CPE – Prep / Writing

Writing without publishing seems a waste of time to me. I never liked writing something only to find it inside a drawer gathering dust. So, in all honesty, I am publishing this for no other reason than the fact that it helps my motivation 😉 If you have comments or tipps of any kind about this, go ahead, leave me a message! I’ll be most grateful. Especially if there is someone out there reading this blog who already took the test and passed it. But it’s okay if you don’t care too much 😉

I just sat down to do the first trial run in preparation to the Cambridge CPE-Test I’ll be taking in December. I had wanted to take that exam in Berlin some years back. But I didn’t find the time or couldn’t swing the money. As most of you know by now, I love everything about the English Language, so this is for me myself, just like that. Anyway, here are the results.

Part 1

asks for an essay about two short texts in 240  – 280 words. Since I am not sure about copyrights in this case, I won’t copy them here. The contents should be clear from the essay anyway.

Who or what rules our behaviour? And is it right?
In the two short texts set to be examined one topic is addressed from two widely distant points of view. The first states that we, as in society in general, have done a lot regarding recycling trash but also that we should not be too hasty to congratulate ourselves. The second text is just short of a defence of human nature, stating that since we, in fact, are bombarded with advertisements day by day and the newest technology to go with, we cannot be expected to withstand the temptation. Is it possible that this issue might, on a deeper level, be an example for a rather philosophic question? The first texts refers to human behaviour following a clear decision: in order to hold on to planet earth as a place to live for as long as possible we have to take care of it. The second texts feels kind of fatalistic, saying, in short, that we cannot help but follow our urges. It seems to be a question of Mind or Subconscious. What is right? To submit to the guidance of our subconscious, an part of our being that, as science states it, decides rather hedonistically, given the chance? Or would it be right to follow the logic of the conscious mind, even accepting some hardship on our own part?
In the end every person will have to decide this question for themselves. The choice of the many will count. But since processes taking place in the environment are rather slow and take years to come to a result, none of us living right now will ever truly know.
(279 words)

In Part 2
you can chose your assignment. Either you answer a question to a set text (these can be found on the official website) or you chose between three tasks. I chose to write an article about closeness to nature, based on one of my own experiences, explaining what I learned from this. The text should also take into consideration the role close contact to nature plays in people’s lives. The article should be 280 – 320 words long.

Mankind has never been further apart from nature as it is today. While our ancestors where still able to tell what kind of weather to expect from simply looking at the sky, we watch the weather forecast on TV in order to decide what clothes to wear on our weekend trip or whether it makes sense to take off to the beach on sunday. And then spend the day bitterly complaining about how the forecast has been wrong. We are living in a time when sunny weather is wanted year round and rain is met with exhaustion and frustration. We don’t know the trees and plants anymore. We really wouldn’t know what is edible. I myself realized how little I knew about nature when my dog came into my life. This little ball of fur has to be taken for a walk two or three times a day. And he won’t be satisfied with a short walk around the block, so off to the woods we go. Year round. Ever since then I actually feel the changes of the seasons. I have learned again to read the first signs of spring. Even more so, I came to recognize the beauty of nature around us which is always there but we never see it anymore. The result is that I have been less sick, I have more reason to enjoy beauty and I am closer to the rhythms of life. Like, a sunny day has a different energy than a cloudy day full of gloom. I do believe this is natures way of telling us how to go about things. We need to be reminded that we cannot run full steam ahead every single day. There need to be breaks. I have come to realize that going with nature’s natural energy keeps me healthy. Going against it weakens me. In times of burnout that is a useful lesson to learn.
(319 words)

I wrote them each within about 15 minutes. I did not yet read them again or spell-check them. I was, however, rather surprised that I hit the target number of words without having to control myself too much.

By the way, if any of your are interested: without much preparation I got about 75% right in the Reading and Use of English parts so far. I need 60% to get the certificate, 80% to get an A on it.

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