Monday, 31 March 2014


Cambridge FCE Speaking Test Part 1
There are four parts of the speaking test. In the first part, which is like a warm up, you and your partner are asked to introduce yourself. The interlocutor will ask questions like “How long have you been studying English?” or “Why are you taking this test?” and he/she may also ask follow-up questions after your answer, so you might have to explain your answer further.
For part 1 of the FCE speaking test, be prepared to talk about the following things:
- where you are from (describing your hometown, what the people are like there, how life is different from life in the US, etc)
- why you are studying English
- what you like/don’t like about studying English
- what your future goals are (specifically, how you plan to use English in the future)
- what you like to do in your free time
Top tips for Speaking Test Part 1:
  • Expand your answers! Remember that the whole reason you are taking the Cambridge Exam is to prove that you have a very high level of English skills. Prove it by giving detailed answers that showcase your skills, and remember: a “yes/no” or one sentence answer is never enough.
  • This is the only section of the test where you have an idea of the questions that will be asked, which means that you can actually prepare yourself well for this section. Rehearse answers to the questions listed above and become comfortable with speaking about the subjects that might be asked of you.
  • Phrasal verbs and idioms are what separate native and non-native speakers, so take any opportunity you have to use these devices. The only challenge here is making sure that you do it naturally, which should not be a problem if you practice and are comfortable using these words and phrases..  

  • Examiners usually ask questions to one candidate for one minute, and then switch to the other(s). The non-talking candidate should listen attentively. If they can prove they have been doing so by referring to their partner’s answers when speaking, all the better.

    Example of Speaking Test Part 1 Question and Answer
Let’s compare a good and a great answer…
Interlocutor: Student A, do you plan to use English in the future? How?
Student A: Yes. I plan to work in a bank in Switzerland and I need English for my job.
Interlocutor: Thank you. And what about you, Student B? Do you plan to use English in the future?
Student B: Yes, I certainly do plan to use English in the future, specifically in my career. Like my partner, I also plan on working in a bank, and many of the banks in Switzerland have English-speaking clients. To be hired, you must pass an English proficiency test, and I can imagine that I will use English on a daily basis when dealing with clients.
Student B’s answer is better for several reasons: it is more detailed and it uses more sentence structures and more impressive vocabulary. Instead of simply answering “yes”, Student B replies “Yes, I certainly do…”; in addition, the student uses the passive voice (“to be hired”), several modals (“must” and “can”), and the phrase “dealing with” very naturally. All of these things will probably be noted by the assessor and will result in a higher score for Student B.
This part of the test will last approximately 2-3 minutes.



FCE Speaking Exam Part 1 – Interview Questions
In the first part of the exam, the interviewer will ask you and your partner several questions about everyday topics. Here is a list of questions arranged by topic. Think hw you would answer each question

Area where you live or used to live

  1. Is there anything you would like to learn about your country?
  2. Which area of your country would you like to get to know better?
  3. What’s the most interesting place you’ve visited near ….?
  4. Could you tell me something about the area where you grew up?
  5. Could you describe your family home to me?
  1. Are you interested in sport?
  2. Is there a sport you’d really like to try?
  3. What sports do people play most in your country?
  4. How much exercise do you take each week?
  5. Do you like to be physically active or do you prefer relaxing?
  6. Which sports do you find boring?
  7. What sports do you like watching on TV?
  1. How much TV do you watch in a week?
  2. Tell us about a TV programme you’ve seen recently?
  3. Do you have a favourite newspaper or magazine?
  4. What do you spend your time doing?
  5. Do you enjoy reading?
  6. What sort of books do you read?
  7. Does anyone you know have an interesting hobby?
  8. What’s the difference between reading the news in the newspaper and watching it on TV?
  9. Who do you spend your free time with?
  10. Do you prefer to be outside or inside when you have free time?
Work and study
  1. Do you find it easy to study where you live?
  2. Do you use the internet to learn new things?
  3. Do you prefer working on your own or with other people?
  4. What kind of work would you really like to do in the future?
  5. Are you happier doing mental or physical work?
  6. Can you remember your first English lessons?
  7. What do you think were the most important things you learned at primary school?
  8. Would you prefer to work for a big or small company?
Family and friends
  1. Who do you spend your free time with
  2. Who are the most important people in your life?
  3. Do you and your friends share the same ideas?
  4. Tell me about your best friend?
  5. Do you normally go out with family or friends?
  6. Describe your relationship with your family.
  7. Do you have much contact with your cousins?
  8. What do you most enjoy doing with your family?
Travel and holidays
  1. Have you ever used your English on holiday?
  2. Where would you really like to go on holiday in the future?
  3. Do you like to plan your holidays carefully or do you prefer to just go?
  4. How do you prefer to travel? by train or by plane?
  5. What’s public transport like in your country?
  1. Do you ever go to concerts?
  2. Where do you like listening to music?
  3. Do you like going to the cinema?
  4. Do you enjoy playing computer games?
  5. Do you enjoy shopping?
  6. Do you like going to parties?
Daily life
  1. How much time do you spend at home?
  2. Tell us about a day you’ve really enjoyed recently?
  3. Do you like cooking?
  4. What’s your favourite food?
  5. Have you got any plans for this weekend?
  6. What’s your favourite day of the week?
  7. Are you planning to do anything special this weekend?
  8. What’s your favourite part of the day?

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