organisation and structure, tone, gist, opinion, attitude, detail and purpose. You will also need to be able to deduce meaning (work out the meaning of unknown vocabulary).

How many marks is the Reading paper worth?
Reading, Writing, Listening, Use of English and Speaking are each worth 20% of the total score for the Cambridge English: First exam.

How long should I spend on each part?
There is no time limit for each task; some tasks may take longer than others and you should be aware of how long you need for different tasks. However, remember that each part (1–3) is worth approximately the same number of marks overall.

How do I answer the Reading paper?
In this paper, you need to put the answers on an answer sheet by filling in a box in pencil.

What is the range of text types in each part of the paper?
It is possible for any of the text types listed above to appear in any part of the paper. Make sure you are familiar with any text type that might appear in the exam and with the different test focuses for each part. Appropriate tasks are selected to suit the individual text.

What if I make a mistake on the answer sheet?
If more than one lozenge has been completed for one question, the computer rejects the answer sheet, which is then dealt with on an individual basis. Checks are in place to identify incomplete answer sheets, which are also then checked.

Cases where all the answers have been entered incorrectly, e.g. by putting answer 1 to question 2, answer 2 to question 3, etc., cannot be identified.

You should be careful when filling in your answer sheet.

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