1. In the lead up to the Speaking test, make sure you take the time to practise speaking English – with friends, at work and on the phone. You should also consider recording yourself, so that you are confident speaking English during your test.
2. There are no right or wrong answers in the Speaking test. The examiner will assess you on how well you can express your ideas and opinions in good English.
3. It will help you to feel relaxed if you imagine you are talking to a friend. Remember that you are not being assessed on your opinions, rather on your use of English.
4. Try to avoid repeating the words used in the examiner’s question. Use your own words to show the examiner your full ability.
5. Speak clearly and at a natural pace. If you speak too quickly, you may make mistakes or pronounce words incorrectly.
6. Answer in as much detail as you can. Don’t just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Try to develop your response to each question − draw on your own experience and give examples. The examiner wants to hear whether you can talk at length on a range of topics.
7. Use the correct verb tense when answering questions in the Speaking test. Listen carefully to the question and notice which verb tense is used. For example, if the question is ‘What kind of music do you like?’ (in the present tense) your answer should also be in the present tense (e.g. ‘I like pop music best’). You can go on to use other tenses as you extend your response, e.g. ‘I haven’t always enjoyed that kind of music...’.
8. Practise the pronunciation of numbers to be sure that your meaning is clear. For example, many numbers can sound very similar when spoken, so be sure to say them clearly, e.g. ‘Thirty’ and ‘Thirteen’, ‘Forty’ and ‘Fourteen’, ‘Fifty’ and ‘Fifteen’, etc.
9. It is better to use simple, commonly used vocabulary and to use it correctly than to use advanced vocabulary that you are unsure about. However, to get a high score, you must show you know how to use more advanced vocabulary.
10. In Part 2, the examiner will give you a task card and some paper. You then have one minute to prepare your answer. First think about the topic and then decide which is the most appropriate tense to use in your response. You should use the same tense(s) as the questions on the card.
11. Try to answer as fully as possible and give reasons for your answers. This will help you to use a wider range of vocabulary and grammar.