Cambridge First Speaking Test Review with Comments

In this post we take a look at a sample Cambridge First Speaking test from the YouTube CambridgeEnglishTV channel and add our own thoughts & comments for each part.  Go to the times listed to see a particular part of the speaking exam.

The candidates are Florine from The Netherlands and Maria from Argentina.

Part 1 0:00 Part 2 2:02 Part 3 5:53 Part 4 9:50

Part 1

In this part both respond well to the questions and give good answers without hesitating. Although the  difference in pronunciation is noticeable and Florine is clearly stronger, Maria’s pronunciation does not affect her communication too much.

Part 2

Florine compares both pictures well and uses a lot of good language. She is confident and can find any expressions she wants to use, quite easily.

Maria starts well in comparing both pictures but she stops talking before the minute is up . She also has some very basic errors in grammar but enough vocabulary to talk about the pictures. Her performance here is  still about the minimum level of Cambridge First Speaking pass mark.

Part 3

In this part of the test both interact quite well and complete the task as expected. Florine encourages her partner to speak and she also gives more detailed responses. At times Maria finds it hard to communicate ideas and she makes a number of basic errors.

Part 4

Florine gives some very detailed and well-organised opinions. She is comfortable with any topic. While Maria responds to topics, her answers are a lot shorter, with more limited grammar and vocabulary and they are some errors. However, she still manages to speak about all of the topics and mostly without hesitating.

Overall

In this video both candidates complete the speaking test quite confidently and there is not much hesitation. Florine is very strong and would be expected to get a higher score in the speaking test. Her partner Maria could be at around the pass standard, despite some of the errors, her often short answers and more limited vocabulary range. One thing in her favour is that there is generally not much hesitation and she mostly responds appropriately to the examiner, her partner and in each of the different parts of the speaking test.

A few things for you to think about.

  • Use this video and others from the CambridgeEnglishTV YouTube channel to learn more about the format of the Cambridge First speaking exam.
  • Try not to compare your own speaking level with candidates in the videos. Some may have very different levels.
  • Study how the pair perform each part of the exam, especially their interaction. What can you learn from that?
  • Practise speaking for longer periods of time for the Part 4 task.
  • Relax and just do your best. It’s only 14 minutes!

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