CAE Email Introduction
All the time students ask me "Rory, can you help me write a CAE email?"
Do you know how to effectively write a C1 Advanced: CAE email? If not, this page is for you.
A CAE Email is an optional writing task in part 2 of the C1 Advanced Cambridge English exam writing paper. It might not appear in the exam because in part 2 students answer 1 question from a choice of 3. Those 3 questions come from 5 different writing tasks.
If you can't remember the format of the writing paper, go back to this page >>
Below you will find a video of the examiner's assessment scale. This is what the examiners use to mark your writings. If you understand this scale and how the examiners mark, you will get a much higher score in the writing paper.
Below that, I have put a video where you learn what to do in order to write a successful CAE email. I have also written a transcript from the video!
Finally I show you some real example C1 emails. I mark them and give feedback based on the examiner's assessment scale.
C1 Emails - Transcript Summary
So step number one, make sure you know how the examiners mark the exam.
Step number two, make sure you know what the examiners are looking for from an email.
Step number three, do practice examples before the exam.
Step number four, at the beginning take two minutes to read the question and underline the most important parts. Watch out for the target reader, watch out for what the question is asking you to do.
Step number five, take five minutes after you've read the question, after you've underlined the important parts, five minutes to plan your answer. Think about the structure, think about what you're asked to do, who the target
Step number six, take 30 to 35 minutes to write your answer, develop your points properly, link your paragraphs together well. Make sure you've answered all the parts of the question and again are targeting the target reader and make sure you try to use a few complicated grammar or vocabulary structures.
Step number seven, take three to eight minutes to read your work at the end making sure that it's easy to follow.
Step number eight, look how long your writing is when you're practising, so you know how long your writing needs to be in the exam.
Okay guys so there was a lot of information there for you......"
CAE Email Sample 1
Read the sample below which a student submitted via my CAE writing assessment service and
- See if you can find any errors in the writing.
- Try to correct these errors. You can print out this page to do this, or write the errors down on a separate sheet of paper.
- Complete the examiner's assessment scale template.
- I also completed steps (1-3) and made a video critiquing the answer 😉 watch my video below...
The question has come from: https://www.flo-joe.co.uk/cae/students/writing/makeover/makeover6.htm
I am writing to you in connection with the recent decision from the management to close down the sports and the leisure center which I discussed with my subordinates in a meeting where they unanimously opposed the closure of the club. Therefore, they want the decision reconsidered to find some other alternatives to cost cutting.
The first reason is that many employees visit leisure club on daily basis for different physical activities as well as mental relaxation. Because, the games in the club not only keep them physically active but also they get mental relief too so employees after stressful work throughout the day get many psycho physiological benefits which directly or indirectly enhance the productivity of the company. Furthermore, a scientific research has proved that workers having no after-work leisure activities are less productive and creative compared to those engaging in such post-work physical activities.
The sales team due to pressure of achieving the target struggle much with their focus on work whereas, the table tennis, swimming in the pool require good amount of concentration which is helpful to develop focus in the sales employees. Many employees after hectic work routine want to socialize with their colleagues in an informal setting where they could share their daily challenges with one another and in my opinion, there is no better place than meeting lobby in the leisure club.
Thus, on behalf of the colleagues, I would like to request you to change the decision and find out some possible alternatives to cost saving.
I am looking forward hearing from you.
Examiner's Assessment Scale Template
CAE Email Critique
This is a good answer but I would possibly suggest a way the company could save costs. Remember to read through your work after writing. There are some language mistakes which I think you could fix yourself if you read over your work.
CAE Email Pass or Fail?
Content - 4
Communicative Achievement - 4
Organisation - 4
Language - 3
In my opinion, this email is good enough to pass the second part of the writing paper. The student would need to get 9/20 for the part 1 essay in order to pass the writing paper. Find out more about calculating your CAE score here >>
CAE Email Example 2
- Read the email question below and then read the sample answer my student wrote.
- Right click and print off the example answer if it's easier (you should be able to save the image).
- Write down any extra mistakes you find in the writing and make any corrections you think are appropriate.
- Download the examiner's assessment scale here and complete this.
- When you finish doing these 4 things, jump up and down with a BIG SMILE on your face - it's a lot of work doing the 4 steps above, but believe me, doing this will drastically improve your chances of success in the exam!
Your local sport and leisure club is having to shut down as the international company who operate it cannot afford to keep it running. You have organised a discussion with local residents and a few points were made:
Children frequently use the club.
The company should consider ways to keep it open and try to make it more profitable.
Action: write an email for the local residents asking the Managing Director of the company to reconsider.
Write your email to the Managing Director. (Between 220 and 260 words)
CAE Email Sample 2 - Critique
The content could be more focussed on the ways in which to keep the club open and less on the previous flaws of the club including how they managed the situation poorly.
Some complex grammatical structures are used in lengthy sentences and while it is good to show this variety, it can also interrupt the flow of your writing at times, meaning the ideas get lost slightly.
The overall organisation of the writing is fine with a strong introduction and conclusion. Sometimes the organisation within a paragraph is let down due to the language.
I would write an appropriate ending, for example ‘Yours faithfully,
|You have used some less common words and phrases appropriately, ‘needless to say…’|
But sometimes because you are using complicated structures, it makes it more difficult to read and understand the ideas.The language is also a little informal at times because the email is to a ‘Managing Director’, for example, using ‘- -’, ‘...’ and ‘?’
CAE Email Sample 2 - Mark
Content = 3
Communicative Achievement = 3
Organisation = 3
Language = 2
Total = 11/20
If you got the same marks for the essay in Part 1 of the Writing exam, you would get 22/40 in total which would be a narrow fail in this paper.
You need to average 60% or more across all 5 exam papers in order to pass.
Your certificate will show you have a B2 level of English if you are close to 60%.
If you have any other questions about this part of the exam, I might have answered them here.
You can send me a writing task to mark here.
CAE Email Example 3
If you would like to see me critiquing another real CAE student's email writing, you should watch the next video. There is some really useful guidance in the video for you as well:
Sorry, this video is available for members only. Register here >>
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CAE Email & Other C1 Writing Samples Book
Before I show you how to write the perfect CAE email. I quickly want to tell you about an e-book I just published:
There are 3 sample emails inside as well as 18 other writings. They all have examiner style critique and you can read it for FREE with Kindle Unlimited. Check it out here >>
See this page for online exercises. Below are some exercises that you can print and your students can complete in class:
- Fill in this worksheet with information from this video.
- Read this email question.
- Write a plan for the email question here. Try to complete the plan in under 5 minutes.
- Print and read this email. Correct any mistakes you spot.
- I found some mistakes. Did you find the same ones?
- Mark and write comments about the email on this assessment scale.
- How similar is your assessment scale to mine?