Bridging The Gap Between Cambridge English Levels

How to align B1 Preliminary with B2 First?

A load of grammar and a steady flow of vocabulary! As part of an English learner’s journey throughout a Cambridge exam preparation course, a lot has been learnt. The level of fluency, though, is still delicate. So much study material that at a certain point you feel no progress is made, do you?  

Why not put into practice everything you have learnt, and build up the confidence you’ve always been aspiring to, the confidence that you can easily express yourself without looking for phrases and grammar structures stored somewhere on your brain knowledge shelves and avoiding repeating the same words again and again? 

It’s PARAPHRASING time!

Today, we will exploit a learning technique that will help B1 Preliminary candidates to reach a sound level of English-speaking comfort since learners will practice restating a statement in other words, without altering its meaning. Besides, paraphrasing is a tool that will help learners make sure there is no gap left towards the B2 First preparation start-off. The reason lies in the fact that in the B2 First Cambridge exam, Paper 1, Reading and Use of English, Part 4, candidates are required to transform a sentence given a key word. Unfortunately, in the B1 Preliminary exam, there is no such a task. I wonder why? It’s true that, in 2020, the B1 Preliminary exam underwent changes whose main purpose was to bring its structure into line with the higher exams. Still, such a task as key word transformation isn’t part of the B1 Preliminary exam. Why not start working with paraphrasing as from the B1 preparation period? It will definitely pay off, regardless of whether such a task is part of the B1 Preliminary exam or not.

How good you are at paraphrasing shows how wide your English comfort zone is. So, are you ready to bridge the gap? I bet you are 😉

Read the questions below and try to paraphrase them without changing their meaning. I will not provide you with a key word so that I do not limit your options. You will be given part of the final sentence, though. Just make sure the meaning of the original sentence is not altered. Then, check your answers. By the way, no more than three words are needed to complete each sentence, compared to a maximum of five words including the word given in the B2 First exam. Good luck!

There aren’t many days when all my friends get together.

There are only …… days when all my friends get together.

There are only A FEW days when all my friends get together.

I might get a temporary job while I’m on holiday this summer.
I might get a temporary job …… the summer holiday.

I might get a temporary job DURING the summer holiday.

Right now, my parents are out having a meal in town.
My parents are ….. right now because they’re having a meal in town.

My parents are NOT AT HOME right now because they’re having a meal in town.

Our town has a new fitness centre.
….. a new fitness centre in our town.

THERE IS a new fitness centre in our town.

I’m always happy when I go on holiday.
I enjoy ….. holiday.

I enjoy GOING ON holiday.

My younger sister is swimming at the moment.
At the moment, my younger sister ….. swim.

At the moment, my younger sister IS HAVING A swim.

We all like staying in bed late in the morning.
Nobody ….. up early in the morning.

Nobody WANTS TO GET up early in the morning.

She nearly always goes out during the weekend.
She hardly ever ….. during the weekend.

She hardly ever STAYS IN during the weekend.

My brother usually suggests going to the beach.
My brother usually says, ‘How ….. to the beach?’

My brother usually says, ‘How ABOUT GOING to the beach?’

My uncle doesn’t spend much time here in summer.
In summer, my uncle only ….. time here.

In summer, my uncle only SPENDS A LITTLE time here.

If you are looking for additional practice to improve your paraphrasing skill, check the PDF below. Once you have written the missing words, click on Show Answers.

  1. TAKE UP
  2. AT THE SEASIDE
  3. TO LEARN TO
  4. TO PLAY
  5. GO ON LONG
  6. TURNED INTO
  7. COOL ENOUGH
  8. SUGGEST SETTING OUT
  9. MUCH LOWER
  10. DON’T WE
  11. FORWARD TO GOING
  12. SUN WILL SHINE
  13. STILL BE COLDER
  14. ANY FLIGHTS
  15. AS COLD AS

How have you dealt with the tasks? I’m sure you have done a good job. If you need more material to acquire a strong B1 Preliminary level of fluency in English, feel free to let me know.

Stay tuned for more words of advice and handy material!

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