How can you maximise your chances of passing the Cambridge speaking exams?  That’s the question students everywhere are asking themselves as they prepare for their speaking exams.  Here are some pointers for you…

Some general ideas

One tip my students find useful is to use the voice recorder on their phones to record themselves, so they can see how they are doing – can be helpful, but it might also put you off!   You can also find examples of the speaking exam on the internet, and watching other students can be a great help in your preparations!

How to practice

The thing with the speaking exam is that you have to speak!  It sound obvious, but silence is not great at this time!  You can help yourself by practising speaking for longer periods of time, even by yourself – use your mobile phone to time yourself comparing two pictures.

Check your grammar, vocabulary and set phrases

You can revise the grammar and phrases you think might be useful – for example, “By comparison…”, “I feel that…”, conditionals for when you are speculating.  Think of words that might come in handy when you are talking about yourself and your life in part one too.  And phrasal verbs are always impressive, of course!

Your partner

One important thing to bear in mind is that, depending on where you do the exam, you might not know your partner – remember they might be really good for the level, or not be at all prepared.  They might be painfully shy or extremely talkative – it doesn’t matter!  Make sure that YOU do as well as you can, without worrying how well or badly your partner is doing!  What is important to remember is that your partner might easily be from a different linguistic background from yourself – so pronunciation is really important, as well as not using too many cognates from your own language.

We would like to wish all the very best to all our students who are taking their Cambridge speaking exams this week.