B2 First Exam Guide: Word Formation
Reading & Use of English Paper
Context: Part 3 of the B2 First Reading and Use of English paper includes a text with eight gaps where candidates use a given 'stem word' to form a word that fits each gap.
Task: Candidates form appropriate words from given stem words, focusing on vocabulary and understanding of structure, including prefixes, suffixes, internal changes, and compounds.
Objective: To test candidates' vocabulary knowledge and ability to manipulate word forms within a text context.
Scoring & Marks: The eight questions are worth eight points, so one point for each. There are 70 points available for the whole Reading & Use of English paper.
How to Approach
- Analysing Stem Words: Understand the range of words that can be formed from a single stem word and their various forms (e.g., compete, competition, competitor).
- Reading the Context: Read the surrounding sentence to decide the correct form of the missing word, considering whether it needs to be plural or negative.
- Word Formation: Be aware that answers may require more than adding prefixes or suffixes; sometimes internal changes are necessary.
- Focus on Each Gap: Each stem word applies only to the gap with the same number; avoid trying to use it in any other context.
4. If you go walking around the factory, ensure you have ______________ clothing on.
This part tests the candidate's knowledge of vocabulary and ability to understand and use different word forms in context.
- Develop skills in quickly determining the most appropriate form of a word to fit a specific gap.
- Focus on understanding the overall meaning of the text to ensure that the formed words contribute to the coherence of the text.
- Engage in activities that involve using stem words in different contexts, such as writing exercises or vocabulary games.
- Use resources like word formation lists and exercises to build familiarity with common prefixes, suffixes, and internal word changes.
- When you record new words, try to find other common forms of the word from the same root.
How It Looks
"I regularly practised transforming words from their base forms to different derivatives, which helped me greatly in this part of the exam." - Andrei Popescu
We have a page on the site to practise: B2 First: Word Formation Exercises