B2 First (Cambridge English First)

The Reading and Use of English exam consists of seven parts. Parts 1-4 (use of English) test aspects of comprehension, grammar and vocabulary, and parts 5-7 (reading) test your comprehension of different types of reading text. If you haven't already, you should look at the Cambridge B2 First website for details and some official practice. You can also download their Exam Booster book here for free to get practice of all parts of the exam.

One of the best things you can do to prepare is lots and lots of reading - books, magazines, blogs - anything to give you a 'feel' for the language. The grammar and vocabulary below might also help you to focus your studies in preparation for the Use of English questions.

Overview of Use of English

Essential grammar for B2 First

Useful vocabulary: word formation

Vocabulary: Phrasal Verbs

If you don't have much time to prepare, please don't get too stressed about phrasal verbs. They are useful, but if you look at past exam papers you'll see that there are only usually two or three Use of English questions with these, and it's very difficult to predict which ones you might come across ( 😁 phrasal verb for 'encounter'). If you have lots of preparation time though, you should note down and learn phrasal verbs which come up in your reading - they may come in useful! There are also more phrasal verbs practice exercises here, aimed at learners at B2 and C1 level.

Vocabulary: Expressions

Vocabulary: Collocations


If you are doing the exam in the next few months, you should really be looking at past papers too. There are lots of books which can help you with this. Click on the books below to explore these and other B2 First books on Amazon. Please note that if you buy anything through these links, I will get a small commission.