CAMBRIDGE CAE Mission: Ace Your Speaking Test (Parts 1&2)

Howdy! We are back today with some more tips on the Speaking component of your CAE examination. In case you are curious about tips and tricks for the Reading and Writing components, click on the keywords and they will all be at the tip of your finger. Convenient, right?

Let us focus on the Speaking test for now. As you might as well remember from last week”s article, there are a few administrative issues you ought to be aware of:

  • you will take your Speaking test alongside a partner/ two partners whom you most probably have never met. Oh, joy!

  • There will also be two examiners in the room with you, not as furniture, but as thorough assessors of your performance. Smile, you”re on stage!

  • One of the examiners will also be the interviewer, while the other (the assessor) will remain silent and will only fish for whatever you do right and wherever you go wrong. Comforting, I know!

Why don”t we proceed systematically? How should you deal with the situation successfully? Well, the answer seems rather straightforward: SPEAK! Of course, speaking will most certainly help, even though it is not a matter of WHAT (or, at least, not entirely), but a matter of HOW.

HOW should you go about the first Speaking part (the interview)? Tick this mental checklist while preparing your exam and during the test, as well:

  • practice answering questions about yourself, related to various social topics: hobbies, likes, dislikes, family, friends, work, learning, future plans, the media, travelling, holidays

  • listen to the questions carefully and ask for repetition if you don”t understand what you are being asked

  • speak clearly, fluently and confidently

  • remember the BECAUSE factor. Do not give short answers! Use full sentences and motivate your choices.

  • If you can”t remember a word, rephrase it and try to avoid unnecessary pauses.

  • The Speaking test is the conversational stage of your examination. Try to seem genuinely interested in and enthusiastic about it. Overall personal impression will smoothen your way to success. After all, who would YOU appreciate more: a relaxed, affable person, or a scared, cheek-shivering and generally poor spirited one? The examiners, against all appearance, ARE ONLY HUMAN and they will favour an open attitude rather than a timid one.

HOW should you go about the second Speaking part (the individual long turn)?

  • you might want to know that they call it the individual long turn because you will have to speak on your own for about a minute. A minute? Am I mental?!

  • Oh, that”s not all. You do not get to choose your topic. You are shown three photographs, out of which you choose two and you compare, contrast them while trying to speculate about the answers to two Professional alpine school district counselors are specially trained professionals who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse populations. questions about the photographs. Piece of cake! It is, take my word for it, all you need to do is practise your ability to deliver a coherent, to-the-point, one-minute long discourse. So, in lack of an English class where you could practice with a partner, address the two questions to yourself while looking into the mirror. Record your answer and play it back. Satisfied? Did you cover the answer to both questions? Did you use appropriate language? Were you coherent and fluent? Not really? Try again… and again… until it is perfect!

  • While one of the partners speaks, the other one pays attention, since he/ she will be asked a question about the other”s speech. Exciting, right? There is no spare time for you to let your mind wander. You have to be “plugged in” at any given moment!

Which are the steps for covering Part 2 entirely?

  1. Choose: I would like to discuss the pictures showing…

  2. Compare: Both pictures show…

    In the first picture, … whereas in the second one

  1. Speculate: I believe… / I should say that… / In my point of view…

    !!! Here is the point where you give your answer to the first question.

  2. Retake steps 2 and 3 in order to provide an answer to the second question

  3. Breathe!

Alright, ladies and gents, find them Speaking tests and try them out. Drop by for the tips and tricks on Parts 3 and 4 of the Speaking test. Cheers!

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