FCE Paper 5 - Speaking in class and in mock tests

Candidates tend to take Paper 5 for granted. Because it involves speaking in informal situations, candidates don't actually prepare for it. I myself didn't prepare for the speaking when I took the CPE as I the other papers consumed so much time. As I said before, speak English at all times in class. Here are a few tips about the Speaking:
  1. You're not expected to have a perfect British or American accent. They do expect you to speak in a clear voice and in an intelligible way. Therefore, work on pronunciation.
  2. When you take the mock tests you will have only me as both interlocutor and assessor, but in the real FCE test (and in some of our mock tests) there will be the interlocutor (the person who you will interact with) and the assessor (an examiner sitting in the corner who will take note of your performance).
  3. Speak clearly and loudly as both the interlocutor and assessor need to hear you.
  4. You will take the test with another candidate and in some rare cases there will be two more candidates with you.
  5. You must interact with the other candidate as well. Look the other candidate in the eye, react to what he or she says, and show genuine interest in what he or she has to say. Even though you work together, you will be evaluated separately.
  6. If the other candidate is too shy or is reluctant to speak, ask him or her backup questions ('What do you think about it?' or 'Do you feel the same?'). Encourage his or her participation and really listen to him or her.
  7. Turn taking is an important feature of the speaking test. Wait for the other candidate to finish. Don't interrupt him or her. Don't be a show-off even if you think your English is so much better than the other candidate's.
  8. Have something to say. Give your opinion. Expand your ideas. Give relevant information. Avoid tap-dancing around it. Be objective. Say something interesting and get it across with confidence.
  9. Examiners don't want to hear a bunch of memorized expressions. You should be spontaneous and use the language in a natural way. Don't sound like a robot.
  10. Whether you're speaking about your last vacation or global warming, try to use the right vocabulary and expressions. If you can't remember a word, paraphrase it.
  11. You don't have to tell the truth (That's between you and me!) . If you have to talk about a memorable event in your life, make up a story if your mind goes blank. Don't talk about your wedding if you're not familiar with the vocabulary. Use your imagination!

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