What happens in CAE Speaking Test Part 1?

Questions in the CAE Speaking Part 1 are of a very general nature. The aim is more to help put candidates at ease by providing personal questions they can respond to, based on their own experiences. On this page we look at some of the kinds of questions you might expect.

How it Works

At the start of the speaking test you can expect an examiner to say the following and ask some of the subsequent questions.

Good morning/afternoon.
My name is …… and this is my colleague ….
And your names are?

First of all we’d like to know something about you.

  •  
  • Where are you from Candidate A/B?
  • What do you do here/there?
  • How long have you been studying English?
  • What do you enjoy about learning English?

CAE Speaking Part 1 Sample Questions

These are not necessarily actual exam questions but some typical examples of what you might get in the CAE Speaking Part 1.

  • Do you like to spend time with friends or on your own?
  • What would be an ideal holiday for you?
  • What is the next celebration you plan to attend?
  • Do you prefer an active or relaxing weekend?
  • What do you think you will be doing five years from now?
  • What do you like about your home town?
  • Do you have enough time for leisure in your life?
  • Do you study best on your own or with others?
  • Are you planning to buy anything specific in the near future?
  • What is the most interesting thing you have done this year?

What to do in CAE Speaking Part 1

Answering the questions as best as you can is the key here. This means always answering with more than Yes or No. If you give very short answers the examiner may ask you to explain with a Why? question.

While a candidate can often feel a little nervous at the start of a CAE speaking test, the questions give you an opportunity to respond to topics that are familiar. This part of the test gives candidates a more limited time for responses, but you should still try to develop your ideas in the time given.

Take some time to consider possible answers to the sample questions above. You should also be able to find lots of other Part 1 sample questions online.  

Learn more about other parts of the Advanced Speaking Test

CAE Speaking Part 2

Compare two out of three pictures

CAE Speaking Part 3

In Part 3 discuss each topic together

CAE Speaking Part 4

Give opinions on a similar theme to Part 3

Advanced Speaking

See our guide to the speaking test

CAE Speaking Part 4

Give opinions on a similar theme to Part 3

Advanced Speaking

See our guide to the speaking test