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CAE Review – Phrase Sheet

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This is essentially the same as my CPE sheet but with the title and word limit changed. Download it here:

To feast/gorge on (eat a lot of)

To eat/drink to your heart’s content

Devour/gobble up

Aromas wafting from the kitchen

Cheap – economical/reasonably-priced

Expensive – pricey/costs an arm and a leg

€20 a head (per person) Killer Lines: Were I to sum up … in one word, it would be…

… left a lot to be desired (wasn’t good enough)

…more than lives up to the hype (is as good as everyone says it is)

… is by far and away the best … you’re likely to … this year

… really raises the bar (sets a higher standard)

… sets the benchmark for other (others will be judges against how good it is)

… ticks all the right boxes

… holds up well in comparison with …

…comes off badly in comparison with … Grammar check list Have you included?

·         An inversion (not only/no sooner/seldom)

·         An inverted conditional (Were we to…)

·         A participle clause (Being…/Having gone…)

·         A double comparative (The more we… the more)

·         A cleft sentence (What is most crucial is…)

·         Idioms

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cae review phrases

Author: Tim Warre

Barcelona based English Teacher, blogger and sometime actor and director. View All Posts

2 thoughts on “ CAE Review – Phrase Sheet ”

Incredibly useful, cheers Tim!

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cae review phrases

Review – examples & model answers | C1 Advanced (CAE)

A review is written traditionally for an English-language magazine, newspaper or website. The main purpose is to describe and express a personal opinion about something which the writer has experienced (e.g. a film , a holiday. a product, a website etc.) and to give the reader a clear impression of what the item discussed is like. Description and explanation are key functions for this task and a review will normally include a recommendation to the reader.

Click to see how to write C1 Advanced (CAE) Review.


Practice, write & improve, cae review example: music.

You see this announcement in an international music magazine:

Write your review .

CAE Review: Example Answer (Grade: 3-4)

At first I was doubting a lot about wich two songs should I pick for representing my Spain, my homeland, but I have decided to select two regional ones.

The first of it is “Ikusi Mendizaleak”. It talks about the place where I was born the Basque Country. The tradition of the song Almost all people here knows it so I think it can be representative for this norther Spain teritor territory. The song talks about a group of people that go to the mountains and see beautifull places with green grass and a lot of forests. It is a great description of Basque Country wich is full of precious, natural places and mountains so worthy to visit. Also it talks about how even al though you can be tired and the path can be hard you can never give up untill you make it to your objective, wich I think is a great and strong message.

The second song I have chosen for representing my homeland is about Seville wich is 1000km far away from the Basque Country. I can’t remember the song title but here in Spain we all know it. It starts with “Sevilla tiene un color espc especial” this meaning Seville has a special colour. It describes the beautifull places the city has and how special th these are for their people. Also talks about how the people there locals are different from the rest of Spain and how happy and well they live.

To summarise if you ever wanted to go to the north of Spain you should definitely listen to the first one and if you wanted to go South to the second, both of them are marvelous places to visit and stay!

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Get Your CAE Review Checked!

Cae review: model answer (grade: 4-5).

Music of my homeland: ‘The River’

Did you know that in China traditional music enjoys just as much popularity as modern Pop music? As someone who usually listens to the younger generation-radio, I could hardly believe the parallel success of the two completely different styles of music – until I listened to the traditional song ‘The River’ for the first time.

Unlike the current number one single ‘little red apple’ in the modern charts, which is full of positive energy and easy to dance to, ‘The River’ provides a deep insight into the Chinese history and its culture. Just by listening to this traditional and sentimental song one gets the feeling of being lifted into another space and time, when thousands of years ago the Chinese farmers were working hard in the rice fields, surrounded by the astonishing sound of massive river waves. If one closes the eyes, one can almost see the idyllic nature of giant China, in front of oneself, long before the Industrial Revolution and wars.

And if you are not a fan of traditional music, don’t be put off by its title. ‘The River’ provides more than simply the description of nature, but it also throws an interesting light on the mentality of the Chinese: the strong mind, the persistance, the never-ending motivation, that still can be seen today.

In conclusion, ‘little red apple’ is for me a good and popular song in China, which can easily cheer you up, representing the positive attitude of the Chinese. But if you want to turn away from Westernized music, ‘The River’ is definitely the Chinese song that I would recommend to anybody who wants to visit my homeland and to learn about the Chinese culture from its earliest stages.

CAE Review Example: Contributor

You see the following announcement on a website, Great Lives:

CAE Review: Example Answer (Grade: 4)

Who doesn’t like to watch, even from time to time, an old movie starring an iconic actors and actresses known all over the world? Marylin Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn – we know them all. Although the last one might be known as well as for not only being an actress, but also a voulanteer helping to fight hunger in Africa. Her latest biography – ,,Audrey’s Hepburn life” tells us the story of a girl, who has made an amazing career, became beloved by millions, won several Oscar awards and was concidered to be a fashion icon. Nevertheless this is not everything that she achived. Audrey always wanted to help other people. This is why after ending her career she decided to help people, who needed this help more than anyone else. The book tells us the story of years of exhausting work in Somalia – for people who needed her help the most. Douzens of photograph present how much she cared about them. The most surprising for me, was the fact that she honestly did not do it to have better public opinion, she was never boasting abot it. But thanks to her fame, more and more people started to get interested in poor districts of Africa. The result was magnificent. Her whole life is an amazing example of how hard work pays off. Propably this is why the book turned out to be such a success. I recommend it to anyone interested in her career and life, I promise you won’t regret it!

CAE Review Example: Holiday

A travel website has asked you to write a review of a holiday resort you have been to, explaining what kinds of people the resort is likely to appeal to, and which aspects of the resort you would most recommend to other visitors. You should also suggest at least one way in which you feel the resort could be improved.

CAE Review: Example Answer (Grade: 2-3)

A dream holiday

Have you ever thought of yourself sitting under a palmier tree with a long drink and with an endless tourquise-green water in front of you?

I’ve got this experience of my life last year when my husband and me decided to have a dream holiday and we chose Dominican Republic, more specific Punta Cana as our destination.

We have to choose from a lot of resorts, but finnaly we made up our mind for Palladium Resort which is an enormous, stunning complex of villas, all having their own terrace.

There are six restaurants with their specific and open-bars all over the place, but ‘the piece of resistence’ is the pool – big, clean, with chaise longs directly in the water and, of course, with its own bar. If you’ll come at Palladium, it’s a must.

I have the chance to try scuba-diving and I can tell you that it was the most thrilling moment of mine. Swimming along with lots of tiny creatures of the sea, seeing one sheep?? sinked and transformed into a refugee ?? for small fish, not to mention the corals, was a dream-life come true.

There are also lots of places to visit, like cacao and coffee farms in the mountains where you arrive in big, old trucks with their engines working accordingly. It’s an experience that is worthwhile – full of flavours, colours and joy. Also, you can learn something about the history of the island. Small children are offering you flowers and they lead the way to the farms for a penny.

Only a weak point – there were few chaiselongues on the beach, but apart from that, I can tell you – is a dream holiday.

Would you pass C1 Advanced (CAE)?

CAE - A Book Review Useful Phrases

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Advanced C1.1

Open world p 138. reviews. vocabulary, no comments:, post a comment.

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What do you have to do in the c1 advanced exam.

In the writing part of the ADVANCED (Cambridge C1) exam there are 2 tasks that need to be completed in 1:30 minutes. The 1 st  task is compulsory and the students must complete an essay. The 2 nd  task is a choice of 3 options (letter/email, proposal, report, review). The word count for each task is 220-260 words and students should not write fewer than 220 words nor go over the 260 mark. STUDENTS ARE NOT DIRECTLY PENALIZED FOR DOING SO BUT THE EXAMINER WILL LOOK MORE CLOSELY AT THE CONTENT PART OF THE EVALUATION AND IT COULD LOWER YOUR GRADE.



It is a good idea to include:, advice to improve your general writing skills:.

5 Simple Ways to Improve your Written English



Example question:

You have seen this announcement on your favourite music website.

The best entries will be published on our website.

Example answer:

The Apollo: The Theatre of Dreams

I’d definitely recommend this venue to anyone, it has a great feel to it and the prices are at the lower end of what you would expect to pay in such a place. They also don’t go over the top on drinks prices, and through it sounds weird, it’s not all that difficult to get to the bathroom which is a plus. So, without a doubt, the next time your favourite group is playing, come on down to the Apollo, oh, and did I mention it is in London? It couldn’t get any better.

Tips to increase your grade It is highly recommendable to use extreme adjectives in your writing and avoid the use of normal adjectives like nice, good, bad. Make sure you understand gradable and ungradable adjectives to be sure of reaching the C1 level on the Cambridge assessment rubric.

Useful phrases:

It is highly recommendable to have a set template for each type of text before the day of the exam to make sure you meet the correct standard. Try learning some of these phrases to include in your template.

Making recommendations: 

Expressing enthusiasm:

Expressing surprise:


Preferences: I prefer (…ing), I like ___ more than…


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Evaluation scale:

All Cambridge exams are marked in the same way but the evaluation scales leave some room for interpretation and are, therefore, a little subjective. Examiners mark tasks using assessment scales that were developed with explicit reference to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The scales, which are used across the spectrum of the Cambridge English General and Business English Writing tests, consist of four sub-scales : Content, Communicative Achievement, Organisation, and Language:

Organisation   focuses on the way the candidate puts together the piece of writing, in other words if it is logical and ordered . THE TEXT MUST BE EASY TO FOLLOW BUT ALSO INCLUDE COMPLEX GRAMMATICAL STRUCTURES AND VOCABULARY.  DO NOT OVER COMPLICATE THE TEXT!  THE USE OF ADEQUATE COHESIVE DEVICES IS ESSENTIAL.

  Responses are marked on each sub-scale from 0 to 5.

When marking the tasks, examiners take into account length of responses and varieties of English:

Guidelines on length are provided for each task; responses which are too short may not have an adequate range of language and may not provide all the information that is required, while responses which are too long may contain irrelevant content and have a negative effect on the reader. These may affect candidates’ marks on the relevant sub-scales.

General advice for improving writing skills:

COPY.  You should read example questions and answers to make sure that you know the level required to pass the exam. DON´T COPY ENTIRE TEXTS BUT TAKE PHRASES AND GRAMMATICAL FEATURES FROM THESE EXAMPLES AND USE THEM.

USE YOUR FAVOURITE PHRASES . You should have a bank of vocabulary and fixed expressions that you like to use frequently. YOU SHOULD KNOW YOUR FAVOURITE EXPRESSIONS BY HEART AND BE VERY CONFIDENT IN HOW TO USE THEM IN VARIOUS CONTEXTS!



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Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE): How to Write a Review


A review may be about a book, magazine, film, play or concert; it may also be about a product or a service. A review in the C1 Advanced Writing paper does not merely ask for a general description of the thing reviewed, but requires an evaluation of its suitability for a particular purpose or audience. The target reader is specified in the task, and candidates should be encouraged to use this information when choosing appropriate ideas and language to include in their response. from: Cambridge English First Handbook for Teachers

In the C1 Advanced Writing exam there are two parts. Part 1 always requires you to write an essay while in Part 2 you can choose from different text types. Apart from reviews, you can also decide to pick a proposal , a report or an email/letter .

Reviews are fun!

Reviews are fun because reading reviews is fun. Who doesn’t enjoy a few opinions from other people before making the decision on which restaurant to go to, which film to watch or which book to buy? Also, in our day and age, we are constantly looking at social proof for a wide range of topics so reviews are much more natural to us than they were only a few years ago when the internet wasn’t everywhere so you might even have written about a few of your own experiences online.

We are going to look at different aspects of review writing, from looking at a typical task and its structure, useful language and mistakes to avoid. If you are interested, keep reading.

>>> Find out how your C1 Advanced writing is marked. <<<

What a typical review task looks like

Speaking from my experience as a teacher and preparing numerous students for the exam, I can say that most review tasks look pretty much the same. The structure is very very similar and once you know what to look for, you can use it to your advantage by saving a lot of time and going into the test ready and calm.

To find the answers to these three questions read the task very carefully and underline the key information.

This structure is usually the same in every task so make sure that you look for the same type of information whenever you sit down to practise reviews.

How to organise your review

Now that we know what the task’s topic is, what exactly we need to include and the tone we should write in, it is time to look at the structure of a review. Luckily, this can be repeated from review to review and you simply have to change the content depending on the topic and main points.

Remember, there are two main questions for you to answer here (Did you learn anything new about the person’s life? Did the book or film help you understand why this person made their important contribution?) It makes a lot of sense to give each of those questions their own paragraph as they talk about different aspects of your review.

Always plan your review

A plan can be very short and only include a few keywords that you add under each heading so you know what you want to write about and don’t have to rethink everything halfway through the writing task.

The different parts of a review

After looking at how to analyse a task as well as organise and plan your review, it is time to get into actually writing it. We are still going to work on our example task and, of course, you might have to adjust your language and content for different topics, but you should get a good idea of what is expected from you when writing a review for C1 Advanced.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom – a review Have you ever been so passionate about something that you would sacrifice your very best years for it? Would you even put it ahead of your family and friends? In the film Mandela: Lond Walk to Freedom we get not only a glimpse of Nelson Mandela’s life, but rather dive deep into who he was and how he changed a whole country.

I gave my review a title, which doesn’t have to be fancy, and in the introduction I didn’t do anything crazy either. It starts with a couple of questions to generate interest and I don’t give away too much of the storyline. Obviously, a lot of people know something about Nelson Mandela’s life, but that’s not the point. Give the reader just a tiny little taste so they want more and keep reading.

You also want to make sure that you keep the reader’s attention which you have carefully caught in the introduction. Treat it like something very valuable that you don’t want to lose again until the end of your review.

While the whole film captivated me throughout, there was one aspect that truly stood out to me. Nelson Mandela and his second wife Winnie had a one-of-a-kind relationship driving each other to continue and grow the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa even after Mr Mandela was captured and imprisoned . It is a testament to their dedication and partnership and something that a lot of us can learn from. Despite having a strong and driven partner in his wife, I still used to be astonished by the fact that someone would simply sacrifice themselves and give up a big part of their life to help others, but this biopic made me reconsider. Witnessing a segregated society and all the racial abuse the black community had to endure during apartheid, there was no other option for Nelson Mandela than to stand up and fight for equality .


To finish your review you need a conclusion in which you summarise what you’ve written up to this point and make a recommendation to the reader. After all, that’s why we read reviews in the first place – we want someone to tell us about a product or an experience and see if they would recommend it or not.

All in all, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom gives some incredible insight into the life of one of the world’s most famous and influential personalities of the 20th century. It would be a shame not to watch it so I highly recommend that you check your favourite streaming service or buy the film as soon as you can and I promise you won’t regret it.

How your review is marked

The marking scheme in C1 Advanced is pretty complex and there are a lot of things for the examiner to consider when checking your review. For this reason, I decided to write an article about how the writing paper in CAE is marked and you check it out by following the link below.

>>> Find out how your writing in C1 Advanced is marked. <<<

Now it is up to you

Teacher Phill 🙂

My name is Phill and I’m an English Teacher from Germany.

I have lived and worked in many different countries and I would love to help you pass your exam. 🙂

Teacher Phill

Nombrado Mejor Academia de Inglés en zaragoza WHATSAPP:676 094 200 EMAIL:[email protected]

Centro examinador Academia de Inglés

Centro examinador Academia de Inglés

cae review phrases


Source: www.rubenvalero.com, paper 2 part 2 – review.

A REVIEW may be about a book, magazine, film, play or concert; it may also be about a product or a service. A review in the Cambridge English: Advanced Writing paper does not merely ask for a general description of the thing reviewed, but requires an evaluation of its suitability for a particular purpose or audience. The target reader is specified in the task, and candidates should be encouraged to use this information when choosing appropriate ideas and language to include in their response.

Don’t forget!

Useful language for a review

What I liked

What I disliked

Reviews of books

Reviews of concerts

Reviews of exhibitions

Reviews of films

Reviews of plays

Reviews of TV programmes

Reviews of hotels, restaurants, etc


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