Taking a speaking test in a foreign language is a bit like having a job interview. It’s an unnatural situation that you have to perform well in order to get the desired result – in this case, a pass!
How can you perform well in a speaking test and what can you do to give yourself the best chance possible of getting a high mark? In this podcast, we’ll give you some tips and advice on how to do speaking tests in English.
Voice message from Mamen from Badajoz
Mamen is taking the B2 First exam at the beginning of September
https://www.inglespodcast.com/476 – How to set goals and build habits for independent English study with Bree.
Tips and advice for the Cambridge B2 First, C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency Speaking tests
Smile and try to relax
Have ‘open’, positive body language
Maintain eye contact with the examiner and/or your partner whenever possible and appropriate.
Know the format of the test!
Always answer the question! For example, if you’re asked to compare two photos, then the language of comparison is more important than the language of just description.
Speak clearly and make sure the assessor can hear you!
Avoid short, uncommunicative answers – Don’t just say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – expand and extend your answers. Use ‘because’, ‘for this reason….’, ‘and so….’ etc.
Don’t try to speak too fast. Keep to a moderate, steady rhythm. This gives you more time to think before you open your mouth and to vocalise better.
Use examples from your own experience.
Show off your vocabulary and, if possible, grammar knowledge. This is your chance to shine!
But don’t try to say what you don’t know how to say! It’s better to be accurate than complex with lots of mistakes.
Make sure you can speak accurately and with confidence about your job, your family, the area where you live, your hobbies etc.
Listen carefully to the examiner and his/her questions. Pay attention to what your partner says because you may be asked to comment on what they say.
Use any written information or instructions to help you.
Correct yourself if you realise you have made a mistake but keep going. Don’t stop.
Don’t worry if the examiner stops you by saying, “Thank you!” – it’s normal!
Interact as much as possible and ask your partner questions to show interactive communication. (“It’s not a marathon, it’s a game of tennis”)
Use plenty of linking devices and discourse markers. e.g.Yes, that’s a good point/ First of all/ On the other hand/ Just to add to what you said/ However/ On top of that / To sum up/ etc.
How to practice
With a private teacher
With a friend, family member or classmate
With a mirror
With your phone
With voice recognition and AI – https://talkpal.ai/
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English. If you have ever taken a speaking test, what helped you to prepare? Do you have any advice or tips that we didn’t mention here?
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In next week’s episode: It’s a waste of money – Things we spend a lot of money on that maybe we shouldn’t.
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The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’