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More about the Cambridge Advanced Reading Exam

Remember: for this paper you have to put your answers on a separate answer sheet. You should do this with a soft pencil by filling in shapes which can be recognized by a computer. (If you are not sure how to do this, you will see an example at the top of the exam paper.)

The texts are mainly adapted from real-life texts that have been taken from English newspapers and magazines. Some of these are rather interesting, and you might enjoy reading them if you were not doing an examination. Other texts might be from things like an instruction manual or an information brochure. The CAE reading exam does not test your understanding of literature, so your text will not come from a literary work.

The material in the test was originally written to inform or entertain readers. You can expect narratives, descriptions and comment, as well as purely informational texts. Sometimes the writer is neutral about his subject, and at other times he has a strong opinion. If you think the writer is expressing an opinion, make sure that you study the text carefully to find out what it is.

It is a good idea to read the questions before you start reading the texts. Read the text once quickly. Then read a second time, looking at each question when you think you have found the answer to it. Remember that the first possible answer in the text may not be the correct one. Once you have completed your answers for the entire paper, go back and look for careless errors. Be careful with other corrections - studies have shown that many students change correct answers to wrong answers when they do their final check.

The best way to prepare for this test is to read as much as you can. Look for articles of about 1,000 words in length. When you have finished, try to explain to an imaginary listener what the text was about. Do several practice tests so that you are sure that you can complete all parts of the test in good time.

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