This is a simple explanation of the tasks in the CAMBRIDGE C2 PROFICIENCY SPEAKING EXAM, or as it was previously know the CPE. The C2 PROFICIENCY is an exam from Cambridge Assessment English that is at level C2 in the EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK FOR LANGUAGES



CEFR level: C2

Scale score: 200-230

Test format: Computer or paper based

Number of parts: 4

Exam length: 4 hours




  • Achieve a postgraduate or doctorate level course
  • Communicate effectively in an international work environment
  • understand complex ideas
  • Express yourself fluently and face complex issues


What is included in this post?

This post will explain how to pass the speaking exam with example questions and helpful insights.


The Speaking Exam: key facts

Duration: about 19 minutes

Candidates: 2 (or sometimes 3)

Parts: it consists of 3 sections


The exam:


Part 1: Interview questions

In this part of the exam, the candidates need to answer questions individually as a form of ice-breaker. They need to express their opinion and give personal information.


Example exercise:

Good morning/afternoon/evening. My name is … and this is my colleague… 

And your names are? Could I have your mark sheets, please?

First we would just like to know something about you.

Where are you from? And you?

Are you currently working? And what about you?

  • You have said you’re living in (place). What’s interesting about it?
  • Do you have enough free time to do everything you want?
  • How do you manage your time effectively?
  • What would you most like to do for a living?
  • Do you get to travel as much as you’d like?
  • Would you say that the internet is a big part of your life?



  • Give full and interesting answers.
  • Show a willingness to speak.
  • Smile and make it seem as if you are enjoying yourself.
  • Be positive and confident.
  • Give reasons and examples to reinforce your answers.



Part 2: Collaborative task

There are two parts to this section and it lasts for around 4 minutes. 1 minute discussion about the 5 images and make a choice of one of the 5 images.

Discuss a situation to suggest, recommend, agree and disagree, link ideas and negotiate an outcome.



Example exercise:

Now, in this part of the test you are going to do something together. Here are some pictures of people in different situations.

Look at the images and say why they might have been taken and what they represent. You have about a minute and don’t worry if I interrupt you.

Talk about how each of these photos could be used in travel advertising and then choose which one would be the most influential in tourism.



  1. Ask questions to develop the topic.
  2. Be informal and friendly.
  3. Use inviting body language (smile, nod etc).
  4. Give your opinion and link it to your partner’s.


Part 3: Long Turn and Discussion

This part evaluates your ability to give extended answers, develop and organize your speech. it last for about 8 minutes; 2 minutes per Long Turn and 4 minutes to discuss.


Example exercise:

Now, in this part of the test you are going to speak on your own for about 2 minutes. You need to listen to your partner as you will be asked to give your opinion on their views.


  • Are you hardworking?
  • In what types of environments do you work best?


(Candidate A) I’m going to show you a card with a question and some information on it. I’d like you to give us your opinion on the matter.

All right? Please let (Candidate B see your card)

How has technology impacted on the world of work?


Collaboration and teamwork

The workplace

(Candidate B) Has technology make the way we work more efficient?


  • Do you enjoy or have you ever enjoyed a job you had?
  • What do you find most challenging at work?


(Candidate B) Now, it’s your turn. Here is your card. I’d like you to give us your opinion on the matter.

Is working from home an ideal situation?

Travel time



(Candidate A) Do you have anything to add?



  1. Organize your ideas with connectors and discourse markers.
  2. Be flexible and suggest alternatives to your points of view.
  3. Try to avoid repetition and hesitation.
  4. If you are not an expert on the topic, be honest, but then try to express your opinions on the issue.


Discussion questions:

  • (Candidate A) mentioned that technology has made the sharing of information easier. Is this always positive?
  • It is known that ICT skills are essential in the workplace nowadays, but are there any jobs that will become obsolete because of technology?
  • (Candidate B) raised some interesting points about the influence of work on our health. How can we avoid stress at work?



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