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Aptis Advanced: Writing Test 1

Advanced Writing Test 1

Aptis Advanced: Writing Test 1 with Sample C1 Answers

Here’s our first Aptis Advanced Writing Test. So far, the British Council seems to have provided only one example of each task, so until we have more information about the question-types, we’re going to use those examples here. (For example, we need to know whether Part Three is always based on figures and tables, as in the sample test.) However, we’ve prepared the C1-level sample answers ourselves, as always.

Unlike the other Aptis writing exams, which consist of four tasks, there are only three parts to the Advanced Writing Test. We’ll start with a brief overview of what each part entails, then give you the test questions.  This will be followed by a video explaining each part in more detail, and giving you sample answers at C1.

We strongly recommend that you do the test yourself before looking at the Aptis Advanced Writing Test with sample C1 answers. This is why we’re going to give you the blank exam paper first. Try to do the test within exam timing. The total time allowed for the writing test is 45 minutes. All writing tasks are marked by examiners.

Before you start writing, here are some important points to bear in mind.

Advice Checklist:

  • make sure you fully understand the questions
  • plan what you are going to write, then edit your writing before clicking to the next question
  • answer the questions without going off-topic
  • keep to the word-count
  • use level-appropriate grammar and vocabulary
  • check your spelling and punctuation
  • use a variety of sentence structures and paragraphs where appropriate

 

And remember the ABCDE of writing:

  • ACTIVATE YOUR IDEAS! Brainstorm for things you could include.
  • BEGIN TO PLAN! You’re allowed pen & paper, so jot down a basic outline.
  • CONSIDER THE CONTENT! What language and vocabulary could you use?
  • DO IT! Remember to time yourself to see how long each part takes you.
  • ERROR-CHECK IT!   Always read your work carefully to check for mistakes.

Aptis Advanced Writing Test 1

Part One: Three written responses to questions

The task consists of interacting in a social media-type written conversation in a chat room. You have received three messages and have to respond briefly to each.

You are a member of a history club. You are talking to three other members in the history club chat room. Talk to them using sentences. Use 30 to 40 words per answer. You have 10 minutes in total. Answer all three questions.

History Club Chat

Sam: Hi! Welcome to the club. I was interested in history at school and I studied it at university. What about you?

Miguel: Welcome. Can you tell me something about the history of your country?

Michelle: Who is your favourite person from history, and why are you interested in him or her?

 

Part Two: Email response

For this task you read an email and have to respond to it using the notes provided.

You have received this email from your local supermarket. Read the email and the notes you have made. Write a reply using all the information in your notes, and express how you feel about the situation.

You should write between 120 and 150 words.

Dear Customer

Thank you for shopping at our supermarket. We value your custom and would like to hear about your most recent shopping experience. Firstly, we want to know your opinion of our staff. Were they able to help you in any way? (1) We would also like to know what you think about the organisation of the store. Was it easy to find the products you wanted? (2). Finally, we would like to hear your suggestions for improving the customer shopping experience. (3)

Yours faithfully,

Customer Services

Your notes

  1. Staff seem very young – don’t always know about products
  2. Every month products are moved – difficult to find what you want
  3. Music plays all the time – very irritating – prefer silence!

 

Part Three: Article for website publication

The third task consists of writing an article for a website that is both informative and interesting.

Things You Should Know is a website that accepts short articles from members of the public on subjects of popular interest. You have been asked to contribute an article on the subject of Public Surveillance Systems. You have already done some research on the subject in note and diagram form. Use information from your research notes to help you write an article that is both informative and interesting.

Write between 180 and 220 words.

Notes on Public Surveillance Systems

– CCTV cameras used in public areas (streets, shops, banks)

– Increasing number of private homes installing CCTV

– Benefits: allows monitoring of public safety / can provide evidence in criminal cases

– Drawbacks: threat to individual liberty / intrusion into individual privacy

Numbers of Public CCTV Cameras

City

Country

Number of CCTV cameras per 1000 people (including private homes)

Crime index (the higher the number, the greater the incidence of crime)

Tokyo

Japan

1

23.12

Beijing

China

55

34.45

London

UK

73

53.7

Source: Comparitech Paul Bischoff @pabischoff

(We’ve updated the figures and info from the British Council version in order to make the task more realistic – and more interesting!)

In this video John talks you through each part of the test, highlights useful language in the C1 sample answers and gives you advice. You’ll find the script for the Advanced Writing Test below the video.

Aptis Advanced Writing Test 1 with Sample C1 Answers

Part One

You are a member of a history club. You are talking to three other members in the history club chat room. Talk to them using sentences. Use 30 to 40 words per answer. You have 10 minutes in total. Answer all three questions.

History Club Chat

Sam: Hi! Welcome to the club. I was interested in history at school and I studied it at university. What about you?

Hi Sam! Interestingly enough, history wasn’t something I was really into when I was really young. But after seeing the film Gladiator I became totally obsessed with Ancient Rome – I even took up Latin, and ended up studying classics.

Miguel: Welcome. Can you tell me something about the history of your country?

Well, in the first millennium BC there was a lot of immigration from continental Europe, and the Celts established themselves. Then after that there was the Roman Conquest of the British Isles, and they stuck around for about 350 years!

Michelle: Who is your favourite person from history, and why are you interested in him or her?

I’d say Leonardo Da Vinci, the Italian polymath, as he left such an amazing legacy. He was such a trailblazer – designing functioning robots, digital computers and even building the first heart valve. He was so ahead of his time!

 

Part Two

You have received this email from your local supermarket. Read the email and the notes you have made. Write a reply using all the information in your notes, and express how you feel about the situation.

You should write between 120 and 150 words.

Dear Customer

Thank you for shopping at our supermarket. We value your custom and would like to hear about your most recent shopping experience. Firstly, we want to know your opinion of our staff. Were they able to help you in any way? (1) We would also like to know what you think about the organisation of the store. Was it easy to find the products you wanted? (2). Finally, we would like to hear your suggestions for improving the customer shopping experience. (3)

Yours faithfully,

Customer Services

Your notes
  1. Staff seem very young – don’t always know about products
  2. Every month products are moved – difficult to find what you want
  3. Music plays all the time – very irritating – prefer silence!

 

Dear Customer Services

I am writing in response to your email requesting customer feedback.

Firstly, during my latest visit I found the staff well-disposed towards customers. However, they are not well-informed about the products, which I feel is not helpful. I understand that many are students who are only working part-time. Could they not be given more training?

Regarding store layout, I find it frustrating never being able to find the items I need. It seems to be your policy to ‘circulate’ basic necessities such as bread, probably in order to boost sales by forcing customers to walk past products they may otherwise not see. I would appreciate your moving things around less frequently.

Finally, I wish to address the irksome ‘elevator music’ constantly playing in the background! I would suggest you get rid of it altogether.

I trust you will find my feedback useful.

Yours faithfully,
John Harrop

 

Part Three

Things You Should Know is a website that accepts short articles from members of the public on subjects of popular interest. You have been asked to contribute an article on the subject of Public Surveillance Systems. You have already done some research on the subject in note and diagram form. Use information from your research notes to help you write an article that is both informative and interesting.

Write between 180 and 220 words.

 

Notes on Public Surveillance Systems

– CCTV cameras used in public areas (streets, shops, banks)

– Increasing number of private homes installing CCTV

– Benefits: allows monitoring of public safety / can provide evidence in criminal cases

– Drawbacks: threat to individual liberty / intrusion into individual privacy

 
Numbers of Public CCTV Cameras

City

Country

Number of CCTV cameras per 1000 people (including private homes)

Crime index (the higher the number, the greater the incidence of crime)

Tokyo

Japan

1

23.12

Beijing

China

55

34.45

London

UK

73

53.7

 

Say Cheese!

Would you be less likely to commit a crime if you knew you were being filmed?

These days it’s pretty safe to assume that almost everything we do is recorded. What with ever-cheaper technology and the miniaturisation of recording devices, CCTV surveillance systems have become so commonplace that we barely notice them. And it’s not just in public areas – many home-owners are having security cameras installed.

Many people feel reassured in terms of safety by the streets being constantly monitored. Videos are increasingly used as evidence in criminal cases, and can provide a reliable alternative to eye-witnesses’ possibly faulty memories. However, opinion is divided; pressure groups argue that our civil liberties are under threat, and that having no privacy is far too high a price to pay.

What’s really interesting, though, is the relationship (or lack of one) between cameras per capita and crime. Statistics show that Japan has the fewest CCTV cameras but also the lowest crime rate, while crime is highest in London, although there are many more cameras. Beijing falls between the two, both in terms of CCTV and crime.

So it’s difficult to come to any solid conclusions … though it is tempting to extrapolate the fact that the Japanese seem to be more law-abiding than the Brits!

Next Steps

Work on your writing skills with Aptis Advanced: How to Write an Article.

Check out our Top Tips for passing the Writing Test.

We’re working on Aptis Advanced Writing Test 2, but meanwhile you could also practise with the Aptis General and Aptis for Teachers tests – all practice is good practice!

You’ll find all these and more in our Guide.

And remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel – make sure you click on the bell so that you’ll receive notifications when we publish more Advanced Tests. You’ll find four Advanced Speaking videos there so far.

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