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Tips For Speaking

  1. Don't worry if the interlocutor stops you before you have finished everything that you want to say. You and your partner will be given the exact time set out in the test.
  2. Always speak clearly so that the assessor and the interlocutor can hear you.
  3. Don't worry if you make a grammatical mistake- that is only part of the assessment.
  4. Don't prepare sentences or short speeches before the test. React what the interlocutor and your partner say to you.
  5. In Part 2 and Part 3, remember that the task is written at the top of the page, but if you aren't sure what to do, ask the interlocutor to repeat the instructions before you start. You can also check what you have to do with your partner.
  6. Don't try to talk all the time. Don't interrupt your partner while they are speaking - wait until they have finished.
  7. Relax and try not to be nervous - enjoy the experience!

*Material taken from TOP TIPS FOR FCE, University of Cambridge .  



Sorry Sonia, but it doesn`t work..anyway for me yesterday during the MOCK EXAM FCE.
There is no time for thinking, you should react quickly and the questions are very unexpected, sudden.

I have taken Cambridge exams before, and believe me, nothing is unpredictable. Of course you have to be prepared to react as quick as possible, but the topics you could probably speak about are not unknown for us. They are everyday topics. People who are going to take the FIRST examination have to know about it: 

Your Speaking is assessed on: 

* Grammar and Vocabulary
* Discourse management (i.e. the development of ideas) 
* Pronounciation
* Interactive Communication
* Global Achievement

In my country, people study about three years to take this Cambridge Exam, in order to get high marks

You have 14 minutes to speak. That's a lot of time.


I am an Oral Examiner for FCE and CAE.  Sonia gives good advice.  When you come to me for the Oral Examination, just be yourself, being nervous is understandable but you don't need to be, maybe with the other examiners who bite, not with me, but usually we don't bite during your examination.  Discourse management is not so much the development as it is sticking to the topic of the question.  Telling what happened to you is not really sticking to the topic and detracts.  

You cannot prepare for the questions.  They are designed to separate your thinking from your tongue.  They are different every time the examination is given, and what I have seen detract most is poor vocabulary and hesitating and repeating yourself when expressing abstract ideas.  So just be natural, and let the language flow out of your like a river.   

When Proffesor B said '... maybe with the other examiners who bite, not with me, but usually we don't bite during your examination', I remember the waiting room, and I can see the other students face, I don't know how my face looked when I took the previous Cambridge Examinations, but the others are really funny, they are like scared.
The first thing I do when 'Speaking Part' is coming, I try to look for my partner. I ask 'Who has the Speaking part at this time?' When I get with him or her, I introduce myself and get to know a bit about my partner.  I am not sure if I am allowed to do this, I do it anyway because it makes me feel more comfortable during the examination. 


The Speaking Exam has 4 parts and are timed, and the Examiner will tell you how much time you have to answer.  The first part is simply asking about family or school or your city, then an extension of that which includes the other student(s) present and that is the end of part 1; about a minute.  Part 2 involves viewing pictures and will be asked to compare and contrast the activities in the pictures.  Then your partner will be asked to comment.  You can choose your partner and practice in advance of the exam with your partiner.  You might have two partners, if there is an odd number.  Part 3 is the interactive communication part where you look a pictures and discuss a question together with your partner(s), and this is the longest part and can become a debate, so don't be surprised if the partner doesn't not agree.  And part 4 is the final extensions of the theme from part 3.  Total time is about 15 minutes.  I have more information if you contact me or schedule a lesson with me.

As I took this exam already I must say the most important tips are:

  • Don't prepare sentences or short speeches before the test.
  • Relax and try not to be nervous - enjoy the experience!

I really enjoyed the Speaking part because I followed these tips and they worked. However, it's a fact you have to study to feel more confident.

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