How to pass FCE writing …..Part 3 :STORY

To find FCE Writing Part 1 – General advice /FCE Writing marking system and Part 2 REPORTS – look in the « exam » section of my blog posts – on the right in the purple box.)

If you enjoy writing stories, you have a good imagination and lots of ideas, writing a STORY in part 2 of the FCE writing exam is a good choice for you.

Your story will be better and will get more marks if you include…

1. Three different tenses. You want to show the examiner that you know the story telling tenses, which are:- a) Simple Past b) Past Continuous c) Past Perfect.
Here’s an example: It was raining. (Past continuous) Billy hadn’t eaten for two days. (Past perfect) He saw some apples. He decided to steal them. (Simple past).
Of course, in order to use these tenses you absolutely MUST know all your irregular verbs!

2. Adjectives: It was raining. Billy hadn’t eaten for two days, so he was wet, hungry and miserable. He saw some delicious, red apples. He decided to steal them.

3. Adverbs: It was raining hard. Billy hadn’t eaten for two days, so he was wet, hungry and miserable. He saw some delicious red apples and quickly decided to steal them.

4. Direct speech: “Hey, you!” shouted the shopkeeper, “I know you, Billy Brown! I’ll tell your mum!”

5. Rich vocabulary, good grammar, detail and idiomatic expressions: Examples: Quick as a flash – soaking wet – starving hungry –to grab – to pass away – an idea popped into his head – to go straight (to hospital) (home) – to have a little chat

EXAMPLE QUESTION & ANSWER:

Write a STORY in an appropriate style. Your story must start or finish with the words: Grandpa Jo would be proud of him.

It was raining hard. Billy hadn’t eaten for two days, so he was soaking wet and very miserable. Passing a greengrocer’s, he noticed some delicious, red apples . He quickly decided to steal them. He grabbed two and started to run.
“Hey, you!” shouted the shopkeeper, “I know you, Billy Brown! I’ll tell your mum!”
Billy ran to the park where he found a dry place to sit and eat. He wasn’t worried about the shopkeeper telling his mum. He didn’t care about his mum, his teachers or the police. He only cared about Grandpa Jo, and Grandpa Jo had passed away last week leaving Billy to face the world alone.
Billy didn’t know what to do. He was 17 and had no money, no qualifications, no family – except his mother who he rarely saw. He closed his eyes and thought about his granddad. Suddenly an idea popped into his head. He walked back into town and went straight into a small office where there was a Union Jack in the window. “Can I help you?” asked the man in uniform at the desk. “Yes”, said Billy, “I want to join the army.”
“I see” replied the officer. “I think you’d better sit down, then. We need to have a little chat.”
Billy sat down and smiled. He knew that, wherever he was, Grandpa Jo would be proud of him.

So – to recap – 3 tenses/adverbs/adjectives/direct speech/idiomatic expressions/rich vocabulary ……and always double check your grammar & spelling.

GOOD LUCK WITH THE EXAM!