Speaking part 3 of the Preliminary B1 speaking exam consists of a long turn, in which candidates must speak for about 1 minute about a topic, using an image. The examiners are evaluating the candidates ability to organise their speech and develop a topic without repetition. They are also focusing on the candidates ability to use vocabulary in context and some complex grammar forms.
*It is not enough to simply describe with “I can see + vocabulary”
Candidates must try to use the best level of English that they can in a well structured way, focusing on fluency, organisation, vocabulary and grammar and also the use of connectors.
This is a typical example of an image: Topic = Work
Example of a dialogue for this image:
As I can see, this photo was taken in an office, because in the background there are some files. I can see a man who is responding to a message on his phone. He looks stressed and he might have problems at work. I think it is the morning because it is light outside. The man is well dressed so he could have an important meeting later. If I were him, I would make a plan for the day because I think he will be busy. In my opinion it is a really interesting image.
The topics for the Preliminary exam are typical and can be easily predicted:
|1||Time and daily routine|
|2||Leisure time and hobbies|
|3||Working and earning|
|4||Travel and tourism|
|5||Science, nature and our world|
|6||Education and learning|
|7||People and relationships|
|8||Health and lifestyle|
|9||Buying and selling|
|10||Eating and drinking|
Candidates must organise their answers to avoid repetition:
Describe: There is/are… /I can see…
(Relative clause) There is a man who is reading
(Passive) This photo was taken (where/when)
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.
*It is important to stay on topic. If the person´s clothes or appearance is not related to the topic, don´t mention it.
The candidate must attempt to use complex grammar to ensure they reach the grammatical level required for B1. Here are some examples of complex structures:
- (passive) This photo was taken…
- (relative clauses) There is a person who is…/There are some people who are…
- (modals) This is a beautiful image, it may/could be…..
- (conditionals) If I were the person in the picture, I would/could…
- (wish/if only) The activity in the picture looks fun, If only/I wish I could
If you have any time left, just give your opinion and state your likes and dislikes (HERE)
Suggested connectors to use:
- because, as, since, because of, due to
- although, but, however, despite, whereas
- For example, for instance, like
- So, therefore
- And, in addition, besides
See our post on connectors HERE
If you feel that you do not have enough to say, you can always add in more points about your opinion using:
- In my opinion
- I would say
- I reckon
- It seems to me
- I am under the impression
See a full list of ways to express your opinion HERE