Hello Exam Seekers,
I have posted about the B2: First (former FCE) not long ago, however, there were some changes to the exam. therefore I am here to update you on these changes.
The Speaking Exam contains 4 parts. These four parts take 10 to 12 minutes per pair of candidates, and it is 25% of your Speaking Mark.
According to Cambridge it “Shows how good your spoken English is as you take part in the conversation by asking/answering questions and talking, for example, about your likes and dislikes. Your Speaking test will be conducted face to face with one or two other candidates and two examiners. This makes your test more realistic and more reliable.”
Part 1 – The Interview.
It is the easiest part of the exam, and it expects that the candidate relaxes a little bit and feel at ease so that they can provide better results in the following parts. The questions asked by the examiner are about yourself, about past experience, present job, studies, where you live, further plans, etc. They are usually very simple and easy especially because most candidates are extremely tense because they are facing an exam, so these questions come as a “pre-test”.
It usually takes 2 to 3 minutes, and it is divided into 2 phases:
You are going to enter a room with another candidate or in a trio, never alone. Then you’ll face two people: one is the interlocutor, and the other is the assessor. They are both there to assess you.
The interlocutor is going to assess your overall performance and the assessor is checking your speaking in detail.
Once you are sitting down, the interlocutor greets and asks you to hand over the mark sheet. This mark sheet is the place where the examiners are going to place your grades. After that, the interlocutor introduces him/herself and the assessor, asking your name right after. They are going to call you by your name the entire exam, get used to it. And they are also going to ask you where you are from.
After that, the interlocutor goes to the next set of questions.
The interlocutor is going to ask you a few of the questions below:
The number of questions asked is usually related to the time and the amount of language you produce. So, if you answer questions in short saying: Yes or No the interlocutor is probably going to ask you more details about it, but if you take a whole minute talking about one question, that is a good thing and you will only get this question.
An important tip: Make sure to pay attention to the way the questions are asked and try to reply using the same structure (verb tense, etc.), this sure helps.
If you don’t understand, ask them to repeat the question. You can also ask them to repeat it slowly, but if you can’t answer to the question or it takes too much time for you to start answering, the interlocutor might ask a “backup prompt”, which is a simpler version of the first question, to check if you still got the idea.
It is not good to rely on the prompt questions because they compromise your points. You should answer right away to show understanding and grip of the language.
This part ends there when all the interviewees have answered the questions and they introduce the next step.
That’s it on speaking for today, hope you have relaxed and gotten to know more about the B2 – First.
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Have a great week,