Cambridge Advanced Speaking Test Review with Comments

In this post we take a look at a sample Cambridge Advanced 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 Raphael from Switzerland and Maude from France.

Part 1 0:00 Part 2 2:21 Part 3 6:39 Part 4 10:45

Part 1

In this part both respond well to the questions and give reasonable answers without hesitating. Although there is some noticeable own language influence on pronunciation it does not affect communication too much. Maude is the more forthcoming.

Part 2

Raphael compares both pictures well and uses an adequate level of language. Although there are some clear grammar errors he completes the task with very little hesitation.

Maude has no hesitation in this task and uses a reasonable range of vocabulary. She has some very basic grammar errors but they do not affect the overall communication too much.

Part 3

In this part of the test both interact reasonably well with Maude leading the discussion a lot more. She encourages her partner to speak, gives more detailed responses and shows a greater flexibility in language use. At times Raphael doesn’t communicate his ideas and some of his answers are very short and very simply expressed. There are more examples of grammar errors here and a few occasions where the pronunciation of individual sounds is not completely accurate. Nevertheless, he copes with the task adequately.

Part 4

Raphael shows he can organise his ideas despite some grammar errors. His answers are a lot longer and more detailed and he copes with the topics, although there are are times when he returns to shorter responses. While Maude responds to topics and links quite well there are more errors. She often deals better with questions directed to her  Both respond without hesitating and have sufficient grammar and vocabulary to express their opinions.

Overall

In this video both candidates complete the speaking test with confidence and little hesitation. Maude is the stronger of the pair and she is able to extend her answers, using suitable grammar and vocabulary. There are some very basic grammar errors at times but it largely does not affect communication. Her partner Raphael is also at reasonable level for the Advanced exam. He has sufficient grammar and vocabulary, can organise his ideas without much hesitation, even when the responses are short. While there are some errors in both grammar and pronunciation they do not adversely affect his overall performance.

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 Advanced speaking exam.
  • Try not to compare your own speaking level with candidates in the videos as there can be very wide differences of ability at this level.
  • Study how the pair perform each part of the exam, especially their interaction. What can you learn from that?
  • Find as many opportunities as you can to both speak in English and to practise the different sections of the exam.
  • Relax and just do your best. It’s only 15 minutes!

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