C1 Advanced Reading CAE | 4 Key Strategies

C1 Advanced Reading Introduction

The Reading and Use of English sections are combined into one exam paper. The Reading and Use of English paper lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes. Parts 2-4 are Use of English which are more grammar and vocabulary related exercises. Parts 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are Reading. The reading parts test your general understanding of where and how sentences and paragraphs fit within different written texts. They also test you more specifically on whether you can understand the small differences in meaning between similar looking sentences. This page will go through each part of the Reading section and teach you the best tips, techniques and strategy to follow to pass C1 Advanced Reading. Recent changes to the C1 Advanced exam now mean that Use of English part 1 is now marked as part of the Reading paper.

The marking system for the exam is a little strange. Parts 1 and 8 of the Reading section get 1 mark for each correct question. Whereas you get 2 marks for each correct answer in parts 5, 6 and 7.

You can find a full explanation of this on this page >>

C1 Advanced Reading & Use of English - Part 1

In the 'Use of English' section part 1, you have to fill in 8 gaps in a text. You can choose which word fills the gap from four options (A,B,C,D).

Tips And Technique:

First, quickly read the whole text. It is very useful to know what the text is about before answering the questions. This also helps determine the answers.

Your knowledge of collocations is tested throughout many parts of this section. Collocations are a couple of words which are commonly used together. For example: 'interested in'. In English we say “I am interested in....” rather than “I am interested of...”. Find the first gap. Read the whole sentence. Identify the words before and after the gap. Look at options A,B,C and D and think which fits best with the surrounding words.

This section tests how well you understand individual words, their specific meanings and how we use them. Once you have completed points 1 and 2 above, check that the meaning of your word makes sense in the sentence. The four options often have very similar meanings. You have to decide which is best in the context and meaning of the sentence. Here is a video with more detail...

There are more part 1 exercises in my long CAE course >>


C1 Advanced Reading - Part 5

Part 5 involves a passage/text from a scientific journal, article etc. There are 6 questions and you have to select the best answer for each from 4 options (a-d). You might find that more than one answer is correct...but a small detail will make one answer (more) correct. So be careful!

I advise trying different techniques when preparing for this part of the exam to see which you prefer.

Tips And Technique

In part 5, the questions tend to follow the order of the text. Some questions ask about specifics and some test your understanding of the meaning of the text. The questions often ask about opinions or why the author does something. First, quickly read to understand the meaning of the text. Try not to spend more than 1 minute doing this. This will help you with the more general questions.

One approach is to read the question and ignore the a-d options. Decide what you think the answer to the question is. Look at options a-d and see if one answer is close to what you thought. My students have found this technique very useful.

If you are stuck between two options, for example option 'c' and option 'd' there might be some extra information in 'c' which is mentioned nowhere in the text. Alternatively 'c' might answer half the question, but not the whole question. So it is very important to read the whole of options a-d carefully. Check that you can find all the details of an option in the text and that the overall meaning is correct.

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cae reading part 5

There are more part 5 exercises in my long CAE course >>


C1 Advanced Reading - Part 6

In part 6 you have 4 different passages which all relate to the same topic. These are normally opinions of experts or academics. You then have 4 questions based on these opinions and views. To answer the questions you will probably have to decide which opinions are similar and which are different. These questions could be about specific details or more general ideas.

Tips and Technique

Very quickly (1 minute maximum) skim the passage to get an overall idea of the topic. Read all of the questions.

Read the first question again and underline the relevant parts of the passage. Work through the passage from the top. Write the question number next to where you've underlined. You will probably need to underline 2 different sections as this is normally a comparison exercise.

After you've underlined two sections, check the question again. See if you have the answer. If you don't, continue reading the passage until you underline another part, then check again. Do this until you have the answer.

Read the second question and see if you can remember where the relevant information was from your reading so far. If you cannot, go through the passage from the top again.

Underline the relevant information for the second question and write the question number adjacent. After you've underlined two sections, check the question again. See if you have the answer. If you don't, keep reading until you underline another part, then check again. Do this until you have the answer. Repeat numbers 4 and 5 here for the rest of the questions.

Below is an example video lesson. You can find more similar videos and exercises in my longer C1 Advanced (CAE) course. The course helps you prepare yourself for the C1 Advanced Reading paper in the best way WITHOUT needing to spend lots of money on private lessons.

C1 Advanced Reading - Part 7

In part 7 (questions 41-46) you have a text with 6 paragraphs missing. You have to choose 6 paragraphs from a choice of 7 which they give you. Decide which order to place your six chosen paragraphs in the text.

Tips And Technique

Very quickly (1 minute maximum) skim the passage to get an overall idea of the topic. Read all of the questions.

Read all 7 paragraphs (a-g) given below the text. Next to each paragraph write one or two words summarising the topic or main point.

Simply reading the sentence before and after the gaps will not normally be enough. The best advice is to at least read the few sentences before and after the gap. If you have time you should read the whole passage in detail. Be aware this might take a long time!! This is why you should time yourself for each part of this exam paper.

Next to each gap, write your possible answer. You may think two paragraphs are possible next to one gap. Your decision should become easier if you write the letters next to every gap. Let's say you write 'A/E' next to question 41 and just 'A' next to gap 45. 'E' will probably be the answer for 41 and 'A' for 45, unless you've also written them next to other gaps.

Here is another lesson from my CAE Reading course, which forms part of my long CAE course. This course is full of tips and techniques for the reading paper, as well as a general lesson at the end telling you how to prepare for the rest of the exam, how to know when you're ready and how to book the exam!


C1 Advanced Reading - Part 8

In part 8 you have 4 or 5 different reading sections (A,B,C,D/E). There are 10 questions and you decide which section (A,B,C,D/E) contains the information for each question.

Tips And Technique

Read through all the questions and underline the key words.

Read the whole text very quickly to understand what it is about. Take no more than 1 minute to do this.

Read through the first section (A) in detail. Then look back at each question. Write 'A' next to every question you think it answers and repeat this process for all the sections.

If you put more than one letter next to each question and you have time, read through the relevant sections again before making a decision.

If you run out of time or you are unsure of an answer, write anything. It is better to write something rather than nothing.

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cae reading part 8

There are some more useful tips for the reading section on this website.

C1 Advanced Reading Course

"This course has been one of the most useful for the preparation of my exam. It is full of advice, tips and strategies ....I also liked the teacher, who I found very clear and organized. His British accent is simply beautiful to listen to!" Valentina, CAE Reading. *****

This course forms part of my long CAE course. Start now >>

c1 advanced reading cae

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