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.



In this part, the examiners are evaluations Discourse Management. This means, the candidates ability to speak in an extended way, use connectors and to give a conclusion.



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



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Showing 3 comments
  • Helen Gore

    Typo, first spelling of candidate.

    • Marc

      Thanks for the comment, my keyboard is getting worn out and sometimes typos occur. All fixed now.

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