Hello Exam Seekers,
Today I’m going to continue talking about the Cambridge English B1 Preliminary (former PET).
As you know, I have already written about the B1 Preliminary Reading Exam, which is divided into six parts:
- Part 1 – Multiple Choice;
- Part 2 – Matching;
- Part 3 – Multiple Choice;
- Part 4 – Gapped Text;
- Part 5 – Multiple-Choice Cloze;
- Part 6 – Open Cloze.
And the Writing Exam, which is divided into two parts:
- Part 1 – Mandatory task: Writing an e-mail.
- Part 2 – Choice task: Writing an article or Writing a story.
Today, I’m going to continue talking about the Speaking Exam, which is divided into four parts:
- Part 1 – Interview;
- Part 2 – Extended Turn;
- Part 3 – Discussion;
- Part 4 – General Conversation.
Today I’m talking about the B1 Preliminary Speaking Exam – Part 2: Extended Turn.
The B1 Preliminary Speaking Exam has four parts, as I mentioned above. Candidates take it together with another candidate – sometimes there might be a third candidate taking it at the same time. So it usually takes from 12-17 minutes. There are two examiners: one, who talks to the candidates – the interlocutor – and the other who listens at the back – the assessor.
This is a model sample of the questions that the interlocutor asks the candidates for the B1 Preliminary Speaking Exam – Part 2: Extended Turn which takes only 2-3 minutes from the whole speaking exam:
After going through the first part – the interview – it’s time to really start the exam. This second part, expects candidates to describe one colored photograph by themselves. This part is not done in pairs or trios. Each candidate has one minute to talk about the picture put in front of him/her without interruptions. After this minute is up, the interlocutor is going to ask the other candidate to do the same about another picture.
If the candidate gets stuck and doesn’t talk much (less than one minute), or freezes and doesn’t know where to start, the interlocutor might ask a backup prompt and trigger the candidate to answer the question and describe what is required.
Candidates should keep their descriptions simple, and should not speculate about the context or talk about any wider issues raised by the photographs. They should use this part of the test to show their range of vocabulary, and also show their ability to organize their language using simple connectives.
Candidates should describe the people and activities in the photographs as fully as possible. They should imagine they are describing the photograph to someone who can’t see it. This may include naming all the objects, describing colors, clothing, time of day, weather, etc. If candidates can’t recall a certain word, they will be given credit if they can use paraphrase or other strategies to deal with items of vocabulary that they don’t know or can’t remember.
Here is a sample of the picture and the description, take a look:
I can see three people in this picture, two women and a man. Although, there might be a fourth person since there is a hand holding a green pen on the side. I think they are students because they are all holding a pen in the library, writing something on their notebooks or copybooks. They look serious or worried, I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that they are quiet and concentrated in their notes. I think they are in the library because there are many shelves around them with books of different sizes and different colors. They might be preparing for a test or doing their homework together because on the table I can see not only their books but also a couple of tablets.
As you can see, I tried using everything I could from the picture, I described:
- the room;
- the people;
- the items on the table and on their hand.
If there is still time, I could use and try talking about something extra like:
I think it’s a warm day since the man on the left is wearing a short-sleeved jeans shirt. The women are wearing long sleeves, but the blue sweater and the green sweatshirt seem light, and they don’t look like they are freezing.
As you can see, I didn’t try to think about the reasons that they were studying. I just described what I could see with much detail as possible. Because, as I mentioned, you have one minute to “show off“. If the picture doesn’t offer much detail, try to grasp anything that is visible and you can describe:
- the look on people’s face;
- the color of their clothes;
- their gender and age.
There are cases, however, that the picture offers too many details, then you try to describe it as a whole and describe what is the main focus, for example:
In this picture, I can see five people. They look like a family of five: the grandfather in the middle, sitting at the table between a younger man and woman, and two people standing up next to the table who seem to be even younger than the three sitting down. It may be a special day because on the table I can see many breakfast items like orange juice, jam, water, a fruit or a bread basket and some plates. Also, the two people standing up are holding objects on their back to prevent the person – probably the grandfather – from seeing the items. The young girl is holding a bouquet of flowers and the young man is holding a present. The people in the picture are smiling and cheerful. It is a sunny day in the picture and it’s probably warm since the people in the picture are wearing light and short clothes.
You could, if you need some more to fill in your minute, describe the garden and the house behind them. But remember that for this part of the exam, all criteria are assessed: Global Achievement, Grammar and Vocabulary, Discourse Management, Pronunciation, and Interactive Communication.
Now it’s your turn to try!!! Look at the pictures above and try to write down what you would answer! 🙂 By the way, below, you can see one sample of the B1 Preliminary – Speaking Exam and one sample of the B1 Preliminary for Schools – Speaking Exam:
B1 Preliminary – Speaking Exam (02:00-05:00 – Part 2: Extended Turn)
B1 Preliminary for Schools – Speaking Exam (02:05-04:50 – Part 2: Extended Turn)
If you still have questions about B1 Preliminary Speaking Part 2 – Extended Turn, leave a comment below!
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Have a great week,