The Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE), now C1 Advanced, is a high-level, in-depth aptitude exam for individuals who want to promote their language skills to universities and employers. It demonstrates your competence to finish a university-level academic course, communicate effectively at the professional and managerial level, participate confidently in scholarly seminars, classes, and workplace meetings, and express yourself fluently. In this article, we will discuss CAE Writing and how to do well in this section!

Overview of C1 Advanced (CAE) Writing Test

If you want to take the Cambridge English: Advanced Writing exam, you must finish it within 90 minutes. The written test has two sections. For the first part, you need to read material from emails, diaries, advertisements, short articles, letter extracts, and the like. Then, you must write between 220 and 260 words of essay about it. You must choose one of four questions for the second part and read some materials about it. Afterward, you must write between 220 and 260 words, depending on the requirement. The content may be a letter, email, proposal, review, or report.

For Part 1 of CAE Writing, you must discuss a point in the passage. Your essay must include essential ideas and your reasoning in your assertions. The exam tests your abilities and skills. If you want to pass the written test, you must demonstrate your mastery of the English language by expounding your ideas and expressing your opinions. You must justify your argument and persuade your readers.

For Part 2, you have flexibility in selecting a task you want to complete. Also, you have an option on the type of text you wish to use, such as writing a review, proposal, email, letter, or report. Before you write your essay, you must know your topic, target audience, and context. Your response must be on point to receive a high score.

The writing test constitutes 20% of the CAE exam. The examiner will evaluate your essay based on how well you answered the question, how you used the appropriate words, and how you structured your content. Lastly, he will note the vocabulary and grammar you used.

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Tips & Techniques to Increase Your C1 Advanced Writing Exam Score

Tip 1: Know Your Target Audience

Your essay is your direct conversation with your readers. In general, the exam includes the target audience so you already know for whom you must write. For instance, it may tell you to write an essay for the residents of a particular town, students in a school, or enthusiasts of a prominent sport. You must write your article as if you’re talking to your readers and engage them already in your first sentence.

Tip 2: Write an Attention-Getting and Interesting Essay

The article must be attention-getting in CAE Writing. The headline must be able to pique the interest of your readers. The internet calls it “click-baiting.” Your content must be entertaining so that the examiner will finish reading it. You can include a joke or real-life examples to make it entertaining.

Tip 3: Improve Your Writing Style and Grammar

One of the quickest ways to increase your score is to improve your writing style. This includes practicing good flow in your sentences and improving your grammar.

A grammar-checking tool is one of the best ways to improve this. I highly recommend ProWritingAid Grammar Checker, a free tool you can download to check your writing style, including your grammar! While you write on your computer, this tool consistently checks your grammar to ensure everything is correct. By installing this tool, you can improve your grammar significantly since you will know which grammar is correct and which is not.

Tip 4: Plan How to Write Your Essay

Your essay must be easy to read, so you must ensure that you write using clear paragraphs. Before writing it, you must plan how you will present your ideas. Since you have 90 minutes to write both parts, you can spend at most 10 minutes brainstorming ideas. Then, think of your subheadings and short introduction so your readers can manage their expectations. Lastly, you write an excellent ending by summarizing your points and writing a conclusion.  You can also leave a hanging thought so that your readers will think about it even after reading it. An excellent ending links back to your introduction.

You have one hour and 30 minutes to finish writing two essays that are of similar length. The Scoring system is also almost the same. Since it is an exam, you can’t write your texts haphazardly. You must spend time thinking about the topic. Planning is significant if you want to get a high score. You can spend 10 minutes arranging your thoughts and another 25 minutes writing them. Then, you can spend another 10 minutes checking and editing your work.

Tip 5: Follow Instructions Strictly

The examiner will grade your content; therefore, you must read the instructions carefully and follow them to the letter in the CAE Writing Exam. For Part 1, the exam sheet will consist of three bullet points, but you only need to consider two. In writing about the two points, you must include a paragraph telling your readers which is more effective.

Tip 6: Use the Right Tone

The tone of your essay is also essential, and it depends on your target audience. If you write a report, you must use a formal tone because you’re writing to a genuine organization. However, if you write an article for a teen magazine, you must use a conversational or informal tone. Consistency is the key. If you write using a formal tone, you must use it throughout your essay. The examiner will easily recognize your inconsistency and probably give you a low score because you can’t control your tone.

Tip 7: Learn How to Write Proposals, Reports, Letters, and Essays

Before taking the CAE Writing test, you must learn about essays, letters, reports, and proposals. If the exam requires that you write an essay, you must interestingly express your opinion. Often, the examiner will demand an academic or formal tone; you must practice writing using it. On the other hand, if the exam requires a letter or email, you must write with a purpose. You can include your personal experiences.

A report or proposal has headings requiring you to put your imagination to excellent use. The exam may require you to write a paper to evaluate alternatives. A proposal, however, requires additional scope because you need to make a suggestion and use polite yet persuasive language.

Tip 8: Use Linking Words and Cohesive Devices

The use of cohesive devices and linking words make your writing flow magnificently. Moreover, your essay becomes easy to read. If you want to perform well in the CAE Writing exams, use these phrases. Aside from using linking words, you have an assurance of getting an excellent mark if you use complex sentence structures and advanced vocabulary. You need to use high-level words appropriate for the topic.

FAQS About Taking C1 Advanced (CAE)

How Can I Receive a High Score at C1 Advanced (CAE)?

Suppose you want to get a superb score on your Cambridge Assessment Exams. In that case, the best way is to go to the website of Cambridge University Press & Assessment, which publishes the exam questions each year. Take a look at their practice tests, and try to take the test in an isolated environment to see which skills you lack most.

If you have the money to buy study guides for CAE, you can go ahead with your plan, but if you don’t want to spend money other than applying to take a CAE exam, try to look at the tips we have prepared for you below. As always, the best way to improve your skills is through practice, so practice more, and if you have time left, practice even harder!

What Methods Can I Use to Improve My C1 Advanced (CAE) Writing?

To improve your CAE writing skills, you need first to know what they want from you. After figuring out the basic intent behind the writing section, you need to develop your writing skills by practicing writing essays on your own and looking at other articles for inspiration.

Not only that, your grasp of the English language is essential when you want to improve your scores for CAE writing since you will use your arsenal of vocabulary to persuade the audience of your point. Make sure to get the basics down first, and try to improve your skills when you have left.

Cambridge English: Advanced (now C1 Advanced) is an excellent certification for students and employees. It is a viable tool for people to highlight their English speaking and writing skills. Preparing for the written exam isn’t difficult because we have provided some of the sought-after tips for you to pass it.


We hope that this article on CAE Writing Exam was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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