The writing section of the First Certificate of Cambridge consists of two parts. In the first, we must write a short essay (essay) while in the second part we can choose between writing: an article, a letter, a review (review) or a review (report). In this article we are going to focus on the first part: essay.

What is the essay of the First Certificate?
The essay of the First Certificate is an essay in which we must express the opinion on a topic presenting arguments for and against and then reach a final conclusion. One of the difficulties in writing the First Certificate essay is that most of the time we have not written an essay in English either.

How to write an essay?

The first thing you should do is read carefully the instructions to perform the task correctly and answer each of the questions. Note that you will be penalized if you only follow part of the instructions.


Reread the essay statement as many times as necessary since your writing should start from that idea. Remember to paraphrase the statement with your own words or you will lose points.


Organize your ideas To do this, making a diagram will be especially useful.
Express and state your ideas clearly, that is, with cohesion and coherence. Help yourself with connectors and certain expressions, such as the ones we present in the final section of useful expressions.


Use a rich and varied vocabulary, avoid repetitions and abuse of the words “wild” and too general.

Separate your ideas into paragraphs: introduction, development or knot (arguments for and against) and the conclusion.


It begins with an introductory paragraph in which the subject is presented.
Continue with ideas for and against the topic to be discussed. Remember that your ideas should be clearly stated, presented in different paragraphs and well argued by good examples and convincing reasons.


End with your own conclusion.

Trick! : Link your conclusion with your opinion. That is, if your conclusion is favorable to the subject in question, first expose your arguments against, then those in favor to make the transition to the conclusion easier.
Use a formal style Avoid contractions (is not, has not) and informal and / or colloquial expressions and vocabulary.


Try to catch the reader. For this it will always be useful to ask some questions and support your opinions with good reasons and even current examples.

Once the writing of the essay is finished, check that you have completed the steps listed above, check your spelling and grammar and make sure that the essay is both understandable and readable.

Data to keep in mind about the Writing of the FCE

The two parts of the writing are equivalent to 20% of the FCE score.
The number of words must be between 120 and 180.
The total time for the two parts of the written expression section is 80 minutes. Organize your time well.


How to improve the writing of the essay?


The best way to improve essay writing is to practice. Remember: Practice makes perfect! Write as many short essays as you can. Do not forget to help you with certain connectors and expressions, such as the ones we propose below, in order to be able to present your opinions more clearly:

Useful expressions to use in the trial
To say what others think:

  • Some / many people feel that
  • Others argue / claim / say / maintain that …
  • Another point of view is that …
  • Many people believe / think that …
  • It is widely believed that …
  • It is generally agreed that …
  • It is sometimes claimed / said that …
  • According to …
  • To express your opinion:
  • I personally feel that …
  • I (do) believe that …
  • I firmly believe that …
  • I partfully agree that …
  • In my opinion …
  • My personal view is that …
  • It seems to me that …
  • To give examples:
  • For instance, …
  • For example, …
  • Such as, …
  • To conclude / summarize:
  • In conclusion, … / To conclude …
  • To summarize, … / To sum up …
  • To add information:

To add information:

  • In addition to this, …
  • What is more, …
  • Apart from that, …
  • As well as that, …
  • Besides (this), …
  • Connectors
  • To show contrast / grant:
  • However, …, but …, nevertheless, …
    .., although …, whereas …
    Having said that, …
    Despite this, … / Despite the fact that …
    In spite of …
    To expose both sides:
  • On the one hand, …
    On the other hand, … / On the other side of the argument, …
    To reason and / or explain:

Because of this, …
because / since …
This is because …
The (main) reason for this is …


Another way to improve is by reading other essays. These will give you ideas. Below you will find several examples of trials.

We hope this article has helped you. If you have any questions about the First Certificate essay or any other topic, do not hesitate to post a comment below. We will answer you as brief as possible.