Nobody likes this question!

I hear my students complain about this part more than anything else in the First Certificate exam.

But after I teach them this very specific strategy, they always find it easier.

Notice that I said ‘strategy’ not ‘magic formula’. This method only works if you already have an Intermediate or Upper Intermediate level of English.

This method works great if you realise that you know the answer, but can’t think of it in the test. 

It helps to clear our your mind and get rid of unnecessary grammar points and vocabulary. You will learn to focus on just the important stuff.

Watch this video in full to see how I do it. There are some practise questions at the end as well.

Did the video make things easier? I really hope so!

It takes a little bit of time to get used to this strategy. Don’t give up if you can’t use it quickly enough the first few times.

Trust me. It works.

Ok, here are a few more questions you can use to practise.

I’ve included the answers below as well.

Let me know in the comments if this worked for you! I’d love to know!

Practice Questions

I’m hungry because the last time I ate was six hours ago.

NOT

I’m hungry because I ________________ six hours.

Pablo knew how to drive by the time he was sixteen.

ABLE

Pablo ________________ by the time he was sixteen.

You can borrow my guitar, but you must give it back by next Monday.

LONG

You can borrow my guitar ________________ it next week.

Answers

I’m hungry because the last time I ate was six hours ago.

NOT

I’m hungry because I have not eaten for six hours.

Pablo knew how to drive by the time he was sixteen.

ABLE

Pablo was able to drive by the time he was sixteen.

You can borrow my guitar, but you must give it back by next Monday.

LONG

You can borrow my guitar as long as you return it next week.