The speaking exam will test your ability to respond to questions and holding a conversation in a face to face scenario. You will be joined by one or two other candidates plus two examiners who will be marking you as you go through the exam. 

In total there are 4 parts to the speaking exam, each testing your capabilities to understand what is being said and give your response effectively. The whole exam will last for 14 minutes (a little longer if there are 3 candidates).

In general, you will need to be able to give your opinions, describe, speculate, and evaluate in a variety of situations.

FIRST SPEAKING EXAM:

PART 1 - INTERVIEW

For part 1, the leading examiner will ask a host of questions to each candidate. The question may require you to speak about the past, future, preference as well as giving information about yourself.

There will be about 3 to 4 questions for each candidate.

TIP

You do not need to make your answer too complicated so just answer honestly. However, think about which form of grammar you are using.
For example:

Use Verbs of frequency

“How often…”

Use future forms

“What are your plans for next week?”

The questions can be a wide variety of topics such as career, interests, studies, friends and family etc.

PART 2 - COMPARING PHOTOS

Over to part 2, now this will test your ability to compare two situations while speaking solo for a short length of time. You will be shown 2 photographs, along with a question. You have1 a minute to speak and to compare, then the other candidate will be asked an additional question to respond to (around 30 seconds)  that is connected to the photographs. You then you will swap turns afterwards.

“What are the people enjoying about spending time in these gardens?”

You do not necessarily need to describe the 2 photos, but compare the situations in the photos. When comparing, be sure to use linking words and comparatives when answering as you can see in my examples. Also, you should always be comparing, do not stay speaking about one photo for too long!

TIP

Remember to answer the question, that is very important. I recommend answering the question within the first few moments/sentences of your response.
For example:

“The photos show 2 rooms, however, both are very different from one and another. The second room could belong to a student or teenager because it is messier than the other photo, The first one seem to me that it belongs to an elegant person or family because of the style of the furniture. “

An example of the second question for the other candidate is:

Which garden would you prefer to spend time in? ….(Why?)

You only have 30 seconds to answer, so don´t make you response too complicated or long!

PART 3 - COLLABORATIVE TASK

The examiner will now provide you with some materials along with a scenario for you and the other candidates to collaborate together while discussing the different options and expressing each of your opinions about each choice. There will be 2 minutes to discuss each option, speak about the pros and cons, discuss each point in a general sense. You should NOT state you personal opinion or preference!

Instructions:

This is NOT a monologue so be sure to give your partner a chance to speak! If your partner is speaking for a long length of time, then don’t be shy and politely interrupt by saying something like “Hold on can I add to your comment about….” or “Sorry but I don’t feel the same about what you said because….”

After the 2 minutes, a further minute is given to answer a follow up question together. You should now try to make a decision and you are expected to come to a conclusion.

Instructions:
You only have 1 minute in total for everyone to speak so give brief but complete response!

This will challenge you to exchange ideas, expressing and justifying opinions, agreeing and/or disagreeing, suggesting, speculating, evaluating, and reaching a decision through negotiation.

TIP

Learn some expressions to help you to do this, such as:
  •  “Speaking for myself…” 
  • “One possible outcome could be…”
  • “I’m afraid I have to disagree with you because…”

PART 4 - DISCUSSION

There is now a further discussion with the other candidate, guided by questions from the examiner, about the topics or issues raised in the task in Part 3. There will be no materials to help you this time. The discussion will last for 4 minutes in total.

Once again, you need to give your opinions, experiences and agree or disagree.

The number of questions asked by the examiner will depend on how you and your partner can maintain the conversation.

Example questions to this task could be:
  • “Do you think it is important to look smart?”
  • “Do people spend to much money on clothes?”

FINAL TIPS

  • Learn some B2 expressions and keywords
  • Try not to repeat the same expression – I think this…..,I think that…..I think, I think…I think……..NO!!!!!!!! I believe, If it was me….
  • Didn’t understand the question, politely ask to repeat the question, there is nothing wrong in doing so. But everything wrong with answering incorrectly because you didn’t understand the question.
  • Give complete answers with reasons or examples, not just “Yes” or “No” answers.
  • Smile and try to enjoy it. Your fluency and body language will dramatically improve which will show confidence and then leads to higher total marks. 

WHAT WILL I BE MARKED ON?

You will be assessed on the following 4 criterias:

GRAMMAR AND VOCABULARY

The range of language you use.

DISCOURSE MANAGEMENT

How well you control you speaking and conversation.

PRONUNCIATION

Are you pronouncing the words correctly.

INTERACTIVE COMMUNICATION

Do you respond correctly to the questions and how are you interacting with the other candidates.

SCORING

Once the exam have been completed, B2 First results are then reported on the Cambridge English Scale.

You will receive a separate score for each of the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and use of English, giving you a clear understanding of your performance. These five scores are averaged to give you an overall result for the exam. You will also be given a grade and Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level.

RECOMMENDED MATERIALS

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

COURSE BOOKS:

EXAM PREPARATION:

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