header cambridge speaking

For this exam, you will have to show how good your spoken English is as you take part in the conversation by asking/answering questions and talking by yourself.

You will need to express your likes and dislikes, as well as state an opinion about a situation. You are also required to describe a photo provided by the examiner.

The Speaking test will be conducted face to face with one or two other candidates and two examiners. The exam has 4 parts and will last between 12-16 minutes.


Each candidate will be asked 3 – 5 questions. You need to give a complete response with reasons why. Generally, the questions will require you to speak about the past, future, and preferences.

Example questions could:

  • Do you like shopping?
  • What kind of music do you not like?
  • Do you have a job?
  • What did you eat for lunch yesterday?

You do not need to make your answer too complicated, but it needs to be complete…not just ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Answer honestly and try to use the best vocabulary you know.


You will be given a photo to describe. You have 1 minute to do this. The photo will most likely have a person or a group of people doing an activity.

When giving your response, try to structure your answer by taking the following steps:

  1. First, explain what is happening and the location.
  2. Then start to talk about the people (emotion, relationship, appearance).
  3. Clothes (trendy, casual, sporty)
  4. Weather, time of day/year.
  5. What else can you see (in the background, on the left, etc).

Using this structure will help you to complete the minute. 

Remember to use present continuous when speaking about the actions in the photograph.


You will be given a card like this by the examiner with a question:


You now will have a discussion with the other candidates about the scenario. You will need to be able to make and respond to suggestions, discuss alternatives, and negotiate an agreement. You have 3-4 minutes in total to do this. You should be able to continue the discussion for the duration of the time.

To help you do this, first go through each option speaking about the positives and negatives of each one, give opinions, agree or disagree, and most importantly…ask questions.

You can use the following expressions:

  • Opinions – I believe, from my point of view, in my opinion.
  • Agreement – I couldn’t agree more, I can’t argue against that, I think the same.
  • Disagreement – Sorry but I must disagree because.., I’m not too sure about that…
  • Questions – What are your thoughts about…? Do you have the same opinion as me?

You should try to come to an overall conclusion when you finish speaking.


For the last part of the exam, the examiner to give you and the other candidates questions to discuss together. Questions could be about experiences, likes/dislikes, opinions, and habits. You have 3 minutes to complete this task.

Similar to part 3, you should be able to converse with your partner by stating your opinion an agree or disagree with your partner’s comments while asking questions to continue the conversation.

  1. Don’t make your answers to complicated, and speak honestly.
  2. If you don’t know a word, no problem just say ‘Sorry, I can’t remember the word. I am going to continue’. This will show a lot of confidence.
  3. No ‘urmmm….urmm’  say’ what else’ or ‘let me think’…when you are thinking.
  4. Speak with a smile and enjoy it. You will find that you speak more confidently and fluently.



You are going to be marked by the following criteria:

  • Grammar and Vocabulary
  • Discourse Management
  • Pronunciation
  • Interactive Communication

When the exam has finished, your score will be scaled and added to the rest of the Cambridge exam scores. Your overall average scale will determine which level you have achieved.


Feel like you need to practice some exercises? Or want to try out the other parts of the exam?





If you need help or you just have some questions about the exam, feel free to contact us. Good luck with your exam!

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