Do you get nervous in speaking exams? It is normal to be nervous, it shows that you care about your progress, but there are several things you can do to avoid making mistakes, see our post on avoiding mistakes. As mentioned in the post, it is important to prepare your answers and learn some fixed phrases. This speaking exam cheat sheet should help you to enter the exam confidently.


To make your speaking as easy as possible, we have included phrases to help you: speaking-cheat-sheet


Opinion: I think, In my opinion, I believe….

  • I would say (that)…
  • I reckon (that)…
  • It seems to me (that)…
  • I have the feeling (that)…
  • I am under the impression (that)…
  • I hold the view (that)…
  • I dare say that…


Likes and dislikes: I like, I dislike…

  • I am into (…ing)
  • I am keen on (…ing)
  • I am fond of (…ing)


  • I hate (…ing)
  • I can’t stand (…ing)
  • I am not crazy about (…ing)


Preferences: I prefer (…ing), I like ___ more than…

  • I would rather (bare infinitive)
  • I would prefer (infinitive)


Agreeing and disagreeing: I agree with…, I disagree with

  • I can see your point
  • I get what you mean
  • I couldn’t agree more
  • You took the words out of my mouth


  • I don’t understand your point
  • No way!
  • You can’t be serious!
  • Are you pulling my leg?


Suggesting: let´s…, why don’t we…?

  • How about (…ing)?
  • What about (…ing)?
  • Shall we (bare infinitive)?
  • Would it be a good idea (infinitive)?


Advice: You should (bare infinitive), I advise (…ing)

  • You ought (infinitive)
  • You had better (bare infinitive)
  • If I were you, I would (bare infinitive)


Plans and arrangements: I plan (infinitive)

  • I am going (infinitive)
  • I am (…ing)
  • I am planning on (…ing)
  • I have the intention of (…ing)
  • I am thinking about (…ing)



  • I will (bare infinitive)
  • I might (bare infinitive)
  • I could (bare infinitive)
  • I won’t (bare infinitive)


Criticisms: (modal perfect)

  • You should have (past participle)
  • You might have (past participle)
  • You could have (past participle)



  • I apologise for (…ing)
  • I am sorry for (…ing)
  • I feel bad for (…ing)
  • I regret (…ing)



  • You have (infinitive)
  • You must (bare infinitive)
  • You have no choice, but (infinitive)
  • You are (infinitive)



  • You mustn´t (bare infinitive)
  • You can´t (bare infinitive)


Asking for help:

  • Would you mind (gerund)?
  • Could you help me with…?


Expressing enthusiasm

  • I am delighted (that)…
  • It is thrilling (that)…
  • It is awesome (that)…


Expressing surprise

  • It is really surprising (that)…
  • I was taken aback when….


Changing the subject

  • By the way…
  • Let´s change the topic, shall we?
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