IELTS speaking test part two - dos and don'ts

IELTS Speaking Test Part Two – Dos and Don’ts

Get tips and tricks for the IELTS speaking test part two and learn how to improve your score.

We’ll show you how part two of the IELTS exam works:
– the instructions the examiner will give
– how you can practise ahead of time
– how to plan your talk
– the value of the bullet points
– how to use complex structures to improve your score

We’ll also show you mistakes students sometimes make and what NOT to do:
– failure to plan
– using memorised talks.
And best of all, you’ll see candidates in action and learn from their good and bad model answers.

Click here to see our overview of the IELTS speaking test.
Click here to see our video on part one of the IELTS speaking test.

Hello, I’m Keith.
And I’m Vicki and welcome to the third video in our series about the IELTS speaking test.
Today we’re looking at part two of the exam, which is called the ‘long turn’. What that basically means is it’s a talk. Your examiner will give you a topic and you’ll talk about it for one to two-minutes.
Part two is your opportunity to give a long answer and produce a flow of English.
One of the things students find the hardest is thinking of things to say.

Now I’m going to give you a topic and I’d like you to talk about it for one to two minutes. You have one minute to plan what you’re going to say and you can make notes if you wish. Do you understand?
Yes.
OK. Here’s your pencil and paper and here’s your topic. I’d like you to describe a water sport you’d like to try in the future
Nah, I’m ready. I would like to try deep sea diving. Deep sea diving is great.

Jay made a mistake here. It’s hard to talk continuously for one to two minutes and he should have used the minute to think of ideas.
You’ll need lots of ideas to talk for one to two minutes, so take advantage of the ‘one minute’ and make notes.

You have one minute to plan what you’re going to say and you can make notes if you wish. Do you understand?
Yes.
Here’s a pencil and paper. And here’s your topic. So I’d like you to talk about a special meal you had with your friends or family.
Mhmm.

Some students worry that anything they write will be marked and graded, but that doesn’t happen.
This is the speaking test not the writing test, so only the things you say matter. Nobody will look at your notes and the note paper will be destroyed at the end of the test.
The examiner will give you a cue card like this that has your instructions, and bullet points with ideas for you to talk about. The bullet points are designed to help you structure your talk.
You don’t have to use the bullet points and you can make up your own ideas if you want. But they’re usually very helpful.
Here’s another example. I sometimes prepare sample answers to these questions to show my students, and I often find my answers follow the bullet points on the cue card. They provide a natural structure.
You’ll be able to keep the cue card with you to refer to throughout the talk.

OK. Remember you have one to two minutes for this so don’t worry if I stop you. I’ll tell you when the time is up. Could you start speaking now, please?
OK. I went to a Greek restaurant for dinner with some school friends about a month ago to celebrate the end of our exams. There were five of us and we’re all studying animal sciences….

It’s hard to know how much you can say in a minute or two, so it’s really important to prepare for this part of the exam ahead of time. You need to get a feel for how much to say so you can keep going for two minutes. You can find example cue cards on different topics on my website.
Use a stopwatch and record your answers so you can listen back to them. Your goal is to talk for at least one minute. That’s the minimum. But if you can talk for one and a half, or two minutes it’s much better. You’ll have more opportunity to show off your English and get a higher score.
Some candidates prepare topics for part two that they have learnt by heart. This is a bad idea because you can’t predict what topic you’ll receive. Examiners are trained to spot memorised answers and they’ll know if you’ve memorized an answer.

Could you start speaking now, please?
Yes. A water sport I’d like to try is scuba diving. There was a famous movie called Thunderball where James Bond went scuba diving. The movie was made in 1965 and it starred Sean Connery. In the movie James Bond had to recover two atomic bombs that were stolen by a secret organization called Spectre. It was very successful. The movie earned more than a hundred and forty million dollars worldwide. In the movie, James Bond…

The topic on Jay’s cue card is a water sport he’d like to try, but he’s talking about a movie. The examiner will consider this ‘off topic’ and will l have to ignore the language he’s used. This will seriously affect Jay’s score.
It’s good to memorize words and phrases, but memorizing whole sentences is probably not good, and certainly not a whole talk.

I’m sure we’ll be friends for many years to come because we have so much in common. The time flew by and we suddenly realized it was midnight and my friends had to get up early…
Thank you. Can I have your question card and your paper and pencil, please? Thank you.

Don’t worry if the examiner interrupts you. They’ll interrupt you after you have spoken for two minutes, so that’s a good thing!
One last tip. Sometimes when you’re giving your talk, you might be able to express a regret. So you can say how you wish things were different now, or had been different in the past. If you can, it’s a great way to show off your grammatical range. Let’s see some examples.

I wish I could swim. If I knew how to swim, I could enjoy water sports.
If we’d known the restaurant was noisy, we’d have gone somewhere else.

Do you see what they did there? They used complex conditional sentences to express regret. You can’t always do this because it’s not possible with all topics. But sometimes you can and using complex structures can show off your grammatical range.
So now you know how part two of the speaking exam works. Make sure you’ve subscribed to both our channels so you don’t miss our videos on part three.
And if you’ve found this lesson useful, give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends. Bye for now.

Click here to see our overview of the IELTS speaking test.
Click here to see our video on part one of the IELTS speaking test.
We’ve made this video in collaboration with our friend Keith from IELTS Speaking Success and you can check out his YouTube channel here

IELTS speaking test part one tips

Great tips for the IELTS Speaking Test Part One

Get tips and tricks for the IELTS speaking test part one.
Learn:
– how part one of the IELTS speaking test works
– the kinds of questions the examiner will ask
– how you can predict the first topic
– how long your answers should be
– how to extend them with reasons and examples
– what to do if you don’t understand
And best of all, see candidates in action and learn from their good and bad model answers.

IELTS speaking test part one tips

Hi I’m Keith.
And I’m Vicki and in this video we have some great tips for part one of the IELTS speaking test.
Part one of the test lasts four or five minutes and it’s a Q & A – question and answer.

In the first part of the test I’m going to ask you some questions about yourself.

The examiner will usually ask questions about three different topics – familiar topics
So what are familiar topics? They’re questions that are related to you and your day-to-day life.
These are just some of the different things examiners can ask about. They’ll often ask questions about your experiences and things you like and dislike. And sometimes they’ll ask about people in your country or town, or about your culture.
But normally the questions are about you and your experiences. There are many different topics so they’re hard to predict.
But here’s some good news. You CAN predict the first topic. It’ll be about one of two things: where you live or what you do. The first topic is always about one of these things.
If it’s where you live, they will ask about your hometown or about your home.

What’s your favourite room in your home?
My bedroom.
And why’s that?
I like it.
And is it a large room?
No.

Jay’s answers are too short here. One way to extend your answers is to give reasons.

I like my bedroom because it’s where I keep my pet spider.
Oh!

That’s better. Jay gave a reason and explained why he liked the room.

Where are you from?
Sviyazhsk in Russia. It’s on the Volga and Sviyaga Rivers.
And is it a good place for children to live?
Yes, because it’s a tightly-knit community so everybody knows one another. And also, it has a lot of parks where they can play.

Ksenia’s answers were a good length. She added extra detail about her hometown and gave two good reasons why it’s a good place for children to live.
Now where you live is one possible first topic. The other one is what you do.

So let’s talk about what you do. Do you work or are you a student?
I’m a student.
Do you work or study?
I work.

A short answer is fine for this question. The examiner just wants to know so they can choose the best follow up questions. If you say you’re a student they’ll ask questions about your studies. If you say you work, they’ll ask about your job.
Do you work or study?

I work for a large telecommunications company. It has 100,000 employees in 60 countries. Our revenue’s been declining for the last four years so I think they’re about to cut back. We restructured a couple of years ago and I have a new boss. I don’t think she likes me. She says I have to listen more …
Thank you. Now I’d like to talk about recycling.

This time, Jay’s answer was too long. Think about it like this. Part one lasts 4 to 5 minutes and the examiner wants to ask about 10 questions. That’s just under half a minute per question. So you need to extend your answers a little, but not too much.

Do you work or are you a student?
I’m a student.
And what are you studying at the moment?
Animal sciences. I’m taking a three-year course at the community college. I started last September.
Uhuh. And why did you choose this course?
I’ve loved animals ever since I was a child and one day I hope to become a vet.

Ksenia’s answers were a good length and she added the right amount of information – a little, but not too much.
After one or two minutes on the first topic, the examiner will move on to another one, but you can’t predict what it will be.

Now I’d like to talk about recycling. What kinds of things do you recycle?
Recycling. Recycling is important because waste has a negative impact on the natural environment. Recycling conserves raw materials and saves energy.

Jay’s English is correct here, but he sounds formal and academic. And he’s not answering the question. The examiner asked what HE recycles, and he talked about recycling in general.

Do you often recycle?
Yes, I separate my rubbish at home into plastics and paper, and oh yes, I also use recycled paper for writing whenever possible.

This is better. Ksenia is answering the question directly and she sounds more natural and conversational. The examiner isn’t going to ask about abstract theories or concepts in this part of the test, so stick to your experiences.
Now let’s look at another topic.

When did you start to learn maths?
I think it was in primary school. Like most children we had to learn addition, subtraction and the times tables at school.

Another good answer. Ksenia added detail and shows she knows some good vocabulary about maths.

Did you enjoy learning maths at school?
No, I hated it. I didn’t like my teacher because she didn’t explain things very well.

Jay said ‘no’ here and that’s fine, because he extended his answer and gave a reason. The examiner will score the quality of his English, not his opinions.

Is maths important?
Yes, because we use it in our daily lives.

This isn’t a bad answer, but it would be so much better with an example.

Is maths important?
Yes, because we use it a lot in our daily lives. For instance, when we go shopping, we need to know addition, so we can check the receipt and make sure we get the right change.

Ksenia extended her answer with an example. Giving reasons is one way to extend your answer. Giving examples is another.
Another thing to understand is this part of the exam is more like an interview than a real conversation. The examiner is following a script and each topic is separate from the last.

Is maths difficult for you to learn?
Oh no, not at all. Math is beautiful. Numbers are much easier to understand than people.
Now let’s talk about the sky. Do you like the sky?
The sky? You want to talk about the sky?

Most of the time the examiner’s questions will flow naturally, but sometimes, when they change topic, they may seem strange. If you listen to the examiner, you’ll hear signals like this.

Let’s talk about fruit and vegetables….
Now I’d like to talk about smiling…
Let’s move on and talk about music…

It’s OK to ask the examiner to repeat a question. In part one, they won’t explain words, but they will repeat the question.

Sorry, could you say that again?
Could you repeat that?

And that’s how part one of the IELTS exam works!
Make sure you’ve subscribed to both our channels so you don’t miss our videos on parts two and three.
And please share this video with a friend if you’ve liked it, and give it a thumbs up.

We’ve made this video in collaboration with our friend Keith from IELTS Speaking Success and you can check out his website here.

And on this website you’ll find hundreds of videos on our channel to help you with your listening, speaking, grammar and vocabulary before your exam. Check some out here.

FCE speaking part 3 B2 First

B2 First Speaking Test – Parts 3 & 4 + useful phrases

The B2 First Speaking test (FCE) has four parts and in this video we look at the last half of the test.
In FCE speaking part 3, the examiner gives the candidates a task to perform and they need to interact with one another. In part 4, the topic stays the same, but the candidates interact with the examiner and answer questions.
Watch this video to see what happens in these two parts of the FCE test. We’ll give you tips on what to do (and what NOT to do), along with useful phrases to help you interact and get a good mark.

Click here to see our first video about the B2 First Speaking test.
Click here to see our second video and learn about part one.
Click here to see our third video and learn about part two.

FCE speaking Part 3 and FCE speaking Part 4

In parts three and four of the B2 First speaking test, you’re going to show you can share ideas, give opinions and interact in English.
Interaction is really important in these parts of the exam, and we’re going to show you how to do it.
Hello everyone. I’m Craig.
And I’m Vicki and this is the fourth and final video in a series about the B2 First speaking test.
Formerly known as the Cambridge First Certificate exam in English or FCE.
We’ve put links below so you can see other videos in this series.
And today we’re looking at parts three and four of the exam.
They’re connected because they’re both on the same topic.
In part three you’ll have a question to discuss with your partner and some ideas to help you. And in Part four you’ll answer some questions from the examiner.
It all starts with a task. The examiner will give you a question to discuss.

Now you’re going to talk about something together. Here are some inventions that are important in everyday life and there’s a question for you to discuss. First you have some time to look at the task.

Let’s look at the task now and while you do, think of some vocabulary you could use to talk about the question.
And also think about what questions you could ask your partner.

Now you have about two minutes to say why these inventions are important in our everyday lives.
Well, refrigerators are the most important. I keep a lot of beer in mine. It’s a very big American refrigerator. It makes ice as well which is really nice in the summer when it’s hot. It’s awesome.
Speak together.
I agree that refrigerators are important because they stop food going bad.

The examiner wants to see interaction with the other candidate here so make sure you discuss the question with your partner.
Talking to the examiner is a common mistake. Remember to ask your partner questions and interact.

But what do you think about the internet? Most people use it every day.
I use my refrigerator every day.
Well yes, we all do.
I don’t like warm beer.

Another mistake candidates sometimes make is they focus on one idea and don’t talk about the others. For example, Jay kept talking about refrigerators.
You don’t have to discuss all the ideas, but try to move the conversation forward.

Let’s discuss a different idea now. What are your thoughts on mobile phones?
I don’t have one.
Yes, but why are phones important in most people’s everyday lives? I think it’s because they’re easy to carry around wherever we go and they’re useful in emergencies. Do you agree?
I don’t have one.
How about moving on to washing machines? They save time and work of course. I think they’re very important. What about you?
I don’t think so.

Jay disagreed here and that’s fine. It’s OK to agree or disagree with your partner but he needs to give reasons.
Yes. Jay wouldn’t get a good mark because he’s still talking to the examiner, he’s not asking for his partner’s opinions, and also, he’s not giving reasons.
It means his answers are too short, and that’s a problem.
He needs to discuss with a partner for about two minutes.
That’s quite a while.
Yes, you need to keep speaking until the examiner tells you to stop. Let’s look at some language that can help you.
You’ll need to state opinions and give reasons

I think refrigerators are important because they stop food from going bad.
I don’t think microwave ovens are important because lots of people manage without them.

You need to find out if your partner agrees or not.

Do you agree?
What about you?
How about you?

And you’ll need to move from one idea to another.

What do you think about the internet?
What are your thoughts on cell phones?
How about moving on to washing machines?
Let’s discuss a different one now.

After you’ve spoken for two minutes the examiner will stop you and ask you to discuss another question.

Now you have about a minute to decide which two inventions you think it would be most difficult to live without.
Refrigerators. Like I said, I don’t like warm beer.
Well, the refrigerators could be one invention, but we have to choose two. What do you think about washing machines?

So now the task now is to come to decision. They must try to decide on the top two inventions.
Be careful because if you decide too early, you’ll have nothing to discuss and you need to keep talking for about a minute.
You don’t have to reach a decision. You just have to try. And keep talking until the examiner stops you.
Let’s move on now to part four. This is the final part where the examiner will ask you questions.
And they’ll be questions about the topic you just discussed in part three. Let’s see an example.

Vicki, what do you think is the most important invention for your family?
Mmm. Perhaps the internet because we use it to keep in touch. We communicate most days on Skype.
Thank you. Jay, what about you?
What about me what?

Pay attention and don’t do what Jay did here.
It’s important to listen to the examiner’s questions and your partner’s answers because the examiner may ask you to comment.
They might say ‘And you? or ‘What about you?’ or What do you think?’ and you need to be ready to answer.

Jay, what about you?
What about me what?
What do you think is the most important invention for your family?
Oh, the refrigerator. But not the cell phone. We lost all our family photos when put my phone in the washing machine. That’s why I don’t have one now. We’ll never see pictures of Great Aunt Suzy again.

Jay’s answer was actually pretty good there.
Yes, he gave reasons and his sentences were longer and more connected.
Remember, the examiners don’t mark your thoughts and ideas. They only mark the quality of your English.
Let’s look at some more questions.

Vicki do you think mobile phones are becoming too popular these days?
Maybe. Because when I try to talk to people face to face, sometimes they don’t look at me. They look down at their phone.
Jay, what’s the most exciting technological development at the moment?
Sorry. Could you repeat that please?
Yes, what’s the most exciting technological development at the moment?
Oh, hearing aid technologies.

So if you don’t understand, you can ask the examiner to repeat the question.
You can say ‘Could you repeat that, please? Or ‘Could you say that again?’ Notice we say ‘that’ in these questions.
So what can you do if your partner talks too much, or if they don’t talk enough?
If they talk too much, you’re going to have to interrupt. And you want to do it politely if you can.
And if they’re not speaking enough, ask them questions. Remember these parts of the exam are all about interaction.
And don’t worry about losing marks because of your partner. You will be marked separately.
So the examiner doesn’t compare you with your partner and you get separate marks.
And that’s it! Now you know what to do in parts 3 and 4 or of the exam.
And in all the parts of the speaking exam if you watch our other videos.
So good luck if you’re taking the exam.
We’d love to know how you get on, so please write and tell us in the comments.
Bye-bye everyone.
Bye-bye everyone.

Click here to see our first video about the B2 First Speaking test.
Click here to see our second video and learn about part one.
Click here to see our third video and learn about part two.

FCE speaking part 2

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

FCE speaking part 1 B2 First

FCE Speaking Part 1 (B2 First Exam) + Practice questions

This is the second of four videos about the speaking test of the FCE exam (now called the B2 First exam).
FCE speaking part 1 is a Q&A – a question and answer session with the examiner. To get a good mark, candidates need to avoid one word responses and extend their answers.

In this video we show you some different ways you can make your answers longer to get a good mark, and we also give you some typical FCE speaking questions that you can use to practice with.

Click here to see an overview of the FCE speaking exam (also known as the B2 First exam)

FCE exam – FCE speaking part 1

What do you need to know about the B2 First speaking test, and what do you need to do in the exam to get a good mark?
In this series of videos we’re going to show you what to do and what not to do to get a good mark.
I’m Vicki.
And I’m Craig. And we’re going to talk about Part one of the exam in this video.
Part one lasts two minutes and it’s a question and answer section.
Let’s jump straight in.

Well, first of all we’d like to know something about you. Vicki. Do you like cooking?
Oh yes, I love it. I like trying new recipes that I find on the internet and I’m interested in Chinese food. I made some dumplings last week and they came out great.
Thank you, thank you, Vicki. Jay. Do you often use the internet?
No.
Why not?
Because no one ever answers my emails.
Thank you Jay. Vicki. Do you like going to parties?
I do and I love having parties too. We often invite friends over and then sometimes we play party games. We had one last week …
Thank, thank you Vicki. Jay. What did you do on your last birthday?
Hmmm. Oh, the laundry.
Why?
Because my clothes were dirty.
Thank you.

Who do you think gave the best answers, Jay or Vicki?
I hope you said Vicki!
Vicki’s answers were better because she gave long answers,
I didn’t just say ‘yes’, ‘no’ or one word. I extended my answer and made it longer. Remember the examiners don’t know your level of English. You have to show it to them.
But how can you extend your answers? A lot of students find this hard so here are three ideas to help. First one: give an example.

Vicki, do you like cooking?
I love cooking. For example I made some Chinese dumplings last week.

A second idea. Give a reason and say why.

Jay, what did you do on your last birthday?
Nothing much. I don’t like birthdays because they remind me of my age.

And a third idea, use ‘but’ and ‘although’ to contrast one idea with another.

Do you like cooking, Vicki?
Yes. I like cooking sometimes but not every day.
Thank you. Jay, tell me about your best friend.
Oh, I don’t have a best friend. Although I have a dog. He has bad breath.

Jay’s answer was better there. His ideas were strange, but that doesn’t matter. He extended his answer.
And it doesn’t matter if your answer is true or not. The important thing is to speak.
The examiners mark the quality of your English, not the quality of your ideas.
OK. Now how can you prepare for Part one when you don’t know what questions the examiner will ask?
We’re going to help you. We’ll give you some examples of topics you can expect and you can use these example questions to practice.
You’ll need to listen, pause the video and give your answers. Don’t forget to extend your answers, so make them longer.

Do you prefer to study alone or with friends?
Would you prefer to work for a big company or a small company?
What do you enjoy doing with your friends?
Tell us about your family home.
Do you enjoy playing computer games in your free time?
Is there a sport of hobby you enjoy doing?
Do you enjoy going to the cinema?
Do you prefer paper books or digital books?
What kind of music do you enjoy?
Do you enjoy going to the theatre?
Which part of the day do you enjoy most?
What do you usually do at weekends?
Did you go anywhere interesting last weekend?
Do you have any plans for the summer?
Are you going to go on holiday this year?
Do you enjoy long journeys?

One more thing before we stop. Did you notice the tenses in those questions? A lot were asking about the present but some were about the past and some were about the future.
This means that when you answer, you have to be careful to use the right tense. And sometimes the questions might be conditionals too. For example:

Vicki, which country would you most like to visit in the future?
Oh, Egypt. I’ve always wanted to go to Egypt to see the pyramids.
Thank you. Jay, if you could learn a new skill, what would you choose to do?
I’d like to learn morse code.
Why?
I’d like to communicate with aliens.

So you’ve got to listen hard to the questions and then use the right tense in your reply.
Great so that’s Part one of the speaking exam.
Make sure you’re subscribed to this channel so you don’t miss the video on Part two.
And share this video with a friend if you’ve enjoyed it.

Click here to see an overview of the FCE speaking exam (also known as the B2 First exam)

FCE B2 First Speaking Test

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.