Can I use my sense of humour in the First Certificate Exam? Part 1

Can I use my sense of humour in the First Certificate Exam? Part 1


Using sense of humour in the First Certificate Exam   Part 1

I’m not suggesting you should wear a red nose in your exam.

Also, It’s probably not a good idea to arrive at the speaking exam with an artificial flower that shoots water in the examiner’s face.

NO. I’m talking about:

1 ‘Breaking the ice’ in the Speaking Exam when you need to feel more relaxed (some students drink alcohol before the exam!).

2 Talking about an amusing anecdote which is directly related to the context of your essay or speaking exam. Including one or two amusing ‘headings’ or comments in the Writing exam (especially for Reviews, Articles, Informal Letters or Emails).


Please note carefully!  Don’t offend people!

Of course, funny comments are NOT a good idea if you are writing an essay about your mother-in-law, religion or homosexuality, so it’s better to be politically correct.



If you don’t believe me, read this article from the British newspaper the Guardian, written by a real examiner.

My friends and family haven’t seen or heard much from me during the past four weeks, but they are used to my annual disappearance. After a busy year teaching, I exhaust myself further by marking nearly 1,000 exam papers. The shift to online marking increases mistakes – tired eyes, tired wrists from placing electronic ticks on scripts……

…..Are you male or female? Who are you? It doesn’t matter, though….. you are simply a candidate number on my screen worth £2-£5, depending on the subject I am marking. I try to stay focused, knowing that this pays for my annual holiday.

The monotony is broken at times by funny answers. I wish there were more of them. I want to tweet them but don’t for fear of being sacked……Blank scripts amaze me…. How can you finish your years of studying and write nothing?

In Sense of humour in exams Part 2, I will give you some practical advice for the Speaking Exam

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