Part 1 (Interview)
This part of the exam is split into two phases.
The first is a scripted set of questions and the questions are always the same. Just give short, but full answers about yourself. Your answers should be 10-20 seconds long.
EXAMPLE PHASE ONE QUESTIONS:
Good morning/afternoon/evening. My name is… and this is…
And your names are?
Can I have your mark sheets, please?
First of all, we would like to know something about you.
Where are you from?
What do you do there?
How long have you been learning English?
What do you enjoy most about studying English?
The second has varied topics, this post will look at some example questions from the different topics. The candidates are asked for personal information about themselves with simple introduction questions. The task usually lasts for 2-3 minutes and is used as an ice-breaker. The key to doing well in this part of the exam is to give a good first impression. You must speak with extended, fluent and confident answers. In the exam the examiners will be focusing on your pronunciation and ability to interact with them.
EXAMPLE QUESTIONS FROM PHASE 2:
At advanced level candidates need to be able to speak about familiar and unfamiliar topics. They should be able to express themselves with ease and have a good control of both simple and complex grammar forms. It is important to demonstrate your ability to mix verb tenses and transition between the past, present and future with ease. The key is to use connectors effectively.
See our post on Speaking for Cambridge exams (HERE).
We have provided a list of topics and example questions.
The CHALLENGING part about the C1 exam is that the units of study are not fixed; anything can be in the exam. The GOOD NEWS is by reading this post you will know all of the types of questions and be able to practice questions in each part, and then using your skills to talk about unfamiliar topics you will always be able to answer.
For extra speaking practice, click HERE
Remember: In this part the examiners want to hear about your personal information. There is no right or wrong answer, talk about yourself and give your opinion in different ways.
What do you get up to in your leisure time?
Obviously in my free time I like to relax and unwind, however, I am also a very active person so I am fond of working out at the gym and jogging. I also enjoy going out with my friends because I have a great social life. When I was younger I used to spend time playing video games, but nowadays I try to avoid them as they are a waste of time.
Sport and leisure
- How often do you get around to working out?
- What are the pros and cons of doing physical activity?
- Have you ever had an amazing sporting experience?
- Are there any times that you would rather relax to unwind than be active?
- What has been your greatest sporting achievement?
Success and failure
- What would you consider to be your greatest achievement?
- What is success? Define it.
- Is money an essential part of success nowadays?
- Can massive failures ever contribute towards a person’s success?
- Have you ever failed miserably at something?
- How has the internet changed the way we communicate?
- What negative effects has the internet had on our social lives?
- Are you keen on talking on the phone? Why (not)?
- When was the last time you sent a personal letter?
- Which forms of communication will become obsolete?
- How important is our diet in living a healthy life?
- Would you ever consider having cosmetic surgery?
- Do you visit the doctor as often as you should?
- Are people aware of the dangers of cigarettes and alcohol?
- What is the best way of preventing or dealing with drug addiction?
- Do you know anyone who has been a victim of crime?
- Should any illegal substances such as cocaine be legalized?
- What is the most serious crime one can commit?
- What can we do to ensure that youngsters don’t get involved in criminal behaviour?
- What is the most common crime in your region?
People and their lives
- What are the benefits of having a fixed routine?
- Are you a fan of taking up new activities?
- Would you say you are more of an early riser or a night-owl?
- When was the last time you made drastic changes to your daily routine?
- What is your opinion on flexi-time at work?
- Would you say that young people concern themselves with environmental issues?
- Are there any types of natural disaster that occur in your country?
- What can be done to prevent global warming?
- Are national governments doing enough to stop the effects of climate change?
- Do you think it should be obligatory to recycle, punishable with a fine?
- What measures do you put in place to make sure you use your time effectively?
- Do you ever procrastinate? Why (not)?
- Name a situation in which you need to kill time
- Do you enjoy hanging out with your family?
- What types of activities do you need to take your time over?
Shopping and buying things
- What’s your view of online shopping?
- Do you think shopping on the internet will ever overtake the conventional way of shopping?
- What possible drawbacks could shopping online have?
- Do you reckon that people spend money on things that they do not need nowadays?
- When was the last time you spend an arm and a leg?
Work and our careers
- Is it a good idea to stay in the same job your whole life or to try different things?
- Have you ever experienced great success at work?
- Would you ever consider changing career paths?
- Have you ever been fired from your job? Why?
- Have you ever been unemployed for a long period of time? How did/would you feel?
Education and our own development
- Is it essential to get a degree in today’s society?
- Which types of degrees are better, vocational or academic?
- Would you dare say that you are a good student?
- What can students learn from failing exams?
- How could the education system be improved in your country?
Travel and tourism
- Are you keen on travelling alone or with others?
- What are the possible difficulties faced when travelling abroad?
- Is travelling to a different country the best way to learn a language?
- Have you ever had a nightmare trip? Why?
- Due to the improvement of living standards, has travelling become easier in recent times?
- Would you say that technology has improved our lives?
- What are the possible risks of using the internet?
- What can be done about addiction to technology?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages to owning a mobile phone?
- In which ways can technology impede our progress at school/university/work?
Friends, family and relationships
- Have new technologies made us more or less sociable?
- Would you say you value the opinion of your friends or family more?
- Do you get on with all the members of your family?
- Do you need to cut down on the amount of time you spend with anyone you know?
- How can your family help you cut out behaviour that can be detrimental to your progress?
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Extra speaking practice: