Welcome to Part 7 of the C1 Advanced Reading and Use of English paper. This task is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. One where you have to arrange pieces of a text, until everything reads perfectly.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the longest, and most difficult tasks in the whole exam. But with a whole twelve marks up for grabs, it is definitely one worth spending your time over.

Keep reading to find out how to score top marks! We’ll also give you some extra tips and resources for passing the exam.


What’s in part 7?

Part 7 consists of one long gapped text – normally an extract from an article or book. From the text, six paragraphs, of equal length, have been removed and put at the end in a jumbled order.

The task is simple – you must decide which paragraph goes in which gap in the text. Each paragraph can only be used once. There is also a seventh one that doesn’t fit any of the gaps.

Part 7 Reading and Use of English Cambridge Advanced | Oxford House Barcelona

Cambridge English C1 Advanced Sample Paper 1 (zip)


What are they testing me on in part 7?

Reading and Use of English Part 7 is testing you on how a text is structured. The examiners want to see that you can follow the development of a theme, ideas, events or opinions, and complete a text in a logical order.


How should I answer the questions?

1. Read the whole text

As always, you should read the title, rubric and complete text first. This will help you understand the overall subject, and focus on the text as a whole.

At this stage, you could also make brief notes on the themes within the main text. One or two words that relate to the topic of each section is enough. For example, the first paragraph in the main text above is about a painting. The second paragraph is about physical differences, etc.

2. Look at the paragraphs

Now it’s time to analyse the missing paragraphs. Can you find any common themes that match with those of the main text? How about any synonyms? If you do find any connections, circle them to refer back to later.

3. Find reference words

Reference words refer back to people, objects and ideas that are mentioned earlier or later in the text. They allow the writer to avoid repeating words, sentences and sometimes whole paragraphs. Because they tie one part of a text with another, they act as vital clues to the most logical order.

Reference words include:

  • names and pronouns like he, she and it
  • determiners like this, that and these
  • relative pronouns like who, which and where

Also, keep an eye out for these other clues:

  • signpost language such as first, second, then and next
  • verb tenses like past, present or future may help us identify connections between the paragraphs
  • linkers for comparing and contrasting such as similarly, however and but

Make sure you scan both the paragraphs and main text for these words.

4. Match the paragraphs with their gaps

Once you’ve gathered your evidence, now it’s time to decide which paragraph fits where. Remember to look at what comes before and after each gap. Lots of students forget to do this and end up choosing the wrong paragraph.

Start with paragraph A and see if it fits in the first gap (41). Before the gap, the writer talks about a painting of a wildcat. After the gap is the word ‘however’. This shows us a contrasting idea, so the paragraph we choose must have some information about another smaller animal.

Does paragraph A fit? If not, move on to the next gap. Repeat these steps until you have matched all of the gaps with their correct paragraphs.

Don’t forget to double check that the remaining paragraph doesn’t fit anywhere!

5. Read the text again

Last but not least, make sure you read the whole text again. If you’ve filled all the gaps correctly, the text should flow and sound clear. Ideas should be in a logical order, with paragraphs of similar ideas. If you find that something doesn’t sound right, you’ve probably got one or more paragraphs in the wrong place.

Take the time to rearrange your answers if you need to. But don’t make any rash, last-minute decisions. You’re more likely to change a right answer to a wrong one when under pressure.

If you follow these five simple steps – you’re sure to get top results every time!


Tips and resources

  • Answer every question: each question is worth two points, and there is no negative marking, so make a guess even if you don’t know the answer.
  • Time yourself: spend about fifteen minutes on this part of the exam and do lots of timed practice in advance.
  • Read: read lots of different types of texts in your free time, choosing topics that you enjoy, eg. news and magazine articles, biographies, novels and short stories.
  • Practice: try these sample practice papers and free resources.

Related articles

We have lots more tips for helping you pass the other parts of the C1 Advanced Reading and Use of English paper. Check them out here!

Passing C1 Advanced: Part 1 Reading and Use of English

Passing C1 Advanced: Part 2 Reading and Use of English

Passing C1 Advanced: Part 3 Reading and Use of English

Passing C1 Advanced: Part 4 Reading and Use of English

Passing C1 Advanced: Part 5 Reading and Use of English

Passing C1 Advanced: Part 6 Reading and Use of English


Looking for more help?

C1 Advanced is a challenging exam, and one that takes a bit of guidance and preparation. That’s why we’re here to help. Our Cambridge English preparation courses are designed to give you the help and support you need, to get the best results on exam day. Sign up now!

Glossary for Language Learners


Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.

Jigsaw puzzle (n): a game of pieces of different shapes that need to be fitted together.

Up for grabs (exp): available.

Jumbled (adj): disorganised or confused.

Tie (v): to attach or fasten together.

Keep an eye out: to look out for something with particular attention.

Gather (v): to collect in one place.

Last but not least (exp): to say the final thing is equally important as the ones before.

Rash (adj): acting without careful consideration.


n = noun

exp = expression

adj = adjective

v = verb

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