The Cambridge B1 speaking exam lasts for 10-12 minutes and consists of 4 parts.

Personalize speaking “In foreign language teaching, we customarily begin with the lives of others, with whom students may not easily identify, and then expect students to transfer the material to their own lives.  However, transfer to the textbook is easier when the content starts with the student himself and then leads into the materials to be learned… Let the students first discover what they can generate on the subject from their own personal thoughts and feelings” (Moscowitz, 1978, p. 197)

 

Speaking Part 1: Talk about your opinions to extend your answers. It is very important to extend your answers, in part one of the exam, you are expected to answer for 20-30 seconds. The best way to do this is to talk about your opinion or likes and dislikes. This can be incorporated into any topic and is easy to practice.

E.g.

Question. How long have you been studying English?

Answer. I started studying English last year because I want to go to university. I am keen on learning English because it is fun and I like my teacher because he is very funny and intelligent.

 

EXAMPLE EXERCISE:

Good morning/afternoon/evening. Can I have your mark sheets, please?

Hand over the mark sheets to the Assessor.

I’m ………… and this is ………… .

What’s your name? Where do you live/come from? Thank you.

And what’s your name? Where do you live/come from? Thank you.

 

Do you work or are you a student?

What do you do/study?

 

Phase 2:

Select one or more of the questions for each candidate.

How do you get around your city?

What did you do last weekend?

Do you think English will be useful in the future?

Tell us about the best day you have had recently.

 

DOWNLOAD EXAM QUESTIONS IN PDF HERE

 

Speaking part 2: In this part of the exam you need to describe a picture for 1 minute. It is all about extending and organising. When you are doing the long turn and speaking for about one minute about the picture, describing it and including your opinion about it. You should always organize how you do it. DO IT IN THE SAME ORDER.

PRELIMINARY (B1): SPEAKING PART 2

 

EXAMPLE EXERCISE:

Now I’d like each of you to talk on your own about something. I’m going to give each of you a photograph and I’d like you to talk about it for about one minute.

It shows people eating and drinking

At Restaurant

 

Speaking tips:

Describe: There is/are…     /I can see…

(Relative clause) There is a man who is reading

(Passive) This photo was taken (where/when)

 

Speculate: may/might/could

E.g.          The person in the photo might be a teacher because he is wearing glasses

 

Opinion: I think/reckon/believe… /It seems to me…

Likes and dislikes: be keen on, be fond of, be crazy about, be interested in…

(Conditional) If I were the person in the picture, I would eat the sandwich on the table because he looks hungry.

10 Activities Using Images and Photos

 

DOWNLOAD EXAM EXAMPLES IN THIS LINK

 

Speaking part 3: in this part of the exam you need to have a conversation with your partner for 2-3 minutes. You need to suggest the different options, give your opinion about the options, develop the conversation (make it more interesting) and come to a conclusion. To DEVELOP the conversation, you need to offer extra information about the topic. The best way to do it is with the 1st or 2nd conditional. For example, “If we buy a laptop for our friends, she can surf the internet and we can chat on Skype”. It is also important to be able to express negative opinions and also to agree and disagree. This helps you to find a conclusion and put an end to the conversation.

 

EXAMPLE EXERCISE:

Now, in this part of the text you’re going to speak together about something for about two minutes. I’m going to describe a situation to you.

 

A classmate of yours wants to take up a new sport this Spring and she wants to try something new.

Here are some sports she could try.

Talk together about the different sports she could try and say which would be the most entertaining.

 

All right? Now, talk together.

 

(2-3 minutes) ………………………………………

 

 

DOWNLOAD EXAMPLE QUESTIONS IN THIS LINK

 

Speaking: (Part 4)

In this part of the speaking exam you need to discuss the topic given for about 4 minutes. It is important to talk to your partner about your opinions and experiences. Ask your partner questions to encourage them to speak and help them if they have problems. It needs to be an interesting discussion so it is important to give it a good context and try to speak as if you were speaking to your friend in a natural context.

 

EXAMPLE EXERCISE:

Discuss the questions with a partner. these questions are always related to part 3 and are to expand the topic.

  • How often do you do exercise?
  • What do you do to keep fit?
  • Do you prefer working out alone or with others?
  • Is it important to get regular exercise? (Why/Why not?)
  • Do you think people do enough sport and exercise these days? (Why/Why not?)

 

Speaking tips:

It is really important to be able to talk about your likes and dislikes. Try using all of the different possible forms.

 

Like: love, enjoy

Dislike: hate, detest, despise, loathe, can’t stand

Collocations: be keen on, be a fan of, be fond of, be into, be crazy about, be big on, be interested in

 

Examples:

I love watching TV in the evening.

I can’t stand studying for exams because it is boring.

I am keen on swimming to keep fit.

 

B1 MOCK SPEAKING EXAM

 

Extra practice:

PET (B1) SPEAKING (PART 1): STARTER QUESTIONS

PRELIMINARY (B1): SPEAKING PART 2

B1 PRELIMINARY: SPEAKING PART 3

 

FOR A FULL COURSE FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE B1 EXAM APPF.ES

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