In this part, you will have comprehension questionnaires dealing with two written documents. One of them is a text of an informational nature regarding France or the French speaking world. The second one is a text of an argumentative nature. The reading section of the exam lasts for 1 hour and 25 marks are available.
You will be given different kinds of questions to test your comprehension:
• There will be multiple choice questions focused on the gist or context. Read carefully the question as you can be asked to give several answers.
• You will also need to answer questions using your own words or citing extracts from the text.
• You will be asked to answer questions by right, wrong that you must justify by citing extracts. Bear in mind that you only get marks if both answer and justification are right.
• In both texts, the last question refers to a figure of speech found in the text or in the title you will need to explain with your own words. Most of these expressions are puns and you may first give the meaning of the words before explaining the expression in its context.
HOW TO PROCEED
• I advise you to read the documents twice.
• On the first reading, aim to extract all the key points from the document to have an idea of the theme.
• Then read the questions so that your second reading is more targeted.
• Finally start answering the questions.
When you have to answer open questions, even though you have to write complete sentences, examiners only expect one or two sentences paraphrasing the extract from the passage, or an answer in your own words. So do not write too much!
Bear in mind that the questions are quite nuanced and require a careful reading and deep understanding of the text. Therefore I encourage you to read as widely as possible to help extend your range of vocabulary.
The documents mainly come from newspapers or magazines. Therefore, reading articles will help you to expand your vocabulary and your knowledge of French current topics.
Courrier International is also a very good newspaper which translates and publishes in French articles from international newspapers. It is a good way to weigh up the pros and cons of international issues.