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CAE – report

Paper 2 Writing – Part 2

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A report

may be written for a superior (e.g. a boss or college principal) or a peer group (e.g. club members or colleagues). The content of a report is to some extent factual and draws on the prompt material, but there will be scope for candidates to make use of their own ideas and experience.

Candidates will be asked to do more than describe a situation; they may be asked to evaluate to what extent a particular aim has been achieved, or to suggest an alternative course of action.


  • Begin by stating the purpose of your report.
  • You may use invented statistics to provide a succinct summary of your results.
  • Use a clear layout with:
    • Headings. They will make it clear that your report is not an essay or review.
    • Lists of numbered points or bullets where appropriate. (DO NOT overdo it, though. If you use them in more than one section, you won’t be able to show the full range of structures and vocabulary you know.)
  • Divide your report into sections according to the input.
  • Develop the ideas in the task input.
  • Include a sentence summarising your opinion at the beginning of the final section of your report.
  • Use an impersonal, formal style.

Useful language for a report

Stating the purpose of the report

  • The principal aim/objective/purpose of this report is to provide a description of… /to provide/to present results of /to assess the importance of …
  • In this report I will provide a description of … / I will provide/present results of …/ I will assess the importance of…
  • This report describes/provides an assessment of… / describes/provides/presents results of…

Describing how you got the information

  • I conducted a survey of / I conducted interviews with local council officers …
  • … responded to an online questionnaire.
  • I visited three of the most popular …
  • … were invited to attend a focus group…

Reporting your results

  • Most of those responding to the survey stated that/expressed the opinion that …
  • According to …
  • A large/considerable/significant/ proportion of respondents/informants/those surveyed said that …
  • Nearly three quarters of the …

Presenting a list

  • The arguments against … are the following:
  • The following were the main reasons given for supporting …: firstly, …, secondly, …
  • Points our informants mentioned in favour of/against … were:
  • There are several ways in which … might be … :

Making recommendations

  • Taking all the factors mentioned into account… / In the light of the results of the survery/questionnaire, … would appear to be the most viable solution/option/approach…
  • I would therefore recommend ….
  • Clearly, more could be done to …. I would make the following recommendations:

Model questions and answers

Report – Model question 1


An international development agency has been looking into attitudes to ageing around the world. The research director has asked you to conduct a survey and write a report. Your report should discuss how young people where you live feel about older people in the community and the prospect of growing older themselves. You have also been asked to make recommendations about how attitudes could be changed.

Write your report in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.

Report – Model answer 1


The main objectives of this report are to describe how young people in Gavà feel about elderly people in their area and ageing themselves. I will present results of a survey I conducted with a random selection of 200 young people at a local high school and in the final section I will include recommendations as to how attitudes could be improved.

Attitudes to older people

According to my survey, a significant proportion of young people never or hardly never spend time with someone aged 65. Reasons that respondents gave for this included: they have nothing in common, the elderly do not like teenagers and lack of time. More promisingly, nearly three quarters of those surveyed (74 percent) agreed that they could probably ‘learn something’ from older people.

Attitudes to ageing

Those responding to the survey were almost equally split between preferring to think about it as little as possible and those who never thought about it. For those who did think about it, the prime concerns were loneliness, poor health and boredom.


Clearly more could be done to bridge the gap between young and old in our community. I would make the following recommendations:

  • Set up volunteer tutoring opportunities for elderly citizens to help younger people at the high school with academic work or practical skills.
  • Invite young people to tutor old people in technology use, e.g. how to text/send emails in return for a donation to be used for social events.

Hopefully, increased contact between the groups will lead to greater understanding and more positive attitudes.

[+/- 260 words]

Report – Model question 2


An international market research company has asked you to write a report on advertising in your country. The company that has commisioned this report wants to know about the most common approaches used and how consumers respond to them. You are also asked to suggest changes to current approaches or alternative approaches which you believe would be more effective.

Write your report in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.

Report – Model answer 2


In this report I will provide a description of common types of advertising in Australia and present results of consumer responses to these. The final section makes recommendations for possible changes to increase the effectiveness of campaigns.

Common approaches

Television and radio continue to play an important part in advertising campaigns and celebrity endorsements often feature prominently. Print media, including billboards, posters and flyers, are also ubiquitous, especially in large cities. Some companies target consumers by giving away samples in public places and supermarkets, aggressive telemarketing or door-to-door sales. Many companies use social media strategies such as online competitions or special offers for ‘likers’.

Consumer responses

I conducted an online survey with 200 Australian contacts. An overwhelming majority cited that they found telemarketing and door-to-door sales people intrusive, annoying and rude. Nevertheless, over half admitted to buying something from someone through one of these channels. People generally said that they liked advertising when it was suited to their interests or used humour. A number of respondents mentioned that they ‘loved free stuff’ and would tell others about something they had been given.


In light of the results above, I recommend the following:

  • Make sure telemarketers and door-to-door salespeople have adequate customer service training.
  • Target young people such as university students for giveaways as this will likely result in positive word-of-mouth advertising and online reviews.

[+/- 230 words]

Report – Model question 3


Your local council is conducting an enquiry into the volume of visitors to the centre of your town or city with a view to encouraging more people to make greater use of shops, restaurants, cafés and entertainment facilities there. You agree to write a report describing the existing situation, including factors which discourage people from coming to the city centre and recommending ways of attracting more visitors.

Write your report in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.

Report – Model answer 3


The principal aims of this report are to provide an overview of the volume of visitors using services in our city centre and to identify factors which deter people from using them. The final section makes recommendations as to how the situation could be improved.

Current situation

I conducted interviews with a random selection of shoppers and customers in local restaurants and cafés. Fewer than half regularly visited the city centre. Among those who did make frequent use of what is on offer, most cited the pedestrianised Mitchell Mall as their favority area. Smaller numbers enjoyed shopping or dining around Holmes Square, though several people said they found the traffic noise disagreeable.

Factors preventing greater use of city centre services

There was a clear division between those who regularly visited the city centre and those who do  infrequently. The latter cited traffic congestion and pollution along with inflated prices for goods as factors that acted as a deterrent. For those who frequently came into town, on the other hand, the pedestrianised area and the outdoor café were a major attraction.


Clearly more could be done to attract people to our city centre. I would make the following recommendations:

  • extend the pedestrianised area to include the streets surrounding Holmes Square so as to capitalise on what is already an attractive area.
  • encourage shops, cafés and restaurants to offer discounts to regular customers.
  • maintain access to the pedestrianised areas for cyclists.

This final recommendation will encourage those who currently cyle into town to continue to do so, while reducing noise and pollution from motor traffic.

[+/- 270 words]

Report – Model question 4


You have just finished a short period of work in a company abroad as part of your business course. You have now been asked to write a report for your course organiser.

In your report you should explain what you did and how you benefited from the period of work, describe any problems you had and make recommendations for other students on the business course who will be working in the same company abroad later.

Write your report in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.

Report – Model answer 4


The aim of this report for the course organiser is to outline my work experience abroad, identify the benefits and problems, and make recommendations for students doing the same thing in the future.

Background information

I was assigned to a large office in the city centre in order to gain experience in management. My daily duties involved shadowing the office manager and learning different procedures. I also took part in a specific project aimed at building up new clientele, which was particularly interesting as it linked to my current course module.

Benefits and problems

I gained a great deal from seeing different management styles in action, which enabled me to put the theoretical aspects of the course into a practical context. It was also valuable in giving me independence and responsibility, and in a global world is particularly useful to experience the working environment of another country.
I found a few problems in adapting to the cultural differences as I was only there a short time, and in being accepted as a full member of the office team. This may be inevitable, and I certainly did not feel unwelcome.

Conclusion and recommendations

I would suggest making contact with members of the office before joining them, and asking for an overview of the office culture. This sould avoid the feeling of being an outsider, and create more of a feeling of teamwork. If students were given a schedule before the period of work experience, they could prepare more thoroughly. This would make the secondment run smoothly.

That being said, the overall experience, which I recommend to other students, was highly positive.

[+/- 270 words]

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