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5 Tips for Passing your Cambridge Speaking Exam

As we prepare for exams, we wanted to share some of the top tips our students have been learning in their Armstrong classes for the speaking part of the exam.

We’ve found these tips to be universal, for every level, and are worth keeping them in mind for when you’re practising on your own for the exam.

So, without further ado

1.Ask politely!

If you do not understand a question, remember you can always ask the examiner to repeat. Remember polite phrases such as:

“Can you please repeat the question?”

“Can you repeat that please?”

And have them in your back pocket just in case!

2. Compare and contrast! Don’t describe

In the picture part of the exam, you will be asked to compare and contract two or more pictures. Pay attention to not explain what is happening in each photo in detail! The examiner knows what is in the photo, they want you to highlight was is important in comparison with the other and to hypothesise what you think is happening in each.. Remember important phrases such as:

This photo has_____________________ whereas this photo_________________

On the whole _____________________________________________________

In this photo___________________ on the other hand in this photo____________________

3. Keep the ball rolling

Don’t hog the stage! Remember to pass the conversation back to your partner and include them where you can – it’s a conversation, not a one-man extravaganza!

Remember important key phrases to pass the conversation between you such as:

What do you think about_______________?

I agree but________________

I take your point but___________________

Would you agree with ________________________?

4. Listen!

You will be partnered with another person, and at some stage you will be asked to have a discussion and share opinions. It’s very important that you actively listen to your partner so you can respond appropriately. But that’s not all! Don’t switch off when it’s their time to talk, as you may be asked a follow up question and it will be embarrassing if you haven’t been paying attention.!

5. Relax

You will do better if you’re relaxed and confident! If you’re one of our students, you’ve done this all before, in class every day: sharing opinions, interacting with the teachers, analysing – this is old news. If you’re not, you’re welcome to sign up for some exam prep lessons with us!

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