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Kampfbereit machen: Advanced Reading and Use of English Part 6

Getting Battle-Ready: Advanced Reading and Use of English Part 6

 

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CAE - Advanced Reading Part 6

Part 6 of Advanced Reading and Use of English is deceptively difficult. There are only four questions and to answer them you need to read four short texts, which are all on the same subject, and identify which of the texts contain certain opinions. This part of the exam tests your ability to scan the text for specific information and how well you’re able to read carefully to understand opinions. As in part 5, each correct answer here is worth two marks.

HOW TO APPROACH PART 6

The four short texts in part 6 are always on the same topic. You might be given four different reviews of the same play or exhibition, or maybe four short extracts from articles about a particular travel destination, for example. First things first, read the instructions and the title, to know what topic you’re dealing with.

What next? Well, there are two types of question that you’ll encounter in part 6 and it’s worth looking at the differences between them. Imagine you’re doing a part 6 task where you’re given four short reviews of a recent theatre production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, starring Jude Law.

One of the questions asks:

Which reviewer, like reviewer A, believes Law’s Hamlet is not as good as Tennant’s?

(The question refers to David Tennant, another actor who has performed in a high profile production of Hamlet.)

In a question like this, what you need to do is to scan text A to find out what this reviewer actually says about Law’s performance of Hamlet. Then you need to scan the other three texts to find any mention of David Tennant’s performance. Highlight any references to this as you go. When you’ve found all the comments about Tennant’s performance, you need to re-read these sections carefully to see which text claims Tennant was better than Law.

Bear in mind, though, that this information won’t be expressed using the same wording. You’ll need to be looking for synonyms and paraphrases.

In the second type of question, you’re not told which text to begin with. For example:

Which reviewer commends the performance of Jude Law but finds the rest of the cast lacking?

Bravo Jude! Boo to the rest of you!

This type of question tends to be harder than the previous type, partly because you’re not given any guidance on where to start, and partly because there are four possible answers – A,B,C or D – whereas the first type has only three possible answers (e.g. in our example above, the answer can’t be A). Because of this, start off by answering all the type 1 questions, and then go onto the type 2 questions.

What’s more, remember that when it comes to picking your answers, as it explains in the part 6 instructions: the texts may be chosen more than once.

IDENTIFYING OPINIONS

In part 6, your job is to work out which writer shares the same opinion as one or more of the other writers. Either that, or to work out which text expresses a different opinion to one or more of the other texts.

Once you’ve scanned through all the texts and marked the areas where they discuss the relevant topic, you need to rely on your detailed reading skills to understand exactly what they’re saying about this topic.

Let’s look at any example. The question here is:

Which reviewer, like reviewer A, believes Law’s Hamlet is not as good as Tennant’s?

Read through what texts B, C and D have to say on this topic and see if you can find the answer.

B: Could Jude Law be as good in the role as David Tennant was in last year’s Royal Shakespeare Company production? And the news from the West End ringside, so far as I’m concerned, is that it’s a squeaker – and that Mr Law is just ahead on points.

C: While Tennant was a frenetic Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), switching seamlessly between sanity and feigned madness, Law was filled with ferocious anger, snarling and squaring up during the soliloquies, making more compelling viewing than Tennant, in the end.

D: At the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford last year, David Tennant performed the role with scintillating astuteness. Jude’s sexier, though the hair line’s receding – at 37 years old and like Tennant, he’s a bit early middle-aged for the eternal student aspect of the role – and his voice is perhaps too huskily monotonous for someone who speaks almost half a play and over three hundred speeches. But we have to give the contest on points, if not quite a knockout, to Tennant.

Both texts B and D use a metaphor from the world of boxing, referring to the ‘ringside’, ‘points’ and a ‘knockout’. Writer B describes it as a ‘squeaker’, meaning a very close competition, but it is writer D who agrees with reviewer A.

Take away: Remember you need to employ two different reading skills: firstly scanning the texts quickly to find sections where the writer mentions a particular topic, and secondly reading these sections carefully to analyse what the writer says about them. Don’t just start at the beginning of text A and read through all 4 texts carefully. You won’t have time to do this.

HIGHLIGHT KEY INFORMATION

Which reviewer, like reviewer A, believes Law’s Hamlet is not as good as Tennant’s?

To avoid getting confused, first of all highlight or underline the key information in the questions, e.g.

Which reviewer disagrees with the other three reviewers, by finding no flaws in the production?

Secondly, highlight or underline the sections of text that lead you to your answer. That way, you can go back to them and check that you understood the section correctly.

Thirdly, make a note of the possible answers to each question. For example, for this question, ‘Which reviewer, like reviewer A, believes Law’s Hamlet is not as good as Tennant’s?’, the possible answers are B,C and D. However, for this question: ‘Which reviewer disagrees with the other three reviewers, by finding no flaws in the production?’, the possible answers are A,B,C and D. As you work your way through the reading task, cross out any answers you have eliminated. This technique will allow you to keep track of your progress.

Take away: Remember that part 6 is called the ‘cross text multiple matching’. You have to read across four different texts, which could each potentially be the answer to more than one question, and it’s easy to get confused. So, be organised in your approach, otherwise you could get in a mess. Remember: be prepared!

And now, it’s over to you.

What do you find most difficult in part 6 – the fact that the texts seem really similar? Taking too long to complete the questions? Do you have any tips and advice for your fellow test-takers?

Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below 🙂

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