Aptis Writing test
Here’s an overview of the writing component of the test, sample test questions and tips. In this post we’re looking mostly at the writing test for Aptis General and Aptis for Teachers. But we’ll also give you a brief outline of the Aptis Advanced Writing Test.
Aptis General & Aptis for Teachers
There are four parts to the Aptis writing test, and you have 50 minutes to do this component. All four parts of the test are based around the same theme. This usually relates to joining a club, doing a course or becoming part of an activity group. We’re going to use the theme of joining a film club for our Sample Test questions.
Remember that the Aptis General Test is for A1-level students and above, so the first part of each of the tests is intended to be easy. All the skills tests (Speaking, Listening, Writing, Reading) increase in difficulty as they go on.
The Aptis for Teachers Writing Test is the same in format but different in content. As with the rest of the Aptis for Teachers test, this part of the test relates to themes and scenarios that teachers come across every day. So the test could centre round a teachers’ conference, a training course, a school exchange trip, etc.
You’ll find more help and advice in Top Tips to Help You Pass the Aptis Writing Test.
Part 1: Writing at word-level
In the first part there are five questions. The task consists of replying to short messages from another member of the club or group you want to join. You only have to write one to five words for each response.
You want to join ‘Film club’, and you have 5 messages from a member of the club. Write short replies (1-5 words) to each message.
- Where do you live?
- What’s the weather like there?
- When do you usually watch TV?
- What do you usually do at weekends?
- What’s your favourite film?
Timing: Don’t spend more than three minutes on Part 1.
Tip: The most important aspect here is communication – it doesn’t matter if you make spelling or grammar mistakes.
Part 2: Writing a short text
In the second part the task consists of writing some personal information on a form. They ask you one or two questions. You must write in complete sentences, and you have to write 20–30 words.
You are now a member of ‘Film Club’. Please tell us why you are interested in films. Use 20–30 words.
Timing: Don’t spend more than seven minutes on Part 2.
Tip: The most important aspects here are staying on-topic and using accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation. In other words, make sure you answer the question, and try not to make mistakes! Don’t go over the 30-word limit.
Part 3: Three written responses
In the third part of the test you have to respond to three written questions from other members of the group. The style is informal; the context is writing on a social network-type website. You have to write 30-40 words per answer.
You are in the ‘Film Club’ chat room. Answer the questions from other members.
Sandra: Hi, and welcome to the club! Can you remember the first time you went to the cinema? What was it like?
Samir: What’s the most interesting film that you’ve seen?
Benni: What’s the worst film you’ve ever seen?
Timing: Don’t spend more than ten minutes on Part 3.
Tip: The most important aspects here are staying on-topic and using accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation. Using a variety of sentence structure and linking your sentences well is also important. Don’t go over the 40-word per answer limit.
Part 4: Informal and formal emails
The final and most difficult part of the Aptis writing test consists of writing two emails in different registers. What does that mean? It means writing in both informal and formal styles.
First of all, you have to write a short informal email to a friend. You must write 40–50 words.
Then you have to write a formal email of 120–150 words to a person in authority. Both emails are on the same theme, but you must use different levels of formality.
As a member of ‘Film Club’, you receive this e-mail:
We are writing to inform you that the film-maker Malcolm G unfortunately won’t be able to attend the screening of his latest film tomorrow. Luckily you will have the opportunity to buy a signed DVD copy of the film at a specially reduced ‘Film Club’ price of £40. We only have a limited number of copies, so please write to the club secretary if you’d like to reserve one.
- Write an email to your friend. Write about your feelings and what you think ‘Film Club’ should do about the situation. Write 40–50 words. You have 10 minutes.
- Write an email to the president of the club. Write about your feelings and what you think ‘Film Club’ should do about the situation. Write 120-150 words. You have 20 minutes.
Timing: Try to do this part in 30 minutes. That way you’ll have some time free at the end to check your work.
Tip: The most important aspect here is showing you can write accurately in different registers. Try to use a wide variety of appropriate vocabulary, structures and linking words. Use paragraphs. Stay on-topic. Don’t go over the limits of 50 words in the informal email and 150 words in the formal email.
A summary of general points to remember:
- Except in Part 1, keep an eye on your grammar, spelling and punctuation. Use connectors (link words) to make your writing coherent.
- Stay on-topic – don’t just write generally about the subject. Make sure you address the questions, or you will lose marks on task fulfilment’.
- The word count is important – you will lose marks on ‘task completion’ if you write too many or too few words. NOTE: You don’t have to count the words yourself, as there’s a word-counter on the screen to show you how much you’ve written.
Why don’t you try to do the writing test now? If you do the sample test now, you’ll be able to compare your answers with ours: Aptis Writing Test 1 Model Answers.
Then go to Writing Test 2.
Unlike in the other Aptis exams, there are only three parts to the Advanced Writing Test. The total time allowed is 45 minutes. Here’s a brief outline of what each part entails.
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.
For this task you read an email and have to write one in response.
The third task consists of writing a short article for an online publication.
You’ll find much more detail, information and examples in Aptis Advanced Writing Test 1 with Sample C1 Answers.