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[Essay] Preparing for CPE, could you please rate my writing tasks?

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New member
Feb 9, 2013
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Home Country
Russian Federation
Current Location
Dear Members of UsingEnglish,
For a long time I've been a passive spectator of the forum, and now I've finally decided to register. I must say that during the time I was just an anonymous visitor, I've noticed the friendliness and proficient expression of English that most of you have. Seeing that there are so many members on this forum having an outstanding skill in English, I would like to ask you, please, to rate my compositions written bellow.

The reason for me asking you to do such a task is that, I'm planning to realise a CPE exam within a month, and I would like to know if I am prepared, and if not, what should I improve.

Checking Use of English and Listening answers is easy, you've got an answer sheet for this, but the evaluation of written material depends solely on the examiner.

So, I'd like you to imagine, if this isn't too much to ask, to be an examiner, and rate the following English compositions of mine: an essay and a proposal. If possible, give me an out of 10 rating on the following aspects of the composition:
Content, Range of vocabulary and gramatical structures, Organisation, Register, Target reader - Impression made on you, Language accuracy
but if not, any feedback would be utteryly appreciated!

Write an essay summarising and evaluating the key points from both texts. Use your own words
throughout as far as possible, and include your own ideas in your answers.
Write your answer in 240 – 280 words.

The Excitement of Advertising
Outdoor advertising has to attract, engage and persuade potential customers; it
is the most important way of grabbing customers’ attention and outdoor media
continue to undergo a transformation. At the core of this transformation is the
digital screen media, which encompass everything from giant screens to digital
billboards. The technology is cheap and advertising agencies rave about the
creative possibilities for advertisements which entertain, amuse, inform, make
the environment brighter and enliven the world we live in.

Advertising: an undesirable business
Once upon a time outdoor advertising was straightforward. Posters were stuck up
on anything from a bus shelter to a motorway hoarding. Many people considered
this kind of advertising to be fairly dull, a harmless blot on the landscape and
chose to ignore it. These people now regard digital advertising as a form of
unwanted, creeping commercialisation: it attracts a buzz simply because it is new.
They feel that any advertising which targets children or vulnerable adults is a
dubious practice at the best of times, and digital advertising is, moreover, wasteful,
damaging to the environment and completely unnecessary.

Advertising formed a common practice among our ancestors, which appeared right after commerce was developed and popularized. Not surprisingly, the very same advertising practice, albeit in a slightly different form, still constitutes a frequently practiced behaviour, especially among enterprises and businessmen, now a days.

With the course of time, however, the advertising methods have evolved, for the most part, in more and more sophisticated ones. While not-so-long time ago outdoor advertising was a common marketing process, it has been in a large part replaced by modern technologies.

This type of advertising was pretty simple - usually it consisted of grabbing the potential customers' attention through a poster or a billboard with the intention of persuading them of some idea. Modern advertising has caused a complete revolution in this system. This revolution has as its foreground the use of digital technologies - flashing billboards, multimedia, giant screens - with the purpose of not only grabbing the customers attention and convincing them of some concept, but doing so through entertainment, amusement and interaction with this proto-customer.

Advertising agencies are tremendously delighted about their achievements in this sector of business, and indubitably will continue to innovate it with their inventions.

The "potential customers" point of view, that is, the belief sustained by the people the advertisements are trying to target, and those who they are not, is utterly different, however. While the outdoor variants of the se advertisements were seen by these as a pointless visual containation prone to be ignored, digital advertising is a far more complex issue. Not only it is an unwanted and undesired practice, which drains peoples valuable time and natural resources such as energy, but it also ocassions damage to vulnerable sectors of the population, such as children.

In my belief, which is based on the above affirmations, advertising constitutes and important field of commerce, and it has always constituted it, and thus is cannot be eliminated.
It's toll on the environment, however, as well as the psychological damage it could cause to vulnerable persons, should be put under strict vigilance, and some kind of control should be launched for this purpose.

A company is planning to launch a new magazine called healthy lifestyles for the young. The editor wants to find out what people would be interested in the magazine, and is inviting proposals about the possible content as well as ideas on how to mage the magazine appeal to younger people.


INTRODUCTION. The following proposal has been composed in order to provide a detailed account of the potential readers of the new magazine and content that would appeal to these.
BACKGROUND. As the target audience of this magazine was decided to be mainly composed of the younger generation, a survey among people of such age (18-25) was carried out. The opinions on possibly appealing content that emanated from the participants were of the most diverse kinds, however, every volunteer that had participated recognised that he would be interested on reading information of some kind about healthy lifestyles, and thus a deduction was made that such a magazine would appeal to the vast majority of youngsters.
CONTENT. The topics that most of the candidates surveyed indicated to be of substantial interest were mainly centered around fat loss, dieting and relaxation.
Fat loss and dieting was a theme of huge interest, specially to the women sector of the surveyed participants. On the ground that many of these affirmed having a lax knowledge of healthy cooking and weight loss, a considerable part of the magazine should be dedicated to this issue. It is also worth considering the topic of exercise, provided that many reported that advice in this field of health would result to be of tremendous usefulness to them.
Relaxation: An issue a broad amount of surveyed youngsters reported having interest in was the one of relaxation. It should be brought into consideration that many of those surveyed had a very strenuous studying schedule, and thus were longing to find a method to assuage the apprehension caused by such an exhausting routine, a way of soothering their nerves after intense examination periods, a way to relieve their stress. Basing my belief on these reasons, I firmly propound to create a section dedicated to relaxation, as well.
CONCLUSION. There were several aspects of healthy living that many youngsters showed to have interest in. Nevertheless, the ones that were of common interest - that is, that attracted the attention of most, not to say all, youngsters - were the ones described above, and if, atleast a part of the new magazine can be reserved to dealing with these issues, the magazine will, indubitably, result to be appealing to just every young person.

Absolutely any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much!!!


VIP Member
May 10, 2010
Member Type
Native Language
Home Country
Russian Federation
Current Location
Russian Federation
Hi Andrey,

Welcome to UE.

From your post I got the impression that you might not know about the new CPE format that has been introduced since March 2013. You can read about the changes (and download free materials for more practice) on the Cambridge official site: How to prepare for Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) | Cambridge English

As for the writing part, each piece of writing will be marked from 0 to 5 (not 1-10 as you are asking) according to four subscales (not 6 as it used to be). Unfortunately (or probably fortunately:)), when it comes to writing and speaking you have to put up with the-so-called human factor. In this respect, I found it particularly useful to consider various grammar patterns and sentence structures: cleft sentences, inversions, relative clauses, modals, etc. Just think about those who will spend hours marking thousands of exam papers and have mercy on them :) Make your writing a good, enjoyable read and they'll forgive you minor errors and inevitable slips.

As for the register, I would not use 'youngsters' three times in a row in a proposal but it could be a matter of taste of course.

Good luck!
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