Better CAE Part 3 Speaking

Better CAE Part 3 Speaking

CAE Speaking Part 3

On this page we take a look at Part 3 and how to give a better CAE Part 3 speaking performance. 

How Part 3 of CAE Speaking Works

Look at this CAE example. In Part 3 of the CAE Speaking test you will collaborate with your partner to discuss a question and topics related to that question. 

Part 3 Sample Task

Examiner Instructions

Now I’d like you to talk about something together for about 2 minutes.

Here are some things people often make decisions about and a question for you to discuss.  First you have some time to look at the task. (NOTE: This time is about 15 seconds).

CAE Part 3 Speaking example exercise

Second Part

Thank you. Now you have about one minute to decide in which situation it is most important to make the right decision.

Tips for a better CAE Part 3 speaking performance

Tip #1 Listen and respond to your partner

  • Interaction is a key element of the advanced speaking part 3 . This mean that both candidates need to discuss the options together. In other words both of you need to discuss an option before moving to the next option.
  • Pay attention to what your partner is saying and see if you can refer to what they say when you reply.

Tip #2 Avoid interrupting

  • Try not to interrupt your partner. Of course this this can sometimes be difficult if your partner seems to be speaking a lot. Even so it is always much better to have only one person speaking at a time.
  • The examiner will give you opportunities to speak throughout the test and they know if one person speaks more than the other.  So you need to be aware your score could be affected if you regularly interrupt or don’t let your partner speak.

Tip #3 Give opinions

  • You should try to give an opinion for each point you discuss. For this CAE level you need to to justify opinions you offer.
  • While “I agree” is a perfectly acceptable answer you need to remember what exam you are doing and as an answer it does not help the examiner in evaluating your ability.

Tip #4  Share the time

  • As Part 3 is only two minutes and one minute respectively you need to share the time with your partner, which means limiting to an extent how much you say.
  • You should also invite your partner to give opinions and to respond to your answers. So asking a partner What do you think? is a good approach although it would sound a little unnatural if you ask them every time you finish giving your opinion. 

Tip #5 Use language naturally

  • As with all of the parts of the CAE speaking test, the better your range of language the better you performance should be. But it does need to sound natural. 
  • This includes language linking ideas or responding to your partner. Here it should also be natural and 2-3 ways of saying you agree or disagree is generally sufficient.
Tip #6  Improve your CAE vocabulary range
  • Often students try to memorize specific expressions to use and while there is nothing wrong with this it can be difficult to either remember them. This is especially true if you find the exam stressful so try to find a natural opportunity to use them. 
  • Often a better approach is to collect vocabulary list for specific topics. In the example here it discusses decision making so organizing a collection of vocabulary items around that theme would actually be a lot more beneficial as a student could demonstrate a wider range of language.
  • To find topics you can also review your coursebook material or perhaps search for past speaking exams and look at the topics that come up there.

One final thought

In comparison with other parts of the speaking test there is a lot of specific interaction in the Part 3 task and it is essential that candidates do interact as much as they can.  Apart from the potentially positive effect on the overall score it can also help the candidates deal more confidently with the extended questions in Part 4.

Learn more about other parts of the Advanced Speaking Test​

CAE Speaking Part 1

Questions in this part are very general.

CAE Speaking Part 2

Compare two out of three pictures.

CAE Speaking Part 4

Give opinions on a similar theme to Part 3.

Advanced Speaking

See our guide to all the speaking test.

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