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Guidelines for the Speaking Test

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A 1:1 assessment with an Assessor is recorded, so that a second assessor can confirm the marks given. The assessment lasts for approximately 12 minutes.

The assessment is broken up into the following three sections:

Section 1 - Short interview
Section 2 - Short presentation (1 minute) & discussion
Section 3 - Information exchange & discussion

Examiners assess on the following areas:

  1. Range of language;
  2. Accuracy - Grammar;
  3. Discourse management - how your answers flow, whether they are coherent and whether you hesitate etc;
  4. Pronunciation; and
  5. Interactive communication.

Section 1

You MUST LISTEN carefully to the examiner's questions and above all, only answer the questions that the examiner asks. For example if the examiner asks about where you live you should only give the answer to this and NOT tell the examiner WHY you like it there and WHY it is a good or bad place. This will sound as though you are reciting a rehearsed model answer. You SHOULD however EXPAND FULLY on the answers which are related to the questions.

There are NO POINTS deducted for asking for a question to be repeated. Feel free to clarify anything, the examiner can ask you question again in a different, slightly easier

Section 2

You MUST READ the questions carefully. There is only ONE MINUTE to prepare for this task therefore you should make a decision about which option you are going to take and then prepare notes on this as quickly as possible. You must ensure that you answer all of the points on the sheet as this is essential for TASK FULLFILMENT - or completing the things that the test asks you to do. For example if you choose a topic such as the best workplace that you worked in then you need to talk about:

WHERE that place was
WHAT you were doing there
WHY you liked it

Therefore in the interests of quick preparation you need to note down WHERE, WHAT and WHY - and make a couple of notes relating to each of these points. You need to consider that you are only required to talk for one minute so you only need to say one or a maximum of two things about each point. Remember to listen to the examiner here as this section includes at least a couple of questions from him/her.

Section 3

Follow all of the above points from Parts 1 and 2. In part 3 you will be required to listen AND read carefully.

Remember that this task is the OPPOSITE of Part 2 - where you are required to GIVE information. In Part 3 you are required to GET the information from the examiner in a role play situation. You are given instructions on what you need to do and you should remember that as in Part 2 you have to fulfill the task - so ensure that above all else you GET THE INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED. There is NO NEED TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF as the role that you are playing. THE EXAMINER KNOWS WHO YOU ARE! You can simply say, 'Excuse me, can I ask you some questions?' That is enough. You only need to get the information by asking simple one line questions.

The second part of Part Three is the discussion. In this part you are required to discuss the subject that you have been dealing with so far. You are given the title of the discussion on the task sheet so when you are preparing for the first part you may have some time to jot down a few notes or words to help you with the discussion. The examiner will lead the discussion but it is important that you are able to keep the conversation going. Listen carefully to what he says and feel free to ask questions of him if you wish. Once again there are NO POINTS deducted for asking the examiner to repeat something.

Use of the following words to keep the conversation going and express sociability
Yes? Mmm, Really, That's great, I see, Fine, Okay