The FCE (B2 First) Speaking Test – Things you need to know

This is the first of four videos about the B2 First speaking exam. (B2 First is often known by its former name, FCE or Cambridge First Certificate.)
When we ask our students what makes them most nervous about the exam, they often say FCE speaking, so that’s what this series is all about.
In this first video we provide an overview of the B2 First speaking exam, showing you how it works and the criteria you’ll be marked on. In our later videos we’ll go through the four parts of the exam in detail, demonstrating what to do and what NOT to do and providing tips and practice activities for each part.

Click here to see our grammar videos.
Click here to listen to Craig’s podcasts for Spanish speakers.

The B2 First Speaking Test (also known as the FCE Speaking Test)

The B2 First or FCE exam has four papers.
When we ask our students which one they’re most nervous about they often say the speaking test.
So if you feel nervous too, you’re not alone.
And we can help you. We’re going to give you the information you need to pass and get a good mark.
Hello everyone. I’m Vicki.
And I’m Craig,
And this is the first of four videos about the speaking test for the FCE exam, now called the B2 First.
We’re going to show you what happens, help you practice and give you tips so you can get a good mark.
In this first video we’ll tell you some general things about the speaking test. But let’s see how much you know already.
We have some questions for you. First one: how long does the test last?
The answer is 14 minutes.
Or 20. You take the exam with a partner and then it’s 14 minutes, but sometimes you’ll have two partners and then it’s 20 minutes.
It may sound like a long time, but after their exam, most students say the time went really quickly.
OK, one more question. How many examiners will there be in the room?
There will be two. Let’s see what happens at the start of an exam.

Good afternoon.
Good afternoon.
My name’s Craig. This is my colleague Simone. And your names are?
I’m Vicki.
Hello.
And I’m Jay.
Thank you.
Can I have your mark sheets please?
Here you are.
Thank you. Well, first of all we’d like to know something about you. Vicki, do you like cooking?

And that’s how the exam begins.
So there are two examiners, but you’ll only talk to one of them. The other one will be listening.
Now that’s important because it means you need to speak up.
Yes, sometimes students speak too softly and then the other examiner can’t hear them.
Don’t make that mistake. Speak up! OK. Next question. How will the examiners mark you?
They’ll be looking at four things so let’s go through them one by one.
They’ll be listening for the words you use. Can you use a wide range of words and different grammar structures correctly? If so you’ll score a high mark.
And they’ll be listening to whether you can connect your ideas in a way that’s easy to understand. Can you explain your thoughts logically.
What’s your pronunciation like. Is it clear and easy to understand? Having an accent is fine, as long as your pronunciation is easy to understand.
And finally, how well can you interact with other people? Can you keep conversations going and respond without hesitating a lot?
And that’s it. Those are the four criteria the examiners use to mark you.
Great, so the next thing you need to know is the structure of the test. It has four different parts.
Part one is a Q and A – question and answer. The examiner will ask you questions that you’ll answer.
Part two is a picture question where you’ll compare and talk about two pictures.
In Part three, you’ll do a task with your partner and make a decision about something.
And in Part four, you’ll answer some questions from your examiner.
So every part is different and in this series of videos we’re going to go through them one by one. We’ll explain what you need to do, and some of the things you shouldn’t do.
And we’ll give you some tips and practice activities for each part.
Well prepared candidates do best in this exam, so it’s great that you’ve found us. Stay tuned for our next videos and don’t forget to subscribe to this channel.
And if you like these videos, why not share them with a friend?
Bye now.
Bye.
Click here to see our grammar videos.
Click here to listen to Craig’s podcasts for Spanish speakers.

One thought on “The FCE (B2 First) Speaking Test – Things you need to know

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.