B2 First Speaking Test (FCE) Speaking Part 2 – 3 steps to follow

This is our third video about the B2 first speaking test (formerly called the FCE speaking test) where we explain how to handle the picture questions.
In FCE speaking part 2, the examiner gives each candidate two pictures and a question to discuss. We demonstrate how to structure your talk and also, how NOT to structure it! We show you three simple steps you can follow to help you  keep talking and get a good mark in this part of the speaking exam.

Click here to see an overview of the B2 First Speaking Test
Click here to find out about Part one of the FCE Speaking Test

FCE Speaking Part 2

In part two of the B2 First speaking test, you’re going to compare two pictures.
And we’re going to show you how to get a great mark.
Hi everyone. I’m Craig.
And I’m Vicki and this is the third in a series of videos about the B2 First speaking test.
Formerly known and Cambridge First Certificate exam in English or FCE.
We’ll put links below so you can see other videos in this series.
Today we’re looking at part two of the test, where you speak about two photographs.
This part lasts four minutes. Let’s jump straight in and see it in action.

In this part of the test, I’m going to give each of you two photographs. I’d like you to talk about your photographs on your own for about a minute, and also to answer a question about your partner’s photographs. Jay, it’s your turn first. Here are your photographs. They show people who are working. I’d like you to compare the photographs, Jay, and say which job you think is the most difficult. All right?
In this picture I can see two fire fighters and a fire. And in this picture there’s a nurse and a baby. There’s a fire. The fire’s big. It’s orange. I think the fire is hot. There’s some water in the picture. There is a baby and a nurse. The baby is small. I think it’s a hospital because she is a nurse. Oh and she has hands.
Thank you, Jay. Vicki, which job would you prefer to do?
It’s hard to say. I’d like both jobs because you can help people and even save lives. But the firefighter’s job looks a little more exciting.
Thank you. Can I have the booklet please?

So what did you think of Jay’s answer?
I thought it was terrible. He used very simple basic language and he didn’t compare the pictures. He also stopped speaking before the end of the minute. He did everything wrong.
He wouldn’t score a high mark.
And did you notice that the examiner asked me a question after Jay spoke? So be ready to answer a question briefly about your partner’s photos.
OK, let’s see how Vicki does.

Now Vicki, here are your photographs. They show people shopping in different places. I’d like you to compare the photographs, Vicki, and say which experience would be the most enjoyable. All right?
Yes. The bottom photo shows an outdoor market and the top photo shows a shopping centre or mall. They show very different shopping experiences because one is outdoors the other is indoors. I think they could both be enjoyable places to shop, but the prices might be better in the outdoor market. Perhaps that’s why it’s more crowded.
The mall looks like a more peaceful shopping experience. They could be playing music there. I’d prefer to shop in the shopping centre if it’s raining and the outdoor market if it’s sunny. One thing I don’t like about the shopping malls is the shops are all the same. I think there will be more variety in the market. This outdoor market reminds me of a street market that I visited when I went on holiday to the Philippines.
Thank you, Vicki. Jay, do like you shopping?
No. I don’t have any money.
Thank you. Can I have the booklet please?

It’s hard to speak for a minute on your own, so how did Vicki do it? She began by saying what she could see in the photographs, and saying how they’re similar and different.

The bottom photo shows an outdoor market and the top photo shows a shopping centre or mall. They show very different shopping experiences because one is outdoors the other is indoors.

So describing and comparing didn’t take long. Just spend 10 to 15 seconds on this. You want to move on after that and answer the question.

I think they could both be enjoyable places to shop, but the prices might be better in the outdoor market. Perhaps that’s why it’s more crowded.

So there Vicki answered the question. You can speculate like Vicki and say things like:
Perhaps…
They could be…
It might be…
It seems to me that…
It looks like…

And then Vicki still had time left, so what did she do?

I’d prefer to shop in the shopping centre if it’s raining and the outdoor market if it’s sunny. One thing I don’t like about the shopping malls is the shops are all the same. I think there will be more variety in the market.

She personalised the photos. She gave us a personal opinion about the topic and also told us about an experience she’d had.

This outdoor market reminds me of a street market that I visited when I went on holiday to the Philippines.

So how can you practice this? Try it yourself. Look at the pictures and talk for one minute. You need a stop watch and a recording device so you can listen back to what you said. Remember to follow these three steps:
Say what you see and compare the photos quickly. How are they different and how are they the same?
Answer the question above the photos. This is REALLY important.
If you still have time, personalise. Give your opinion. Say if the pictures remind you of things you’ve experienced.
If you stop speaking before the end of the sixty seconds, there may just be silence. So try to keep speaking until the examiner stops you.
And that’s it for part two, but before you go, make sure you’re subscribed to our channel so you don’t miss parts three and four.
And share this video with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it.
Click here to see an overview of the B2 First Speaking Test
Click here to find out about Part one of the FCE Speaking Test

One thought on “B2 First Speaking Test (FCE) Speaking Part 2 – 3 steps to follow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.