The first reading task in the exam is Task 5 in the Reading and Use of English Paper: six questions about a text, each question followed by four answers to choose from.

My tips for task 5 are:

  1. Usually there is one question per paragraph, so read the first question (but not the answers) and then start reading the text until you find a passage that looks like a possible answer. Compare the passage with the four options you’ve got and make a choice. Underline or highlight the passage that helped you for further reference. Then read question 2 and keep on reading.
  2. If you’ve finished reading without answering all the questions, move to Task 6 anyway. It will save you time. Go back to problematic questions after finishing the whole paper.
  3. Don’t choose one of the answers just because it contains some words or information from the text – it’s usually a trap! You need to really understand the text.
  4. Don’t worry if you don’t understand all the words in the text. This is not a vocabulary exercise and difficult vocabulary is rarely tested in the questions.


How to get prepared for Task 5? (apart from studying English in general)

  1. Read a lot, in any language, especially if you are a slow reader.
  2. Do examples of Task 5, giving yourself around 10 minutes. If it’s impossible, start with 20 or 15 minutes, then slowly reduce that time.

Personally, I don’t like doing Reading tasks online. The following books are a good source of sample exams. If you can’t afford new books, don’t worry – most Reading and Use of English tasks didn’t change their format in the 2015 revisions, so you can buy old, cheaper editions of the books, maybe even second-hand ones:–Audio—MPO-Amand-French-Roy-Norris/9780230463677?ref=grid-view&qid=1491832319038&sr=1-1


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