As a continuation of our Cambridge B2 First Exam series, today we will look at Part 2 of the Reading and Use of English exam.

Part 2 of this exam is known as “open cloze” and has a short text with 8 gaps. Each gap is missing one word. There are no options.

Part 2 of the Reading and Use of English exam tests your grammar and vocabulary. Each gap is worth 1 point.

Keep reading to learn some tips and tricks to help you study and practice for this part of the Cambridge B2 First Exam.

What’s on the B2 First Reading and Use of English Part 2?

This part of the exam tests grammar structures like:

  • Verb forms (perfect, continuous and simple forms, modal verbs)
  • Pronouns and possessives (myself, their, ourselves, yours, mine or relative pronouns like who, what, that, which)
  • Comparative forms (the + comparative, the + comparative; less + adjective than; the + superlative)
  • Articles (the, a, an)
  • Determiners (this, that, either, neither, all of)
  • Conditionals (the words “if” or “when” might be missing)
  • Quantifiers (some, many, a few, any, much)
  • Time conjunctions (before, when, after, as soon as)

There are also questions about:

  • Nouns, verbs, and adjectives with prepositions (advantage of, worried about, apologize for)
  • Fixed phrases (every now and then, by chance, under no circumstances)
  • Phrasal verbs (move away, pick up, take out, grow up)

How to Do Part 2 of the B2 First Reading and Use of English Test

  1. To start, read the text quickly to understand the main idea.
  2. Next, look at the first gap. Carefully read the words before and after the gap. Highlight or underline any “clues” like verbs, nouns, adjectives, parts of expressions, etc.. These words will help you determine WHAT KIND of word is missing.
  3. After that, write one word in the gap. Don’t use a contraction (won’t, can’t, he’s).
  4. Then, repeat steps 2 and 3 with the next gap.
  5. When you have finished, reread the whole text to see if it makes sense. Also, check your spelling!
  6. Finally, write your answers on the answer sheet using CAPITAL LETTERS. Use a pencil for this test.
Student reading

Practice

Try this sample test from the Cambridge official website. The answers are at the end of this post. Source: https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams-and-tests/first/

Instructions for B2 First Reading and Use of English Part 2
Instructions for B2 First Reading and Use of English Part 2 Sample

Tips and Tricks

  • Guess if you need to! – always write one word in each gap. You will not lose points for a wrong answer, so take a guess and continue with the next question.
  • Learn what mistakes YOU make and practice them – everyone is different. Do you always make mistakes on relative clauses? Do you need to learn more phrasal verbs? Try to do 5 practice tests for this part and see if you are making the same mistakes. Once you know what kinds of mistakes you make, take some extra time to learn these structures well. Ask your teacher for help, or schedule a private lesson for help.
  • Make a list in your notebook of new structures – organize new structures, phrasal verbs, and expressions when you learn them. Then, review these structures a few times a week until you understand them well.
  • Practice makes perfect – try to do as many practice tests as you can. Then, go back and learn from your mistakes. Just like a sport or music, the more you practice, the easier the exam will be.

Final Thoughts

Part 2 of the B2 First Reading and Use of English exam tests your grammar and vocabulary. As your grammar knowledge increases, this part of the exam will become easier for you. Keep practicing!

For more B2 First Lessons try:

B2 Reading and Use of English Part 1 Tips

Writing Exam Tips for B2 First

Speaking Exam Tips for B2 First

Past Habits in English – Used to and Would

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment.


Answers

Answers for Part 2

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