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.

The Financial Costs of Stress
Research carried out by the Health and Safety Council estimates that stress and mental illness continues to be neglected by many businesses, both small and large. And the economic impact of this is huge, costing employers around £26bn a year. Stress at work can lead to a lack of concentration, fatigue and low motivation, all of which will cost the company in terms of low productivity, customer satisfaction and the very reputation of the company itself. Employers are being urged to become more "emotionally intelligent" and to improve the way they deal with stress and mental illness.
Speak up about Stress
Many people find it difficult to talk about their feelings, particularly if we're feeling weak or vulnerable. However, when suffering from stress it’s vital you seek help. It's important to feel you can talk honestly with a close friend, a loved one, a work colleague or doctor about what’s going on. Stress is easily diagnosed and there is plenty you can do to successfully treat and manage stress. One of the most effective of these is to share your feelings with those you trust. Remember that accepting help and support is not a sign of weakness. Close relationships are vital to helping you get through this tough time.

Write the essay. (around 240 - 280 words)

Makeover: Mathieu

Read Mathieu'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.

Both texts discuss the topic of stress at work. This essay aims to summarise and evaluate the impact of stress at work at both company and individual levels. Gd!

The first text focuses on the consequences of stress at work from a company’s perspective. It stresses the financial impact, which at £26bn a year is enormous. It does mention that stressed employees have a direct, negative impact on /\ company’s productivity, customer satisfaction and market perception. It is also said that employers must urgently take the necessary actions to increase their awareness of employees’ well-being and tackle seriously the topic of stress and mental illness at work. However, nothing is mentioned about how to do so. For instance, involving individuals in stress management workshops could efficiently address this issue.

The second text deals with the importance for individuals to talk when they suffer from stress. The main concern here is the well-being of individuals rather than the financial considerations of the first text. It is said to ask for help in WW talk with a family member or a trustworthy professional, which seems a - sensible advice. The text also made a point about the many ways to cope with stress once it has been diagnosed and that accepting help and support to go WW through a difficult time must not be seen as sign of weakness. I completely agree with that and think we all need at some point in our lives WO external support and recognising this can only make things easier.

To sum up, I think stress at work should be tackled at the root i.e. at an individual level first. To do so, effective training on how to deal with stress such as workshops could certainly help. Once a trustworthy atmosphere allowing people to speak up about stress at work is created, then come the time where PE companies reap the benefits of taking care of their employees.


A very good piece of work Mathieu. You’ve answered the question fully and thoughtfully, your ideas are clearly organised and eloquently expressed and you show a very good command of both vocabulary and grammar. An excellent command of the conventions of an essay is demonstrated. The style adopted is very natural and appropriately neutral and academic throughout. Well done!

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