CAE Example Essay With Examiner Comments

Below is the same essay question I used in my guide to the CAE essay, here is an example answer and some of the comments that should be expected from examiners.

You have read a newspaper article which suggests that shopping online is more convenient than going to a shopping centre. Write an essay considering two of the following options.

  1. Cost
  2. Variety
  3. Enjoyment

Some of the opinions expressed in the article;

“Shopping online is less of a social experience for many shoppers”

“Conventional shopping centres offer less variety for people with different tastes”

“Shopping online can be cheaper than most retail locations which have more overheads to pay”

Nowadays, people often chooses to use the wide variety of online stores available rather than go out to shop in shopping centres and high streets. It has been suggested that it’s more convenient to do so, but which is more critical for making this decision, cost or variety?

Firstly, the cost of shopping in conventional shopping centres and high street shops has rise in the past years. This could be because of the expense involved in paying salaries, rent, and other business rates. But it’s also true that more and more discount clothing shops are opening, offering reduced clothing and other items to compete with bigger stores. While shopping online includes the cost of postage and often the packaging, this can be weighed against the price of parking or petrol when people leave their homes to shop.

Secondly, the difference in variety between shopping online and in a shopping centre is obvious. While physical shopping locations are inevitably restricted by space and resources, online stores have no same limitations and shoppers can browse for any item, in any style, colour, or material that they want to. But it could also be argued that too much choice is frustrating for some shoppers, specially them that want something specific and struggle to find it.

In conclusion, while there exists compelling arguments in favour of shopping in shopping centres and similar places, it is my view that shopping online is more convenient. The possibility of lower prices and the certainty of more variety online mean that I would prefer to buy the majority of things this way.

CAE Essay Examiner Comments

Questions about any of the things here? No worries! Let me know in the comment section and I’ll try to help out.


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