Cambridge Proficiency Speaking Review


The Proficiency Speaking Exam

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

The candidates are Rodrigo from Argentina and Ollin from Switzerland.

Part 1 0:00 Part 2 2:00  Part 3 6:57

Part 1

In this part both respond to the questions reasonably well but they do deliver slightly short answers and could extend more. Rodrigo shows a good range of vocabulary and Ollin demonstrates good organisation of ideas. 

Part 2

Rodrigo regularly starts the discussion and Ollin rarely offers initial opinions. In addition, some of her responses are a little short and could be expanded on significantly. Both interact comfortably and easily.

In the second part of the task Rodrigo’s responses, while also short at times, demonstrate a very wide range of language, and are adequate. Ollin, too, has a good range of language and links well to her partner’s ideas. There are very minor grammar errors for both, which have little to no effect on their performances.

Part 3

Ollin shows a very good level of organisation of her ideas in this task. Language is mostly wide ranging although there are some minor grammar errors. There is a hesitation in her answer to the follow up question and she could have responded a little better at this point. Generally a good example of how to complete this Part 3 task.

Rodrigo performs this task adequately. He uses a good range of language and organises ideas clearly. He is at times a little inaccurate and does not always get expressions correct.

In the final discussion section both do well although errors once again appear for Rodrigo and Ollin too returns to very short answers despite constructing some complex sentences.

Overall Performance

In this video both candidates complete the speaking test adequately. While there are issues around grammar errors, short answers and occasional misuse of expressions, the pair performed quite well. They probably wouldn’t get the highest score in the exam but still demonstrate good ability and very good interaction. Rodrigo was always capable of dealing with any task and responding appropriately despite the occasional errors.  Ollin showed a good range of language and organisation, which might have been better had she not cut some of her replies short.

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 Proficiency speaking exam.
  • Try not to compare your own speaking level with candidates in this Proficiency speaking review. 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 the task for Part 3.
  • Relax and just do your best. It’s only 16 minutes!
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