Writing Tasks, Grammar Topics, and Vocabulary by Level for English Learners

Writing is an essential skill for anyone learning a new language, and it’s no different for English learners.

Whether you’re studying English for work, education, or personal growth, improving your writing abilities is crucial for success.

Unfortunately, many learners struggle with knowing what writing tasks they should be able to complete at different levels, as well as the grammar topics and vocabulary they need to master in order to write effectively.

That’s why I’ve put together this table, which outlines the writing tasks, grammar topics, and vocabulary needed for each level of the Cambridge tests. Whether you’re just starting out at A2 (pre-intermediate) or are working towards C2 proficiency (high-advanced), this table will help you identify the skills you need to improve your writing and achieve your language learning goals.

LevelWriting TasksGrammar TopicsVocabularySpecific Writing Task
A2 KeyA2
Short messages and notes; Form filling; Informal emails or lettersSimple present and past tenses; Be, do, have, can, and other auxiliary verbs; Personal pronouns; Basic prepositions and conjunctionsEveryday vocabulary (e.g. family, hobbies, weather, shopping); Common verbs and adjectives; Basic question words (e.g. who, what, where, when, why)Write a postcard to a friend about your holiday plans.
Write a short email to your teacher asking for information about an assignment
Write a short email to your friend telling him/her what you did on your last holidays
B1 PreliminaryB1
Descriptive texts (e.g. postcards, blog entries); Emails, letters, or reports giving information, opinions, and suggestionsPresent, past, and future tenses; Modal verbs (e.g. can, could, should, would); Adjectives and adverbs; Relative clauses; Indirect speechCommon expressions and idioms; Academic vocabulary (e.g. education, environment, technology); Phrases for giving opinions and making suggestionsWrite a letter to a pen pal describing your city.
Write an email to a colleague about a project proposal.
Write a short story using the narrative tenses.
B2 FirstB2
Essays or articles expressing opinions or presenting arguments; Reports or reviews summarizing and evaluating informationPassive voice; Conditionals; Reported speech; Gerunds and infinitives; Phrasal verbsAdvanced vocabulary related to specific topics (e.g. politics, economics, culture); Formal and informal vocabulary (e.g. synonyms for common words); Technical terms and jargonWrite a report on the advantages and disadvantages of social media. Write a review of a book you’ve recently read. Write an essay arguing for or against the use of technology in education.
Write a report evaluating the effectiveness of a new marketing campaign
Write a review of a book or movie.
C1 AdvancedC1
Discursive essays, proposals, or letters arguing a point of view; Reports, reviews, or critiques analyzing and evaluating complex informationSubjunctive mood; Complex sentence structures (e.g. cleft sentences, inversion, fronting); Conjunctions and connectors (e.g. however, despite, furthermore); Reduced relative clauses; Indirect questionsAdvanced and specialized vocabulary for academic and professional contexts; Register and style appropriate to the audience and purposeWrite a formal letter to a government official addressing a social issue.
Write an essay analyzing a literary work.
Write a research paper on the effects of climate change.
Write a report analyzing the impact of social media on society.
C2 ProficiencyC2
Essays or research papers on complex topics with an original thesis and well-supported arguments; Formal reports, proposals, or reviews demonstrating advanced research skills and academic rigor.Advanced grammar structures (e.g. conditional perfect, passive with two objects); Complex noun phrases and sentence patterns; Discourse markers and cohesive devices; Register and style (e.g. formal and informal language, hedging, and mitigation)Sophisticated and precise vocabulary appropriate for academic and professional contexts; Nuanced and idiomatic expressions; Terminology and jargon specific to a field of study or profession
Write a research article on a topic in your field of study.
Write a professional report on a business proposal.
Write a thesis statement for a masters/doctoral dissertation.

With this table, you now have a clear roadmap of the writing tasks, grammar topics, and vocabulary needed for each level of the Cambridge tests. Use it as a guide to focus your studies and improve your writing skills in English.

Remember, practice makes progress, so don’t be afraid to write, revise, and get feedback from qualified English teachers or tutors. With dedication and hard work, you can become a proficient writer in English and open up new opportunities for personal and professional growth.


*Created with the help of AI


What grammar topics do I need to study to level up my English?


Here you can see a list of grammar topics that you need to master in order to level up according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

Beginner (A1)

At this level you should be able to:

  • Communicate and exchange information in a simple way.
  • Ask and answer simple questions about daily routines.
  • Recognize letters, numbers, familiar names and basic phrases in most common every day situations.

These are topics you need to study at A1 Level according to Exam English:

Adjectives: common and demonstrative
Adverbs of frequency
Comparatives and superlatives
Going to
How much/how many and very
common uncountable nouns
I’d like
Imperatives (+/-)
Intensifiers – very basic
Modals: can/can’t/could/couldn’t
Past simple of “to be”
Past Simple
Possessive adjectives
Possessive s
Prepositions, common
Prepositions of place
Prepositions of time, including in/on/at
Present continuous
Present simple
Pronouns: simple, personal
There is/are
To be, including question+negatives
Verb + ing: like/hate/love

Elementary (A2)

At this level you will learn how to:

  • Deal with simple information
  • Express your opinion about familiar contexts (daily routines, life experiences and predictable topics)
  • Understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment.
  • Describe in basic terms people, things, places, and feelings.
  • Talk about plans, decisions, arrangements, and promises.
  • Give advice and talk about rules and obligations.

These are topics you need to study at A2 Level according to Exam English:

Adjectives – comparative, – use of than and definite article
Adjectives – superlative – use of definite article
Adverbial phrases of time, place and frequency – including word order
Adverbs of frequency
Articles – with countable and uncountable nouns
Countables and Uncountables: much/many
Going to
Modals – can/could
Modals – have to
Modals – should

Past continuous
Past simple
Phrasal verbs – common
Possessives – use of ‘s, s’
Prepositional phrases (place, time and movement)
Prepositions of time: on/in/at
Present continuous
Present continuous for future
Present perfect
How Questions
Verb + ing/infinitive: like/
want-would like
Wh-questions in past
Will / won’t
Zero and 1st conditional

In order to pass the KET test you need to master the grammar topics for A1 and A2

If you pass the KET test it means that you can:

  • Understand and use basic phrases and expressions
  • Understand simple written English
  • Introduce yourself and answer basic questions about yourself
  • Interact with English speakers at a basic level

If you can do all these things it is because you have developed your skills to use English to communicate in simple situations

Intermediate (B1)

At this level you will learn how to:

  • Express yourself with clarity about familiar situations and deal with non-routine information.
  • Understand the main points of conversations related to familiar situations encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  • Deal with most situations while traveling in a place where English is spoken
  • Write about simple topics that are familiar or of personal interest
  • Describe experiences and events in the past, dreams, hopes, ambitions, regret, and hypothetical situations
  • Give reasons and explanations about your opinion

These are topics you need to study at B1 Level according to Exam English

Both, either, neither
Broader range of intensifiers; So, such, too, enough
Comparatives and superlatives
Question tags
Conditionals, 2nd and 3rd
Connecting words expressing
cause and effect, contrast etc.

Embedded questions
Future continuous/ Future Perfect
Modals – must/can’t deduction
Modals – might, may, will, probably
Modals – should have/might have/etc
Modals: must/have to
Past continuous
Past perfect
Past simple
Past tense responses
Phrasal verbs, extended
Prepositions of place
Present perfect continuous
Present perfect/past simple
Reported speech (range of tenses)
Simple passive
Wh- questions in the past
Will and going to, for prediction

 Practice time

Click HERE to do some grammar practice for the PET exam

In order to pass the PET test you need to master the grammar topics for A1, A2 and B1.

If you pass the B1 Preliminary (PET) test it means that you can:

  • Comprehend information in textbooks and articles in English
  • Write letters and emails on everyday subjects
  • Take meeting notes
  • Show awareness of opinions and mood in spoken and written English

If you can do all of these things it is because you have mastered the basics of English and now have practical language skills for everyday use.

High-Intermediate (B2)

At this level you will learn how to:

  • Find and analyze the main ideas of complex texts on concrete or abstract topics, including some technical discussions.
  • Express yourself fluently and spontaneously enough to comfortably communicate with other English speakers. 
  • Communicate orally and in written form clearly on many subjects and explain a complex viewpoint on a topic, including expressing advantages and disadvantages.

These are topics you need to study at B1 Level according to Exam English

Adjectives and adverbs
Future continuous
Future perfect
Future perfect continuous
Mixed conditionals
Modals – can’t have, needn’t have
Modals of deduction and speculation
Narrative tenses

Past perfect
Past perfect continuous
Phrasal verbs, extended
Relative clauses
Reported speech
Will and going to, for prediction
Would expressing habits, in the past

In order to pass the FCE test you need to master the grammar topics for A1, A2, B1 and B2.

If you pass the B2 First Certificate (FCE) test it means that you can:

  • Write short reports and emails
  • Explain an idea or have a detailed discussion in English
  • Understand general English on TV and in newspapers.

If you can do all of these things it is because you can understand the main ideas of complex texts and conversation, and you can express your opinion with some fluency on a wide range of topics.