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: Article

Task Type: Article

You are looking through the alumni newsletter of a school that you once attended and you see the following announcement:

What are your best and worst school memories? Write in and tell us and we will publish the most interesting articles in our next newsletter.

Write the article for the editor of the alumni newsletter. (around 280 - 320 words)

Makeover: Anna

Read Anna'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.

The improbable happened twice

How many of us have envisioned ourselves lying by the seaside with a bunch of international friends under the moonlight while listening to some guitar or bongo tunes? Immediately after, we discard the thought because, well, we know that this is not the path we should take to be professionally competent, or is it?

By the time we are in our twenties, we have spent most of our precious time studying, getting ready for ’real life’, determined to become the queen of chess in the labour market, but we forget that a gap year can add some invaluable skills to our CV, it could be the cherry on the cake.

Let’s imagine that stepping out of the wheel PE takes us to Spain. Perhaps you fancy volunteering in exchange for accommodation at the most chilled seaside hostel you could ever imagine – yes, exactly, the seaside we were previously talking about. If that isn’t your thing and you’d rather work as a tourist guide, or doing WF some leisure activities with children, or work WF within the hospitality sector –and luckily get some free food–, that would be an excellent choice too! Never mind the job, what matters is the experience you are about to live and how much you are going to gain without even realising /\ .

First of all, you are making the decision to fly away from - the nest, which translates into being able to take risks and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. Secondly, you will face multiple unforeseen circumstances on your own and will definitely overcome all of them, one at a time. You will learn to be resilient, adaptable and understanding. Likewise, you will meet fascinating people –and not so great ones, from around the world. You will become more respectful towards other cultures, traditions, opinions, etc. which will be priceless for any company.

Last, but not least, you will have a deeper knowledge of yourself, of your strengths and weaknesses, your preferences and the path you want to follow in life. Had I known about the benefits of a gap year life and career-wise earlier, I wouldn’t have hesitated to grab my backpack for a second.


A very thoughtful answer to the question. You have examined the types of job and leisure opportunities that are available, and outlined the benefits that can be gained. A full answer to the question. You have included a heading, which is good practice when writng an article.
This is written in the format of a text of this kind and is very authentic in style. The level of formality is just right. You have made a very good effort to engage the reader and created a lovely, chatty style. The reader would be fully informed of the options and benefits.
The article is clearly and logically organised. Paragraphs are used effectively and discourse markers and other cohesive devices are used accurately.
A very good piece of writing in terms of your use of English. You have used vocabulary and grammatical structures well to express simple and more complex ideas flexibly and in a natural, authentic style.

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