Assessing Writing Performance – Level C2

Assessment of Writing in the Cambridge English: Proficiency (Certificate of Proficiency in
English – CPE)
Cambridge English writing scripts are marked by trained examiners in a secure online marking
environment. The quality assurance of Writing Examiners (WEs) is managed by Team Leaders (TLs) who
are in turn responsible to a Principal Examiner (PE). All of the examiners (PEs, TLs and WEs) must
prove each year, through a certification process, that they are competent to assess. In addition, they are
regularly monitored during live testing sessions.

The Writing Examiners award marks using a Writing Assessment Scale which was developed with explicit
reference to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It covers all the
levels of the Cambridge English exams and is divided into four subscales:

• Content
o This focuses on how well the candidate has fulfilled the task, in other words, if they have
done what they were asked to do.
• Communicative Achievement
o This focuses on how appropriate the writing is for the task, and whether the candidate has
used the appropriate register.
• Organisation
o This focuses on the way the candidate puts together the piece of writing, in other words, if
it is logical and ordered.
• Language
o This focuses on vocabulary and grammar. It includes the range of language as well as how
accurate it is.

Examiners use the C2 Level Assessment Scales to decide which marks to give candidates taking the
Proficiency Writing test.

How can I use the Assessment Scales?

Using the scales yourself while marking students’ writing will help you to:

• analyse your students’ strengths and weaknesses when they practise C2 writing tasks
• guide your students in how to enhance their performance
• form an impression of how ready your students are to take the writing part of the exam.

© UCLES 2016. For further information see our Terms and Conditions.
1

The Assessment Scales

The C2 Assessment Scales are divided into six bands from 0 to 5, with 0 being the lowest and 5 the
highest. Descriptors for each criterion are provided for bands 1, 3 and 5 and indicate what a candidate is
expected to demonstrate at each band. The descriptors for band 3 and above indicate performance of at
least C2 level.

C2 CONTENT COMMUNICATIVE ORGANISATION LANGUAGE
ACHIEVEMENT
5 All content is Demonstrates complete Text is organised Uses a wide range of
relevant to the task. command of the impressively and vocabulary, including less
conventions of the coherently using a wide common lexis, with fluency,
Target reader is communicative task. range of cohesive devices precision, sophistication and
fully informed. and organisational style.
Communicates complex patterns with complete
ideas in an effective and flexibility. Use of grammar is
convincing way, holding sophisticated, fully
the target reader’s controlled and completely
attention with ease, natural.
fulfilling all communicative
purposes. Any inaccuracies occur only
as slips.
4
Performance shares features of Bands 3 and 5.
3 Minor irrelevances Uses the conventions of Text is a well-organised, Uses a range of vocabulary,
and/or omissions the communicative task coherent whole, using a including less common lexis,
may be present. with sufficient flexibility to variety of cohesive effectively and precisely.
communicate complex devices and
Target reader is on ideas in an effective way, organisational patterns Uses a wide range of simple
the whole informed. holding the target reader’s with flexibility. and complex grammatical
attention with ease, forms with full control,
fulfilling all communicative flexibility and sophistication.
purposes.
Errors, if present, are related
to less common words and
structures, or occur as slips.
2
Performance shares features of Bands 1 and 3.
1 Irrelevances and Uses the conventions of Text is well-organised and Uses a range of vocabulary,
misinterpretation of the communicative task coherent, using a variety including less common lexis,
task may be effectively to hold the of cohesive devices and appropriately.
present. target reader’s attention organisational patterns to
and communicate generally good effect. Uses a range of simple and
Target reader is straightforward and complex grammatical forms
minimally informed. complex ideas, as with control and flexibility.
appropriate.
Occasional errors may be
present but do not impede
communication.
0 Content is totally
irrelevant.
Performance below Band 1.
Target reader is not
informed.

© UCLES 2016. For further information see our Terms and Conditions.
2

Remember:
The Assessment Scales descriptors are phrased positively (as ‘can-do’ statements) at each level. This
means that a Band 1 descriptor in the C2 scales will not set out what the text does not do; rather it
describes a performance in terms of what a candidate can do at CEFR C1 level.

For example, under the Language subscale, the descriptor at Band 1 (C1 level) for grammar – Uses a
range of simple and complex grammatical forms with control and flexibility – is couched in similar
language to the Band 3 descriptor (C2 level), but with key differences - Uses a wide range of simple and
complex grammatical forms with full control, flexibility and sophistication. So at C2 level, a wide range of
simple and complex forms is expected, used with full control and flexibility and with sophistication. At
Band 5 (above basic C2 level), a writer’s Use of grammar is sophisticated, fully controlled and completely
natural.

Similarly, under the Organisation subscale, a key difference between the Band 1 (C1 level) and Band 3
(C2 level) descriptors is that whereas at Band 1 Text is well-organised and coherent, using a variety of
cohesive devices and organisational patterns to generally good effect, at Band 3 Text is a well-
organised, coherent whole, using a variety of cohesive devices and organisational patterns with
flexibility. The successful weaving of the devices and organisational patterns into a coherent whole text
is important here, and the use of the devices and patterns must be flexible. At Band 5 (above basic C2
level) Text is organised impressively and coherently using a wide range of cohesive devices and
organisational patterns with complete flexibility.

Don’t worry if a lot of the terms used in the scales are new to you – in Appendix A (and also in the
Handbook for Teachers for Cambridge English Proficiency) you will find a Glossary of Terms for Writing,
where the terminology used in the scales is explained, and examples are given. For instance, under the
Language subscale, there are examples of simple and complex grammatical forms and an explanation
of what is meant by grammatical control and range. Flexibility is explained under the General terms
section. The Language subscale also includes vocabulary, and the idea of less common lexis is
explained, as well as the concept of appropriacy of vocabulary. Under the Organisation subscale, there
are examples of cohesive devices, as well as an explanation of what is meant by organisational
patterns (expected in a candidate’s writing at all bands at this level). The adverb generally is also
explained under the General terms section: it is a qualifier meaning ‘not in every way or instance’. Looking
at how these terms and distinctions are applied to the sample scripts in this guide (and those in the
Handbook for Teachers for Cambridge English Proficiency) will help you to develop a sensitivity to the
language of the Assessment Scales and to encourage your students to improve their writing performance.

It is well worth spending some time looking through the glossary of terms and becoming familiar with the
terms used, as well as referring to them constantly when marking your students’ work, as the Cambridge
English examiners do.

© UCLES 2016. For further information see our Terms and Conditions.
3

How can I use the Assessment Scales with students?

You could:

1. Refer to the scales as you mark students’ written work in general, especially when they have
attempted a Proficiency writing task.
2. Note down examples of performance in terms of the listed criteria.
3. Give students feedback on their strengths and weaknesses.
4. Think about whether your students are ready for the exam and how they could improve.

Teachers are not trained in the use of these Assessment Scales, as examiners are, so it can be difficult to
feel confident in using them in the right way. The following activity is designed to help you get started by
practising using them to analyse some sample writing tasks.

The activity is based on some sample scripts from Proficiency writing tasks (see tasks in Appendix B and
scripts in Appendix D):

Proficiency Part 1:
• Sample script 1
• Sample script 2
• Sample script 3

Proficiency Part 2:
• Sample script 4
• Sample script 5
• Sample script 6

Further information on the task types and their focus can be found in the Handbook for Teachers for
Cambridge English Proficiency. All C2 writing tasks are assessed by examiners in relation to the
Assessment Scales. It is important, however, to be clear about the differences between a Proficiency
Part 1 (compulsory) task and a Proficiency Part 2 task:

Part 1 tasks require candidates to integrate the summary and evaluation of key points from two input
texts, with their own ideas on these key points, into a coherent essay. To perform well on these tasks,
candidates are expected to demonstrate the C2 learner ability referred to in the CEFR, to ‘summarise
information from different sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation of
the overall results’. Under the Content subscale, for a reader to be fully informed (Band 5, above basic
C2 level) the text must include the summary and evaluation of each of the four key points from the input
texts and the writer’s own ideas on these key points (as indicated in the task rubric). In Part 1 (as well as
in Part 2) candidates must demonstrate the ability to write a fluent and coherent text exemplifying the
conventions of the appropriate text type – in Part 1 always an essay. Under the Communicative
Achievement subscale, the text must use ‘the conventions’ of an essay.

In Part 2 candidates have a choice of task (including one of two questions on optional set texts). Each
task requires a different text type, one of: article, essay (for set text questions only), letter, report or review
(see the Handbook for Teachers for Cambridge English Proficiency for a description of the characteristics
of these text types). For a Part 2 task under the Content subscale, the examiner will be looking to see
that the candidate has responded appropriately to all the parts of a question, importantly including the
requirement to use functional language giving them the opportunity to demonstrate C2 level proficiency
(e.g. assess, evaluate, justify); under the Communicative Achievement subscale, the text must use ‘the
conventions’ of the relevant text type (article, letter, report or review).

NB The sample Part 2 scripts in this guide are all reviews; no set text scripts are included.
© UCLES 2016. For further information see our Terms and Conditions.
4

When you feel familiar with using the Assessment Scales. 6. 3. Completed example assessment sheets for these scripts can be found on pages 18-19 and 20-21. continue to use the blank assessment sheet when assessing your own students’ writing and use them to give feedback on aspects of the scales they need to work on to improve their performance. Read the Proficiency Writing Part 2 task (see Appendix B). summarised and evaluated by the candidates. You will see that statements from Band 5 of the Assessment Scales have been turned into questions. Read Sample Script 1. Look at the underlined key points in the Part 1 task in Appendix C to check that you have correctly identified the required points. © UCLES 2016. 4. 5.Activity Part 1 scripts 1. Underline what you regard as the two key points (from each input text) to be identified. Make sure you note all parts of the question. Note examples from the candidate’s writing (good and less good) relevant to each of the questions in the boxes on the assessment sheet (for Language you may want to write down specific examples. 3. 7. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. Compare the notes you have made with the completed example on page 9-10. • Being able to refer to the Assessment Scales will help you to analyse your students’ strengths and weaknesses and to estimate whether they are ready for the writing part of the Proficiency exam. Write down your assessment using the language of the assessment scales (modified as you think appropriate – you may want to omit certain words or include wording from different bands) and add any comments for your own reference. Repeat stages 5-6 for each of Sample Scripts 5 and 6. However. Make three copies of the blank assessment sheet on pages 7-8. Repeat stages 5-6 for each of Sample Scripts 2 and 3. 4. 2. Completed example assessment sheets for these scripts can be found on pages 11-12 and 13-14. Make three copies of the blank assessment sheet on pages 7-8. 2. Part 2 scripts 1. Remember: • In a real C2 level exam the marks awarded reflect a candidate’s performance across the whole exam and not just in one part of it. You will see that statements from Band 5 of the Assessment Scales have been turned into questions. Note examples from the candidate’s writing (good and less good) relevant to each of the questions in the boxes on the assessment sheet (for Language you may want to write down specific examples. as the candidate may be affected by other factors such as nervousness. Compare the notes you have made with the completed example on page 15-17. 5 . Make sure that while you are doing this you constantly refer to the C2 Assessment Scales and Glossary of Terms. 5. it won’t necessarily give you an accurate prediction of the marks that your students will achieve in a real Proficiency Writing paper. for Organisation and Communicative Achievement it may be easier to highlight the script). Write down your assessment using the language of the assessment scales (modified as you think appropriate – you may want to omit certain words or include wording from different bands) and add any comments for your own reference. for Organisation and Communicative Achievement it may be easier to highlight the script). Read the Proficiency Writing Part 1 task (see Appendix B). Make sure that while you are doing this you constantly refer to the C2 Assessment Scales and Glossary of Terms.

holding the target reader’s attention with ease. 6 . For further information see our Terms and Conditions. PROFICIENCY (LEVEL C2) WRITING Name of student: CONTENT Is all content relevant to the task? Comments Is the target reader fully informed? Comments Content mark: COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT Does the writer demonstrate complete Comments command of the conventions of the communicative task? Comments Does the writer communicate complex ideas in an effective and convincing way.Blank assessment sheets to copy Photocopy this page and the next one. fulfilling all communicative purposes? Communicative achievement mark: © UCLES 2016.

including less common lexis. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. fully controlled and completely natural? Do any inaccuracies occur only as Comments slips? Language mark: Overall comments: © UCLES 2016. 7 . ORGANISATION Is the text organised impressively and Comments coherently? Does the writer use a wide range of Comments cohesive devices and organisational patterns with flexibility? Organisation mark: LANGUAGE Does the writer use a wide range of Comments vocabulary. sophistication and style? Is the writer’s use of grammar Comments sophisticated. precision. with fluency.

Content point 2 is very well developed. Content mark: 3 COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT Does the writer demonstrate Comments complete command of the conventions of the communicative task? Although the essay form is well realised. holding the target ‘convincing’. PROFICIENCY (LEVEL C2) WRITING Name of student: Sample Script 1 CONTENT Is all content relevant to the task? Comments Yes Is the target reader fully Comments informed? Content points 1 and 2 are identified and The target reader is on the whole evaluated and the writer’s views are informed. fulfilling all communicative See particularly the final two paragraphs for purposes? effective communication. coherent ‘impressively’. whole. Communicative achievement mark: 3 ORGANISATION Is the text organised impressively Comments and coherently? Falls short of meriting the adverb Text is a well-organised. 8 . the text does not show ‘complete command’ of Uses the conventions of the essay the conventions of the essay. Content points 3 and 4 are mentioned briefly in the first paragraph but there is no evaluation. Communicates complex ideas in an Falls short of meriting the adjective effective way. Comments Does the writer communicate complex ideas in an effective and convincing way. © UCLES 2016. reader’s attention with ease. expressed. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. holding the target reader’s attention with ease. with flexibility. fulfilling all communicative purposes.

. Candidates should be reminded that it is important to address all four key points in the development of their essay to achieve a 5 under Content. with flexibility. Use of grammar is not ‘completely natural’ (Not only has it…but also is it. then that… first A variety of cohesive devices and sentence refers to but doesn’t mention organisational patterns are used memory. Therefore.).Does the writer use a wide range Comments of cohesive devices and organisational patterns with Examples of the variety of cohesive devices flexibility? and organisational patterns: Not only … but also. on a global scale. hence. Even though. The range is not ‘wide’. © UCLES 2016. flexibility and sophistication. Let us hope. achieving a band 3 on all descriptors.. To ensure a good performance candidates should be encouraged to work at all four aspects of their writing. Remember: • A candidate might achieve an overall C2 performance with an uneven profile across the four descriptors. at their core. Organisation mark: 3 LANGUAGE Does the writer use a wide range of Comments vocabulary. Examples: enthralling. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. precision. Is the writer’s use of grammar Comments sophisticated. fully controlled and completely natural? Examples: No student struggling with some especially intricate exam would Uses a wide range of simple and ever deny it. with fluency. effectively and Vocabulary is not used with precisely. sophistication and style (obvious perks). including less common lexis. scourge Uses a range of vocabulary. but it is of or structures. as flawed as it might be complex grammatical forms with full control. showing more strength in some scales and less in others. particularly of less explicit organisational patterns. sophistication and style? dramatic changes. 9 . the utmost importance Language mark: 3 Overall comments: An example of a basic C2 level writer overall. Yet. Do any inaccuracies occur only as Comments slips? Errors are related to less common words Examples: self-consciousness. hypothetical. in spite of. including less common lexis.

In contrast to organisational patterns to good effect. descriptor in this respect. Does the writer use a wide range of Comments cohesive devices and organisational patterns with flexibility? Examples: all these aforementioned. fulfilling all There are few examples of really communicative purposes? complex ideas so the appropriate communication of these is hard to Holds the target reader’s attention and assess. holding the target reader’s attention with ease. due to. PROFICIENCY (LEVEL C2) WRITING Name of student: Sample Script 2 CONTENT Is all content relevant to the task? Comments Yes Is the target reader fully informed? Comments Target reader is on the whole informed. Content mark: 3 COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT Does the writer demonstrate complete Comments command of the conventions of the communicative task? The text uses just ’some’ flexibility so Uses the conventions of the essay does not quite meet the band 3 effectively and with some flexibility. communicates both straightforward and some slightly more complex ideas. four key points and seems slightly out of place in the text as a whole. that however. the first and the third are not evaluated. In conclusion I would say and with some flexibility. Communicative achievement mark: 2 ORGANISATION Is the text organised impressively and Comments coherently? The conclusion refers to only one of the The text is well-organised and coherent. Although all content points are mentioned. Comments Does the writer communicate complex ideas in an effective and convincing way. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. Uses a variety of cohesive devices and along these lines. that. Organisation mark: 2 © UCLES 2016. 10 .

with fluency. Do any inaccuracies occur only as Comments slips? Examples: the question…becomes Occasional errors are present but do not louder and louder. clutter our minds and sometimes effectively and precisely. sophistication and style? Examples: ubiquitous. Is the writer’s use of grammar Comments sophisticated. This approach to organisation is perfectly acceptable but candidates should be reminded that the aim is to integrate reference to the key points into a fluent and coherent essay. 11 . the impede communication. including less common lexis. experiences we’ve made Language mark: 2 Overall comments: This text falls below C2 level and the descriptors used above indicate that for all the scales apart from Content the text shares features of Bands 1 and 3. This text makes specific reference to the two input texts. precision. LANGUAGE Does the writer use a wide range of Comments vocabulary. fully controlled and completely natural? The range is not wide and there is no Uses a range of simple and complex sophistication in the way the grammar is grammatical forms with control and used. hindrance. © UCLES 2016. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. flexibility. Uses a range of vocabulary appropriately mundane. correlate on.

holding the target reader’s There is a clear authorial voice attention with ease. in an Yes appropriately formal way. Content mark: 5 COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT Does the writer demonstrate complete Comments command of the conventions of the communicative task? Opening paragraph. For further information see our Terms and Conditions... and the writer’s views are integrated into the essay. example of complex ideas: second paragraph from Is such a memory loss… up to …caused a traffic accident? Communicative achievement mark: 5 ORGANISATION Is the text organised impressively and Comments coherently? Key points 1 and 4 are clearly identified Yes in the first paragraph and strongly supported. fulfilling all throughout commanding attention communicative purposes? (Memory is a fundamental aspect of. development and conclusion all elegantly crafted. developing it extensively and drawing in key point 2 with natural ease and relevance to the argument. whilst showing signs of haste. Is such memory loss. To conclude).. 12 . Suffice it to Yes say…. © UCLES 2016. The second paragraph questions the points made and brings in key point 3. however. The conclusion. is clear and relevant. I do not remember…. PROFICIENCY (LEVEL C2) WRITING Name of student: Sample Script 3 CONTENT Is all content relevant to the task? Comments Yes Is the target reader fully informed? Comments Yes All key points are summarised and evaluated. Comments Does the writer communicate complex ideas in an effective and convincing way.

e.Does the writer use a wide range of Comments cohesive devices and organisational patterns with flexibility? Examples: however. less extensive. truly detrimental. opening of second paragraph).g. including less common lexis. In more complex structures (Only when we lose it. concept of witness. mainly longer pore over…. sophistication and style? virtually incapable of functioning. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. personal interjection for clarification/emphasis (Suffice it to say. I do not remember…). inversion. our internal landscape. under the Content criterion for irrelevance or under Organisation for lack of coherence. easily Yes distorted. with fluency. Examples: attest. subordination. and under-length scripts might be penalised under Content or Communicative Achievement. Of course. ingenious devices Is the writer’s use of grammar Comments sophisticated. 13 . Rhetorical questions (e. The people no Yes. giving scope to demonstrate his/her proficiency. adverb Yes clauses Do any inaccuracies occur only as Comments slips? Examples: come to aid. Remember: • The guidance about word length in the rubric (for Part 1 and Part 2 questions) is just that: guidance. Organisation mark: 5 LANGUAGE Does the writer use a wide range of Comments vocabulary. © UCLES 2016. precision. This is a good example of a strong candidate writing at greater length within the time available. candidates are not penalised for over-length (or under-length) scripts per se.g. first sentence). modals. begin we to appreciate it…) Language mark: 5 Overall comments: This text is a very strong C2 level performance. What is more. quest for truth. There is no higher level described in the CEFR so (unlike at other levels) this Band 5 performance across the scales does not place the performance at the next CEFR level up. How could we judge other Yes people when…. unsteady basis. Whilst it is perfectly possible to perform at a strong C2 level within these word limits. repeated ideas to consolidate a point (e. over-length scripts could be penalised e.g. by its very nature. fully controlled and completely natural? Longer and more complex forms.g.

holding the target reader’s communication of complex ideas here attention with ease. Communicative achievement mark: 3 ORGANISATION Is the text organised impressively and Comments coherently? © UCLES 2016. 14 . describes it in informed. The final part of the question (‘assess what the most important elements are. fulfilling all communicative purposes? Example of effective communication of complex ideas: most of the section Communicates complex ideas in an entitled Why go with your kids? The effective way. Content mark: 3 COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT Does the writer demonstrate complete Comments command of the conventions of the communicative task? The first paragraph captures the reader’s attention well. Comments Does the writer communicate complex ideas in an effective and convincing way. explanation of the attractions of the film for children and adults is engaging and illuminating about the film. some detail and explains what it is about the film that appeals to both children and adults. summary) falls short of ‘convincing’. in general. The approach is rather pedestrian for ‘complete’ command. PROFICIENCY (LEVEL C2) WRITING Name of student: Sample script 4 CONTENT Is all content relevant to the task? Comments Yes Is the target reader fully informed? Comments The target reader is on the whole The text reviews a film. holding the target reader’s attention with ease. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. and fulfilling all (as an exemplified list followed by a communicative purposes. the narrative is told in a Uses the conventions of the review with clear and lively manner and the flexibility. that make a film suitable for a whole family to watch together’) is only addressed in the form of a list and with reference to Toy Story.

whole. control and flexibility. received rave reviews. subtext However. There are also many characters which are universally recognisable. fully controlled and completely natural? Examples: I cannot deny that as a child I did fantasise about my toys doing just Uses a wide range of simple and that and the adventures we would have complex grammatical forms with full together. movie goers. © UCLES 2016. First of all. organisational patterns with flexibility. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. Is the writer’s use of grammar Comments sophisticated. with fluency. usual order of things is turned upside including less common lexis. universally and precisely. recognisable. opening question to engage interest in the topic. Ultimately. slap-stick. another feature which makes a movie fun to watch for young and old. It is therefore easy to…. referred to later in second paragraph Organisation mark: 3 LANGUAGE Does the writer use a wide range of Comments vocabulary. Does the writer use a wide range of Comments cohesive devices and organisational patterns with flexibility? Examples: This is the main premise Uses a variety of cohesive devices and for…. As mentioned in the introduction. The performance could have been enhanced by development of the final element of the question (which would have given scope to demonstrate more sophisticated C2 level linguistic proficiency) and a less pedestrian approach to organisation. vocabulary is not used with sophistication and style. and another feature which. riveting. effectively down. interfering with the fluency of the text. precision. 15 .The text is a well-organised and coherent Use of headings for a review is not ideal. suburbia. the Uses a wide range of vocabulary. including less common lexis. meeting the Band 3 descriptors on all four scales. empathise. sophistication and style? Examples: fantasise. Do any inaccuracies occur only as Comments slips? Yes Language mark: 3 Overall comments: This is clear overall C2 performance.

e. 16 . evaluate or analyse a more abstract aspect of the topic. this part of a question should not take too much time. To ensure a good performance candidates should be encouraged to work at all four aspects of their writing. © UCLES 2016. for Part 2 questions.g. candidates should be reminded to take note of the instruction to ‘briefly’ describe something. to assess. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. and their response should fully develop the other parts of the question in which they are required. showing more strength in some scales and less in others. • A candidate might achieve an overall C2 performance with an uneven profile across the four descriptors.Remember: • In general.

For further information see our Terms and Conditions. briefly describes them. explains what it is about them that appeals to both children and adults and assesses the important elements. PROFICIENCY (LEVEL C2) WRITING Name of student: Sample script 5 CONTENT Is all content relevant to the task? Comments Yes Is the target reader fully informed? Comments Yes The text reviews (a series of) films (Harry Potter). fulfilling all ideas are communicated. Communicative achievement mark: 2 ORGANISATION Is the text organised impressively and Comments coherently? The text is well-organised and coherent. The flexibility raises this text above Band 1 on this scale. 17 . flexibility. © UCLES 2016. holding the target reader’s Although errors are present. The Harry Potter films are the stepping- off point for the development of this theme. communicative purposes? There is no focus on a specific film in this Communicates straightforward and review so it does not ‘fulfil all complex ideas. in general. complex attention with ease. communicative purposes’. Comments Does the writer communicate complex ideas in an effective and convincing way. Content mark: 5 COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT Does the writer demonstrate complete Comments command of the conventions of the communicative task? The opening paragraph poses a problem Uses the conventions of the review underlying the theme of the review. of films suitable for whole families to watch. effectively and sometimes with some which engages the reader’s attention.

18 . with the Vocabulary performance and level of error. Do any inaccuracies occur only as Comments slips? Examples: the youngers. ratings. including less common lexis. pastime movie. such having in common that Organisation mark: 1 LANGUAGE Does the writer use a wide range of Comments vocabulary. Uses a variety of cohesive devices and But it can also be a way to… . including hearted. Some devices are used inaccurately: and otherwise. light- Uses a range of vocabulary. eagerly awaiting Is the writer’s use of grammar Comments sophisticated. exotic location. NB This is a good example of a script which scores 5 on Content whilst being weak on the other scales.Does the writer use a wide range of Comments cohesive devices and organisational patterns with flexibility? Examples: What surely attracts both . Errors are present but do not impede issue dealings. Candidates should be encouraged to ensure that they do follow all the instructions in the question. precision. with fluency. students over-come their fears. fully controlled and completely natural? Example of complex grammatical form: Uses a wide range of simple and What surely attracts both adults and complex grammatical forms with control children is how a group of teenage and flexibility. studied thoroughly. less common lexis.. sophistication and style? Examples: over-come their fears. The ‘wide’ grammatical range takes this descriptor for grammar above the Band 1 level. Add to this organisational patterns to generally good mixture effect. distract themselves. appropriately. down to earth. this text achieves a Band 1 overall for language. Language mark: 1 Overall comments: This is an example of a text which falls clearly below C2 level. but. © UCLES 2016. For further information see our Terms and Conditions.. The response to the question is thoughtful and imaginative but the candidate needs to work on all other aspects of his/her writing to achieve a C2 performance. laugh it off communication.

ease. review is then addressed clearly in the next two paragraphs. holding the target reader’s attention with ease. fulfilling all communicative purposes? The final two paragraphs which assess what makes a film appeal to all ages are Communicates complex ideas in an written with conviction. Comments Does the writer communicate complex ideas in an effective and convincing way. PROFICIENCY (LEVEL C2) WRITING Name of student: Sample script 6 CONTENT Is all content relevant to the task? Comments Yes Is the target reader fully informed? Comments Yes The text reviews a film (Up). and fulfilling all communicative purposes. Communicative achievement mark: 4 © UCLES 2016. which contextualises and Demonstrates a good command of the briefly narrates the film. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. of films suitable for whole families to watch. They bring the effective and sometimes convincing way. Content mark: 5 COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT Does the writer demonstrate complete Comments command of the conventions of the communicative task? Interest is aroused effectively in the first paragraph. The theme of the conventions of the review. 19 . descriptor above a Band 3 for this scale. briefly describes it. holding the target reader’s attention with showing features of Bands 3 and 5. explains what it is about it that appeals to both children and adults and assesses the important elements. in general.

no less. coherent The organisation falls short of being whole. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. albeit. with room for some further improvement on the Communicative Achievement and. grumpy. endearing. paragraphing clearly reflects the structure of the underlying argument . precision. And there is also. slapstick elements. Does the writer use a wide range of Comments cohesive devices and organisational patterns with flexibility? Examples: And of course…. sophistication and style? Examples: gem. subtle nods to pop culture Is the writer’s use of grammar Comments sophisticated. the organisational patterns with flexibility. yearning for adventure. acts of Yes unlikely heroism. 20 . fully controlled and completely natural? Examples: first sentence of first Yes paragraph. who are endearing not despite but because of their imperfections Do any inaccuracies occur only as Comments slips? Yes Language mark: 5 Overall comments: This is a good example of a strong C2 performance. Organisation mark: 3 LANGUAGE Does the writer use a wide range of Comments vocabulary. with fluency. ORGANISATION Is the text organised impressively and Comments coherently? The text is a well-organised. There is variety but not a ‘wide range’. © UCLES 2016. particularly. Like all good Uses a variety of cohesive devices and family…. final sentence as a whole In a house kept floating by balloons. including less common lexis. ‘impressive’. the Organisation scales.

format. your English teacher. “state what is x”) while others require it (“describe”. of the register. Communicative Communicative purpose refers to the communicative requirements as set out in the purpose task. “explain”). e. ORGANISATION Linking words. It does attention not refer to texts that force a reader to read closely because they are difficult to follow or make sense of. Some content points do not require much development (e.g. organisational “first of all”. and function. Flexibility allows a candidate to better achieve communicative goals. Complex ideas are those which are of a more abstract nature. e. COMMUNICATIVE ACHIEVEMENT Conventions Conventions of the communicative task include such things as genre. © UCLES 2016. suggest alternatives. Thus. 4. GENERAL Generally Generally is a qualifier meaning not in every way or instance. CONTENT Relevant Relevant means related or relatable to required content points and/or task requirements.Appendices A. 2. should be laid out accordingly. “finally”). Cambridge English Writing mark scheme – Glossary of Terms 1. a personal letter should not be written as a formal communicative report. or task conventions – rather than using the same form over and over. Holding the Holding the target reader’s attention is used in the positive sense and refers to the target reader’s quality of a text that allows a reader to derive meaning and not be distracted. For example.g. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. make a complaint. 3. thus evidencing better control and a wider repertoire of the resource. They can range from basic high devices. and complex usually concrete in nature. requiring more rhetorical resources to bring together and express. Flexibility Flexible and flexibly refer to the ability to adapt – whether language. and frequency items (such as “and”. Straightforward Straightforward ideas are those which relate to relatively limited subject matter. Linking words are cohesive devices. organisational devices. Target reader The target reader is the hypothetical reader set up in the task. ‘generally appropriately’ refers to performance that is not as good as ‘appropriately’. Informed The target reader is informed if content points and/or task requirements are addressed and appropriately developed. or which cover a wider subject area. but are separated here to refer to higher- cohesive frequency vocabulary which provide explicit linkage. a magazine’s readership. and use the right tone for the communicative task purpose. and which require simpler rhetorical devices to ideas communicate. “but”) to basic and phrasal items (such as “because”.g. 21 .

infinitives. Where language specifications are provided at lower levels (as in Cambridge English: Key (KET) and Cambridge English: Preliminary (PET)). slips the candidate has learned the vocabulary item or grammatical structure. Slips are mistakes that are non-systematic. modal forms and tense contrasts. the use of parallelism. forms Complex grammatical forms: longer and more complex items. “moreover”.g. Everyday vocabulary refers to vocabulary that comes up in common situations of a non-technical nature in the relevant domain. substitution (e. passive forms. verb patterns. These items often help to express ideas more succinctly and precisely. At higher levels. as well as grammatical devices such as the use of reference pronouns.g. Errors and Errors are systematic mistakes. e. the word sensible is vocabulary inappropriate as the word should be sensitive. Range Range: the variety of words and grammatical forms a candidate uses. e.g. . using a rhetorical question to set up a new paragraph 5. Appropriacy Appropriacy of vocabulary: the use of words and phrases that fit the context of the of given task. The first car he owned was a convertible. “it may appear”. The one on the right .). i. Heavy snow would be appropriate. However. but just © UCLES 2016. candidates will make increasing use of a greater variety of words. noun clauses. Another example would be Today’s big snow makes getting around the city difficult.).g. The phrase getting around is well suited to this situation. in I’m very sensible to noise. and the like. Less common lexis refers to vocabulary items that appear less often in the relevant domain. fixed phrases. basic tenses and simple clauses. There are two women in the picture. big snow is inappropriate as big and snow are not used together. Organisational patterns refers to less-explicit ways of achieving connection at the between sentence level and beyond. Overuse Overuse refers to those cases where candidates repeatedly use the same word because they do not have the resources to use another term or phrase the same idea in another way. or repetition. Some words may unavoidably appear often as a result of being the topic of the task. “as a result”). Grammatical Simple grammatical forms: words.e. Grammatical Grammatical control: the ability to consistently use grammar accurately and control appropriately to convey intended meaning. phrases. ellipsis (e. for simple transactions. relative and adverb clauses.g. arranging sentences in climactic order. 22 . the second a family car. For example. candidates may have control of only the simplest exponents of the listed forms. LANGUAGE Vocabulary Basic vocabulary refers to vocabulary used for survival purposes.patterns Cohesive devices refers to more sophisticated linking words and phrases (e. that is not covered by the term overuse here. . subordination. collocations and grammatical forms. For further information see our Terms and Conditions.

happened to make a mistake in this instance. where most other examples of a lexical/grammatical point are accurate. communication Meaning can still be determined indicates that some effort is required from the reader to determine meaning. 23 . In a candidate’s response. Impede Impede communication means getting in the way of meaning. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. © UCLES 2016. a mistake on that point would most likely be a slip.

B. 24 . Sample writing tasks Part 1 © UCLES 2016. For further information see our Terms and Conditions.

Part 2 C. The four key points underlined above might be summarised as follows: 1. it can be argued that a person’s true identity resides in his or her collection of memories. © UCLES 2016. However. 25 . memory is invaluable for mental and physical performance 2. It is risky. but all too often memories are influenced by imagination. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. It remains to be seen whether these concerns turn out to be valid. Indeed. memories are a critical part of self-identity Remember: • Examiners are trained to identify the key points in the two input texts and to mark candidates’ reformulations of key points in their own words in a standard manner. The role of memory We like to think of our memory as our record of the past. Nowadays. because we will never be able to verify the accuracy of a memory fully. The inability to make use of memory and past experience can be a severe limitation on how well we perform both mentally and physically. some people are concerned that this reliance on electronic equipment may affect the development of our internal memory system in the future. therefore. one of the most distressing consequences is likely to be a loss of self. memory may not be an accurate record of the past 4. Although memory is an unreliable source of knowledge about the past. mobiles and other electronic devices to store our most important information. to regard memory as a source of knowledge. its importance in self-identity is unquestionable. we rely on computers. Part 1 sample writing task with key points underlined Does memory have a future? A good memory is invaluable. which can be recalled at the touch of a button. When a person suffers memory loss as a result of accident or illness. reliance on electronic devices may affect human memory in the future 3.

26 . Sample scripts Sample script 1 © UCLES 2016. D. For further information see our Terms and Conditions.

For further information see our Terms and Conditions. 27 .Sample script 1 (continued) © UCLES 2016.

Sample script 1 (continued) © UCLES 2016. 28 . For further information see our Terms and Conditions.

29 .Sample script 2 © UCLES 2016. For further information see our Terms and Conditions.

For further information see our Terms and Conditions. 30 .Sample script 2 (continued) © UCLES 2016.

31 . For further information see our Terms and Conditions.Sample script 3 © UCLES 2016.

Sample script 3 (continued) © UCLES 2016. For further information see our Terms and Conditions. 32 .

For further information see our Terms and Conditions. 33 .Sample script 3 (continued) © UCLES 2016.

For further information see our Terms and Conditions.Sample script 4 © UCLES 2016. 34 .

For further information see our Terms and Conditions. 35 .Sample script 4 (continued) © UCLES 2016.

36 .Sample script 4 (continued) © UCLES 2016. For further information see our Terms and Conditions.

Sample script 4 (continued) © UCLES 2016. 37 . For further information see our Terms and Conditions.

Sample script 5 © UCLES 2016. 38 . For further information see our Terms and Conditions.

39 .Sample script 5 (continued) © UCLES 2016. For further information see our Terms and Conditions.

40 . For further information see our Terms and Conditions.Sample script 5 (continued) © UCLES 2016.

Sample script 6 Sample script 6 (continued) © UCLES 2016. 41 . For further information see our Terms and Conditions.

For further information see our Terms and Conditions. 42 .© UCLES 2016.