Flo-Joe for Cambridge English Exams

Cambridge English: Proficiency

Check out students' answers to Flo-Joe's CPE Writing tasks with a teacher's feedback

Writing Class: Essay

Task Type: Essay

Read the two texts below.
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.

Our Relationship with Food
The British relationship with food has undergone a fundamental change over the past 50 years, and in quite a contradictory fashion. Meals were once made up of simple, local ingredients using recipes that had been followed by previous generations. Now food has become a sensory and cultural phenomenon. Food production and catering is a multi-million pound industry. Top chefs show us how to cook the most delicious 3-course meals and supermarkets provide all the ingredients we need. Yet at the same time, we are less willing to spend time cooking than was once the case and instead spend huge amounts on take-aways and ready-meals.
The Ready-Meal Industry
Latest figures show that the UK ready-meal industry is experiencing continued growth despite the recent economic downturn. And the reason for this success? Time-poor consumers continue to want exotic, convenient, mealtime solutions whilst at the same time being cautious about over-spending on take-aways and trips to the restaurant. And the future looks even brighter for this industry with innovative and niche sectors opening up to cater for as wide a range of tastes as possible. And which meals are we eating? Italian remains the favourite cuisine closely followed by Indian and Chinese.

Write the essay. (around 240 - 280 words)

Makeover: Taisa

Read Taisa's answer to this question below. Try correcting the piece of writing yourself first: use the marking codes to think about what might be wrong (or what's good) about the piece of work. Then when you're ready, click the green buttons in the text for our feedback.

Our society is going through a global tendency which encourages people to cook less and buy more of these - ready-made meals. The considerable growth in the consumption of convenience food has taken place not only in /\ UK but in many other countries, such us in Brazil. The reasons are all quite similar across these places. People lack time to cook their own meals, yet they are interested in trying other kinds of food and the prices are generally reasonable. However, should we stop cooking altogether?

The majority of people consider their lives to be too busy and cooking would not be WT a priority. These days most people work full-time and have many other responsibilities. Many people also have a misconception about the amount of time that is required in order to cook a simple and nutritious meal. There are a lot /\ dishes that can be done WW with little time and with few ingredients.

Another benefit of cooking from scratch is that we are fully aware of what is in our food. Despite the delicious taste of these take-away meals, we hardly ever know how it is WF cooked and the quality of ingredients. In order for the industry to make a profit, they will often choose the cheapest ingredients. As a result, these types of meals are often not very nutritious.

Lastly, we can save money by cooking our own meals. Even though the cost of ready-made meals are normally quite reasonable, still we will WO always find ourselves saving money when we buy ingredients and cook at home.

In conclusion, it was acknowledged this WW current tendency to buy convenience food which helps us through our busy daily lives. However, it was also noted that we can largely benefit from cooking from scratch.


The essay is relevant and you’ve dealt with the task appropriately. You were asked to summarise and evaluate the key points of both texts, but you have really only dealt fully with the second extract. The three main paragraphs are really your reaction to this text. To achieve the highest marks in this category try to make sure you deal with both texts.

Communicative Achievement
The piece is written in the format of an essay and you have adopted an academic style consistently. The reader would get a good idea of the issues highlighted in the second text, though not a great deal about those in the first text.

The essay is clearly organised: a clear introduction and conclusion with three main body paragraphs examining different aspects to the task. You use linking words very well, joining ideas together clearly and coherently using words and phrases such as:

  • Yet
  • However
  • Despite
  • As a result
  • Lastly
  • Even though
  • In conclusion
You you have used some complex grammatical forms and sentence structures and a range of everyday vocabulary including some advanced words and expressions. All in all, good use of English Taisa. Make a note of the following:
  • I deleted ‘of these’ because you hadn't referenced the meals earlier in the sentence.
  • remember we say ‘a lot of‘
  • we ‘make’ or ‘prepare a dish’
  • note that ‘meals’ in the plural should be later referred to as ‘they are’, not ‘it is’.
Well done!

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Marking Code

/\ Word(s) missing

- Omit word

C Capitalization

Gd Good

O Organisation

P Punctuation

PE Poorly expressed

R Register/Formality

SS Sentence Structure

S Spelling

T Tip

WF Wrong form

WO Word order

WT Wrong tense

WW Wrong word