|EE–013a| C1: Advanced – Speaking [Part1]

Hello Exam Seekers,

Recently we posted tips about the B2: First (FCE). We guided you through the exam and gave you tips on how to perform well on the Speaking Exam (P1, P2 and P3-4), and on the Reading and Use of English Exam (P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7). Today we are going to give you some tips about the C1: Advanced (CAE) Speaking Exam.


As I’ve probably mentioned before, people who usually sit for this exam are English teachers, because the level of English required for the C1 is much higher than the expected in B2. There is actually a huge gap between B2 and C1, and between C1 and C2. However, the C1 Speaking Exam is very similar to the B2 Speaking Exam, especially the first part.

According to Cambridge, this exam tests your ability to communicate effectively in face–to–face situations. It is divided into four parts which a pair of candidates will have to speak for a total of 15 minutes. The candidates will interact with the examiner, with the other candidate and with their own.


Part 1 – The Interview

The first part of the exam the examiner will ask questions which you may give information about your interests, studies, careers, etc. It is a conversation between the candidate and the interlocutor to make candidates feel at ease and “relax” before the real deal starts. It usually takes 2 minutes (3 if the pair is actually a trio of candidates).

The interlocutor is going to start presenting himself and his peer (the assessor), and tell you the first step:

Good morning/afternoon/evening. My name is ……………… and this is my colleague ………………

And your names are?

Can I have your mark sheets, please?

Thank you.

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

The mark sheet is normally given to you beforehand, and you should give it to the interlocutor so that he/she can assess you.

Then, the interlocutor is going to ask you a couple of questions about yourself and expressing your opinion about various topics. For example:

Select one or two questions and ask candidates in turn, as appropriate.

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

Select one or more questions from the following, as appropriate.

  • What free time activity do you most enjoy? ….. (Why?)
  • What sort of work would you like to do in the future? ….. (Why?)
  • Do you think you spend too much time working or studying? ….. (Why? / Why not?)
  • Do you like using the internet to keep in touch with people?
  • Have you celebrated anything recently? ….. (How?)
  • If you could travel to one country in the world, where would you go? ….. (Why?)
  • How important is it to you to spend time with your family? ….. (Why? / Why note?)
  • Who do you think has had the greatest influence on your life? ….. (Why?)


As you can see, they are simple questions, however, the level of grammar gets higher and higher, so that you can get prepared for the next stage.

Although it is simple to answer to these questions, try to keep the level of grammar. If they asked you a question in the present perfect, as appropriate, try to answer with the same structure. It’s very helpful to start to get the grip of how the exam works.


Well, this is was just the tip of the ice of the C1: Advanced Speaking Exam, and as you can see, there is no mystery! 🙂 But hang on and we’ll help you get to know a little more about these exams before you sit for it!

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Have a great week,


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