This post is aimed at giving you a little bit of help with the B2 Cambridge Assessment English exam.
I will basically give you all of the inside knowledge as an examiner about how to pass the exam. This information is essential to pass the Cambridge exam and show you have a B2 level in English.
As the exam is fairly long and there is a lot of information to process, this post will be divided into 5 sections.
What is obvious is that you need to do more than just mock exams. Candidates need to have an intermediate level of English and then learn the exam technique to get the best possible grade.
Have a look at this advice and put them into practice with our exam preparation material.
The speaking section of the B2 First lasts for approximately 12-14 minutes. It consists of 4 parts, see the link for more details. The speaking section of the exam is worth 20% of the final grade.
Part 1: The Interview Task (the interview task)
The interview task consists of two phases.
In phase one, the candidate will be asked about their personal information. Typical questions are What is your name? Where are you from? Typically, candidates should give a short 10-15 seconds.
In Phases two, each candidate will have a different topic that they need to answer two questions about. The candidates should give an extended answer for about 20-30 seconds. In this part of the exam, the examiners are tasting your pronunciation and your confidence to speak. As a candidate, you should focus on giving a fluent and confident answer and also using mixed tenses. The examiners are not looking at your grammar too much, but they want to see that you can change grammar tenses in an agile way.
Part 2: The Long Turn (the long turn)
In the long turn, candidates need to give a one minute monologue about a question and two photographs, and then answer a question about their partner’s photos.
In this part, the examiners are assessing your complex grammar and discourse management. That means that candidates can use difficult grammar (Passive, relative clauses, modal verbs, conditionals, cleft sentences, wish) and organise the way the speak to avoid repetition and hesitation.
As the candidate, you don’t need to worry about the time. The examiner will say thank you when you have finished.
Part 3: The Collaborative Task (the collaborative task )
The collaborative task is an informal conversation about a situation.
In this part of the exam the candidates are explained a situation and then given about 15 seconds to read the question and options. The candidates then need to speak about the question and talk about the 5 options in 2-3 minutes. The examiner will stop the candidates and ask for a conclusion. They have 1 minute to do this.
Candidates should have a really informal conversation that seems like two friends chatting about something in an informal context. The best thing to do is set a context by paraphrasing the question. It is important to ask and answer questions, and then agree and disagree.
What many people don’t know is that the examiners will focus a lot on your body language. Don’t look at the examiner when you are having the conversation, look at your partner and act as if you were alone speaking.
The examiner will control the time so you can just interact and converse with your partner.
Part 4: the Discussion Task (the discussion task)
part 4 is a discussion about several questions.
What most people don’t realise is that part 4 is always on the same topic as part 3. Candidates need to give their opinions about the topic and interact. It is an unpredictable task as the examiners can ask individual questions or be asked to have a conversation about them. Normally candidate A is asked the first question, then candidate B and then they need to discuss the following questions together. See the images for clarity on the order.
Typically you will be asked between 4 and 6 questions in this part.
The examiner will say ” Thank you, that is the end of the test” when you have finished.
Good luck with the exam, happy learning!