C1 Business Higher (BEC Higher)

Reading Part Three. Six points

The Task

There is a long text to read and six questions/sentences with four A B C D answers/ end of sentences. The task is to choose the correct answer. There is only one correct answer.

You can download an example of Reading Part Three here.

Guide to the Task

This looks like it’s a standard “old-fashioned” style reading comprehension where you read the text and then choose the correct answer!

No, you don’t. I can read fast in English. It is my language and usually when I read I can absorb the information quickly because I know about the subject in advance. Also, I don’t have to answer questions about the text after I finish reading and I don’t have a time limit. This is not the case for you, so it is not necessary or useful to read the text first.


  • Read the context. The context sentence is given as part of the task instructions.

  • Read the question sentences only. Don’t read the A B C D options at the moment (remember, three of them are wrong!)

. C1 Business Higher (BEC Higher) Reading Part Three Question
  • Highlight the keywords. These are words which explain the topic of the sentence and will help you find the answer in the text. They are also the words which help you decide on the answer. This is easy and quick to do.

For example, if the sentence says,

The writer says that a good sales strategy is mainly about

Then the keywords are good sales strategy, mainly.

It can also be useful to change the sentence into a question. Sometimes the exam will do this for you

With the sentence above…

What is a good sales strategy about?

Or just write What?

  • Find part of the text that talks about the same thing and read it. Then read the ABCD options and choose the one that is closest to the information in the text. It doesn’t always have to be exactly the same.

  • Repeat this process with the next questions. The good news here is that the questions are in the same order as the answers in the text. The answer to question 1 is at the beginning of the text (usually in the first or second paragraph), the answer to question 2 is after the answer to question 1 (usually in the next paragraph). This can help you in two ways, it makes looking for the answers easier because you can follow the order but also if you have found the paragraph with the answer for questions 4 for example but you can’t decide if A or B is correct, then you can confidently go on to question 5 and come back to 4 later.

C1 Business Higher (BEC Higher)

Reading Part Four 10 points.

The Task

There is a text with 11 missing words. There are 10 questions each with four answers marked A B C D. The task is to choose the correct word for the sentence in the text. The first missing word is given to you as an example.

You can download an example of Reading Part Four here.


  • Read the text first. However, don’t just read and forget the missing words. When you read, predict and write in the word you think is missing.

  • Think of an easy word you know which fits in the sentence.

. C1 Business Higher (BEC Higher) Reading Part Four Question
  • The words are usually grammar words like verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, linkers, and pronouns. It is usually better to read the complete sentence before you predict the missing word because the words that come later are significant.

  • Read one paragraph then read the three options for each space – is your answer there? If it is then you may be right, but check the other words too.

  • If your answer is not there, do two things; look, for one or two words which have a similar meaning and eliminate two words which you are confident are not correct.

  • Now look at the difference between the two words that are left. Do you know any difference in meaning? Look back in the text, is there a preposition immediately after, close to the space. If so which of the vocabulary words left are used with it. For example, the sentence might be

Management are responsible for choosing which market to ………. into

You might have written go or enter when predicting.

The 4 options are

A come B enter C move D open

go and come are similar but are movements in different directions so come can be eliminated, open into does not work so eliminate open too. The choice is now between enter and move, if you wrote enter then you may be tempted to choose it but look at the preposition into and think about the meaning of enter. Enter means go into, so if you choose enter the sentence would say “which market to enter into and it would mean “which market to go into into”! Move into works together as a verb and preposition of movement and is therefore, the correct answer.

  • Repeat this procedure with all the spaces.

Now that you understand how to maximise your score for the C1 Higher Reading Parts 3 & 4, you are now ready to start learning how to prepare to succeed in Parts 5 & 6.

If you prefer to focus on improving your score in a different part of the C1 Higher exam, then try Writing, Listening, or Speaking.