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

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Word Formation: Be aware that answers may require more than adding prefixes or suffixes; sometimes internal changes are necessary.
  4. 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.

Example Question

4. If you go walking around the factory, ensure you have ______________ clothing on.

Assessment Focus

This part tests the candidate's knowledge of vocabulary and ability to understand and use different word forms in context.


How It Looks

example Word Formation question from B2 First
B2 First, Example Word Formation Question

Student Suggestion

"I regularly practised transforming words from their base forms to different derivatives, which helped me greatly in this part of the exam." - Andrei Popescu

Practice Exercises

We have a page on the site to practise: B2 First: Word Formation Exercises

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