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.