CAE Essay TopicsCAE Writing Examples

CAE Essay Sample – 2

CAE Essay Sample Book

I recently published a book with 6 CAE essay samples along with 15 other writing samples. They all have feedback and scores.

You can read it for FREE with Kindle Unlimited. Read it now >>

CAE Essay Sample 2 - Question

A student recently paid for my Cambridge writing exam feedback service. I corrected the mistakes in his essay and gave it a mark with my comments, the same as the examiners do. I have shared this CAE essay sample on this page for you because it will help you understand how to SMASH the essay in the exam 😉

Essay Question:

The question below came from the CAE online testbank which you can join here.

cae essay sample 2 question

CAE Essay Sample Answer:

There are so many vitally important factors in our lives which enable us to achieve our goals and dreams. According to a recent article, every person in our society has a unique set of abilities at his or her disposal. The article did not state which factors lead to our success. That is why I intend to have a look at two of them in detail.

It goes without saying that our personality is what has a major influence on our decisions and behaviour. If somebody is strong-willed, it is very unlikely that this person will not stand up to any trials in the future. Hence, making a success of something would not cause any severe issues. On the other hand, those people who are more sensitive and closed would probably struggle with achieving their aims. Since public speaking started playing an important role, it is desirable to be the person who is different in terms of voice, gestures, confidence and other things. In other words, being a person with a strong personality has several assets. Not only is it easier to deliver our goals, but it can also make a positive impression on listeners. 

Another potential way of ensuring success is our qualifications. It cannot be denied, that those people who were provided with the right qualifications are more successful. However, it can be questioned. If we are not able to take advantage of having a good degree, we can fail. Moreover, from my point of view, these people often have a lack of communication skills which often play an important role when it comes to their success. 

To sum up, as far as I am concerned, our personality outweighs the advantages of having good qualifications. If we didn't have a strong personality, we wouldn't be able to study and to stand out from the crowd to be heard.

Examiner Assessment Scale

Before you read my critique of this essay, you should mark it and write comments like you are an examiner. If you can get in the mind of an examiner, you will achieve higher marks in the exam! If you want help with this, check out this page from my ultimate CAE course. If you feel confident in marking an essay, dive straight in and complete this online or hard copy assessment scale.

CAE Essay Sample With My Corrections

Now you should compare the mistakes you found and corrected with the ones I found here:

"There are so many vitally important factors in our lives which enable us to achieve our goals and dreams. According to a recent article, every person in our society has a unique set of abilities at his or her disposal. The article did not state which factors (they do talk about the factors, but they do not say ‘which factors are the biggest in leading’) lead to our success. That is why I intend to have a look at two of them in detail. (The essay is not based on an article, it is based on a discussion.)

It goes without saying that our personality is what has a major influence on our decisions and behaviour. If somebody is strong-willed, it is very unlikely that this person will not stand up to any trials in the future. Hence, making a success of something would not cause any severe issues (I think this sentence could be worded more accurately. It is not ‘making a success of something’ which generally causes problems, but rather the path to ‘making a success’). On the other hand, those people who are more sensitive and closed would probably struggle with achieving their aims. Since public speaking ‘has’ started playing an important role (in everyday life?), it is desirable to be the ‘a’ person who is different in terms of your voice, gestures, confidence and other things (avoid the word ‘things’). In other words, being a person with a strong personality has several ‘good/positive’ assets. Not only is itcan it be’ easier to deliver your goals, but it can also make a positive impression on listeners. 

Another potential way of ensuring success is your qualifications. It cannot be denied, that those people who were provided with the right qualifications are (‘tend to’ may be more appropriate) more successful. However, it can be questioned (this contradicts the ‘it cannot be denied’ phrase in the last sentence. It would be better to say ‘Whether or not everybody with qualifications takes full advantage of these, can be questioned’). If you are not able to take advantage of having a good degree, you can fail (fail in what? Can you be more specific?). Moreover, from my point of view, these people often have a lack of communication skills which often play an important role when it comes to their success. 

To sum up, as far as I am concerned, our personality outweighs the advantages of having good qualifications. If we didn't have a strong personality, we wouldn't be able to study and to stand out from the crowd to be heard (this is too broad, it would be better to say ‘we wouldn’t have as many study and work opportunities or be able to stand out from the crowd in competitive situations’)."

CAE Essay Sample With Marks & Comments

 

Subscale

Mark (1-5)

Commentary

Content

3

There is minor confusion in the introduction where the author states the essay is based on an article rather than a discussion. However, all parts of the question have been addressed. The writer uses his own words to express the two main points clearly.

The writing is slightly over the word limit. Perhaps a more clever use of language would be able to reduce the number of words. For example, using ‘whereas’ rather than ‘on the other hand’.

The target reader is informed but could be better informed if the second main argument and conclusion had more clarity and specificity.

Communicative Achievement

2

The first main paragraph is well developed. You express your main argument and build this through the paragraph using good linking phrases, for example:

‘In other words’.

The argument in the second main paragraph is not as strong due to a lack of specificity.

Your introduction would introduce the essay better if it mentioned a ‘discussion’ rather than an ‘article’.

The conclusion could also be strengthened by being a bit more specific in your language and argument.

Organisation

4

The essay is well organised. There are clearly separated paragraphs including and introduction, conclusion and two main paragraphs addressing two of main points as required by the conventions of the task.

Language

4

There is a range of everyday language as well as some less common lexis, for example: ‘vitally’, ‘strong-willed’, ‘According to

There is also good use of relative pronouns which help develop your arguments and avoid repetitiveness:

‘Our personality is what…’

‘Those people who…’

There are various simple and more complex grammatical structures used to good effect, including first and second conditionals:

‘if somebody is…, it is…’

as well as inversion:

‘Not only…, but…’

Pass or Fail?

I have awarded this CAE essay sample the following marks:

Content - 3

Communicative Achievement - 2

Organisation - 4

Language - 4

Total: 13/20

The student scored 13/20. If the student scored 13 in part 2, they would pass the exam at a C1 level.

Well done!

CAE tip: If we don't know the gender, we often refer refer to a single person as 'they'.

If you would like to see more sample writings with my comments and feedback, check out my CAE essay examples or CAE writing samples pages.

 

Writing Critique

If you have a CAE writing task you would like me to mark and critique, complete the form on this page.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.