B2 First Reading and Use of English for Newbies!

If you have just taken your Cambridge B1 Preliminary (PET) exam, and you are keen to go on and start your B2 First (FCE) journey, once you have unwound a bit and recharged your wits, this article is here for you.

The Cambridge B2 First exam consists of four parts (papers). They are:

  1. Reading and Use of English,
  2. Writing,
  3. Listening, and
  4. Speaking.

For more details, check this out B2 First Cambridge English.

Right here and now, you will find out what Reading and Use of English paper looks like. 

You might have already heard about Reading and Use of English, from either your friends, siblings or your English teacher. Not yet? Worries away! Just keep reading, and you will unveil its mechanism. You have my word!

Reading and Use of English is the most challenging part of the exam, since it is the hardest to tame, and it takes the longest to master. Why don’t you learn about its format while engaging with its seven parts?

What you are about to do is going to be a mine of information. It will show you what to pay attention to and what to focus on throughout your forthcoming English journey, destination B2 First. It will help you a million!

Let’s get started!

You are going to read a story. Throughout its parts, you will be invited to do seven activities. The format of each of these questions is the same one as each of the seven parts of the B2 First Reading and Use of English paper.

Meet Alex and Maya, our amazing teens. Join them throughout their two-day, beautiful journey around their hometown and learn about the B2 First Reading and Use of English paper.

B2 First Reading and Use of English for Newbies! 1

Reading and Use of English

Part 1 Multiple-choice cloze

Task 1 format: A modified cloze test containing eight gaps. There are 4-option multiple-choice items for each gap.

Total points: eight 

Once upon a time in a busy city, two teenagers named Alex and Maya embarked on an exciting (1) ………. to explore their hometown. They wanted to discover the special places it had to offer. With a list of buildings, landmarks, and leisure spots, they set off on their quest.

Decide which answer (A, B, C or D) best fits the gap.

Part 2 Open cloze

Task 2 format: A modified cloze test containing eight gaps.

Total points: eight

Their first stop was the airport, where they watched planes (2) ………. off and land. They imagined the adventures they could have in the future. They then crossed a large bridge that went over a river, enjoying the view and taking pictures.

Think of the word which best fits the gap. Use only one word.

Part 3 Word formation

Task 3 format: A text containing eight gaps. Each gap corresponds to a word. The stem of the missing word is given beside the text and must be changed to form the missing word. 

Total points: eight

At the bus station, they caught a bus to different (3) ………. (LOCATE). They saw a car park with many vehicles and a nearby café where they had a drink. They travelled on the motorway and noticed a petrol station where cars stopped to refuel.

Use the word given in capitals to form a word that fits in the gap.


Part 4 Key word transformations

Task 4 format: Six separate items, each with a lead-in sentence and a gapped second sentence. The latest must be completed in two to five words, one of which is a given ‘key’ word.

Total points: twelve

Continuing their exploration, they arrived at a beautiful cathedral with tall towers. Nearby, they found an old hut that piqued their curiosity about its history. They also discovered a monument that honoured the city’s past.

For some leisurely fun, Alex and Maya visited a cinema to watch a film. They were delighted to find a circus with acrobats performing impressive acts. They also spent an evening at a club, enjoying the music and dancing.

Because they were curious, they visited a gallery filled with interesting artwork and a library with many books to explore. They learned about the city’s heritage at the local museum. At night, they experienced the lively atmosphere of a nightclub, dancing and having a great time.

Complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the sentence in bold. You must use the word given. Do not change the word given. You must use between two and three words, including the word given.

They learned about the city’s heritage at the local museum.


Part 5 Multiple choice

Task 5 format: A text followed by six 4-option multiple-choice questions (A-D).

Total points: twelve

Choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text.

Why did they have a great time at the nightclub?

A Because they visited a gallery.

B Because it was interesting and exciting.

C Because they made new friends.

D Because they enjoyed listening to the music.

C because it was interesting and exciting.

Part 6 Gapped text

Task 6 format: A text from which six sentences have been removed and placed in jumbled (mixed) order after the text. Candidates must decide from which part of the text the sentences (A-G) have been removed. There is one extra sentence you don’t need to use. 

Total points: twelve

The folllwing day, looking for relaxation, they spent time in a peaceful park, taking a leisurely walk and resting at a playground. They enjoyed a meal at a cosy restaurant, trying different dishes from the city’s cuisine.

Their adventure continued at a sports centre. (6) ♦     ? They also visited a stadium and cheered for the teams during an exciting match. To cool off, they visited a swimming pool and had a refreshing swim.

One sentence has been removed from the text. Choose from the sentences  (A-C) the one which fits the gap.

A At the end of the day, they arrived home.

B There were lots of shops where they could admire beautiful shop window displays.

C There, they watched athletes compete in various games.

Their journey concluded at a theatre, where they watched a captivating performance. Finally, they visited the city’s zoo, observing and learning about the different animals.

Feeling tired but satisfied, Alex and Maya returned home, grateful for the wonderful adventure they had shared. Their exploration of buildings, landmarks, and leisure spots had deepened their appreciation for their hometown and created lasting memories.

Part 7 Multiple matching

Task 7 format: A text or several short texts, preceded by ten multiple-matching questions. Candidates must match a prompt to elements in the text.

Total points: ten

Which of the statements below (1-5) are mentioned in the whole text?

  1. Alex and Maya enjoyed the beautiful view as they crossed a pretty bridge over the river.
  2. In search of peace and quiet, they spent a relaxing afternoon at a calm park near the lake.
  3. They found the old objects at the museum very interesting.
  4. The lively music at the nightclub made Alex and Maya dance all night.
  5. After their exploration, they decided to visit a lovely park and admire the colourful flowers. 

Et voilà! You are now one step closer to your B2 First examination. You’ve found out what each of the seven parts of the Reading and Use of English paper consists of. Now it’s time you had a break and recharge your batteries. 

Remember, Rome hasn’t been built in a day. Once you get started, interest to learn and constancy is everything. Good luck!

Stay tuned for more words of advice and handy material!


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