Speaking part 2 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

Close up of man using mobile smart phone

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)

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.

*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