How to do well on the day of your speaking test?

How to do well on the day of your speaking test?



While you are speaking, look at the examiner, not at the other candidate.

  • Be friendly. If you do not understand, ask to repeat: “Could you repeat that, please?/ Pardon?”
  • Don’t just say YES/NO to the questions.
  • Speak loudly and clearly. Be confident.
  •  Don’t give a speech!
  • Use a wide range of vocabulary and grammar.

Part 1

Part 1 tests your ability to talk about everyday topics such as your family, work, free time, future plans and basic information about yourself.

Questions you might be asked:

  • What do you usually do on your birthday?
  • What do you most like about the house or apartment where you live?
  • What did you do on your last birthday?
  • How often do you watch TV?
  • Do you like cooking? 
  • How well do you know your neighbours?
  • Do you ever buy things online? Why/Why not?


Part 2

In this part of the test, you have to talk about the photographs on your own for about a minute. When you finish, the examiner asks the other student (student B) a question about your photos – student B should talk for about 30 seconds.



1.Nobody should interrupt you, and you shouldn’t talk when the other student is talking.

2. If you forget a word or make a mistake, don’t worry. Just keep talking. You have to talk for one minute. Mistakes are normal. Keep going!

Part 3

In part 3 you given a spider web with five keywords linking to a question. 

You get about 15 seconds to read everything, then you have to discuss it with your partner for 2 minutes. When the 2 minutes is over, the examiner will stop you and he will ask another question. You discuss that question for another minute.

We don’t agree about anything!

It doesn’t matter – it’s all about opinions. There are no right or wrong answers, only good or bad discussions. If you disagree, explain why. 

Cambridge are only interested in the quality of the discussion and the quality of your language (your grammar and vocabulary). 

Useful Phrases for Speaking Part 3

Getting Started

  • Which one shall we start with?
  • I think you know a lot about [topic]. What’s your opinion on it?
 Moving to the next item
  • Shall we move onto [topic] now?
  • So what about [topic]?
  • What about this one? [pointing to topic]
  • What do you think about this idea?

Ending Your Turn

  • What do you think?
  • Don’t you agree?
  • Did I forget anything?


  • Right.
  • Good point.
  • I totally agree.
  • I was just going to say that!
  • I couldn’t agree more.
  • You’re totally right.

Disagreeing (with reasons)

  • Maybe, but what about…?
  • I think it would be better to…
  • I’m not so keen on that.
  • I don’t really agree with you there.

Reaching a Decision

  • Well, I think it’s definitely not [topic]
  • Are we both in favour of [topic]?
  • Okay, so we agree.
  • I don’t think we’re going to agree on this!
  • Let’s agree to disagree!

Part 4

In this part of the test you are tested on your ability to give opinions, give reasons for your opinions, and your ability to politely discuss things with your partner.

The examiner asks you a question. You answer it. But it’s not the same as part 1. It’s more like part 3 – you should respond to your partner’s answers.

Useful Phrases

Giving your opinion

  • What I think is that…
  • In my opinion, …
  • It’s clear to me that…
  • One thing I’m sure of is…
  • I might be wrong but …

 Buying time

  • I’ve never really thought about that, but…
  • What a good question!
  • That’s a good question.
  • That’s an interesting question.