FCE Reading Test Strategies

There are three parts in this paper.

Part 1: Multiple matching

  • Quickly familiarise yourself with the main text, the title and headings and how the text is divided up. Then read the questions.
  • Read the text to locate information rather than to understand it in detail. Look at each question and then scan the text to locate where the information might be found.
  • When you think you have located the correct information, decide if the word or phrase is an accurate paraphrase of the word or phrase in the question.
  • Be prepared to change your first answers, ebcause you may change your mind when you read the text further in search of another piece of information.
  • Mark the places in the text where you locate answers so that you can quickly check at the end.

Part 2: Gapped text

  • First predict from the title or headline what the text might be about and quickly read through the text to confirm this.
  • Read the paragraphs or sentences that go in the gaps and identify what the topic of each one is. Use this information to work out how they might logically fit into the sequence of the text.
  • Think about what the articles, pronouns, conjunctions and time expressions in the paragraphs or sentences might refer to.
  • Closely read the sentences before and after each gap, and work out what function the missing sentence or paragraph must have.
  • Make your decisions, not necessarily in order. After filling most of the gaps you may be able to work by a process of elimination.
  • Finally, when you have made all your decisions, read through your completed text to make sure it makes sense.

Part 3: Multiple choice

  • Quickly read through the first few paragraphs of the text to get an idea of what the text is about. Then read the whole text carefully.
  • When asnwering the questions, first decide which part of the text a question relates to. Remember that some questions relate to the whole text.
  • Before deciding which option (A, B, C or D) is correct, find reasons in the text to eliminate the other three options.
  • When you are asked questions like “What does it in line xxx refer to?”  read the sentence substituting it with the possible answers. By doing this, you can check which answers make sense bth in the sentence and the paragraph as a whole.
  • When asnwering questions about the whole text, think about the layout, the type of information the text contains and its style.

For more information and practice, go to the following sites:





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