On this page we take a look at CAE Part 2 speaking and how to give a better speaking performance in this part of the test.
Choose your photos and quickly read the questions. Although the Part 2 exercise uses pictures, it is not just a description exercise at Cambridge Advanced. If you look at the first question from this exercise it’s asking you for your opinion about what’s happening in the pictures.
How difficult might it be for photographers in these situations?
You do need to describe briefly what you can see in the individual pictures but then you must offer your opinion about this question for each picture you choose.
Tip #1 Use relevant and clear vocabulary.
Tip #2 Join your ideas together.
Tip #3 Be accurate in your grammar.
Tip #4 Be natural.
Tip #5 Keep talking.
Tip #6 Answer the second Candidate B question fully.
What applies to the main picture task also applies when you answer the second question after your partner has finished speaking. Answer it as best you can in as much detail as you can. You should try to speak for about 30 seconds.
In comparison with other parts of the test although candidates do talk for longer alone in the Advanced Part 2 speaking there is no reason why it should be more challenging. After all you do have the two photographs to provide you with ideas and they are an opportunity for you to demonstrate your range of language.
OK I’m going to choose pictures number one and 3. (Optional)
First Question – Picture 1
The first picture looks like it’s some kind of nature setting and you have a photographer there with some animals. It looks like some kind of desert so there’s a physical challenge for anybody in that kind of environment. I think you also need an awful lot of patience to get very good photos especially when you are waiting for animals to appear.
First Question – Picture 2
In contrast the 3rd picture is an urban setting where there is a very large group of photographers. I suppose they are what we call paparazzi and they are there waiting for somebody important to arrive, maybe a politician or celebrity. In this case what makes it difficult is that there are so many of them so getting a good photograph is not going to be easy and they can end up fighting for the best position.
I think they all need a lot of skill and patience but I’d say the photo of the press photographers would be extremely challenging. I mean, it’s hard to get a good shot and they are quite limited in what they can see. It’s also the kind of press event where things move quickly and people only have a short window to react.
NOTE: The idea of indicating which pictures you plan to talk about is optional. Some people prefer to do it that way even though it is unlikely to have any effect on the overall score. It can be a useful way to focus on the pictures and to let the examiner know which ones you are talking about.
To find out more take a look at our review of a complete sample CAE speaking exam.