Exams » B2 First (FCE) » Cambridge B2 First (FCE) – Exam 1 – Speaking
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  • Cambridge B2 First (FCE) – Exam 1 – Speaking

    Part 1

    (2 minutes – 3 minutes for groups of 3)
    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.

    • Where are you from, (Candidate A)?
    • And you, (Candidate B)?

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

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

    Weekends
    • What’s your favourite thing to do on weekends? …… (Why?)
    • Do you prefer to hang out with friends or to stay in? …… (Why?)
    • Are you going to do anything special this weekend? ……(What are you going to do?)
    • How much do you use the internet at weekends? …… (Why?)
    • Do you do any exercise at weekends? …… (What do you do?)

    Hobbies and Interests
    • Tell us about a film that you’ve recently watched.
    • How do you like to spend time after work or studies? …… (What do you do?) …… (Why?)
    • Do you prefer to spend time on your own or with other people? …… (Why?)
    • Tell us about a book or website you really like.
    • Do you like cooking? …… (What sort of things do you cook?)

    Special occasions
    • How do you celebrate your birthday?
    • Tell us about your favourite festival or celebration. …… (What do you normally do on that day?)
    • What are you going to do for your next holiday? …… (Where are you going to go?)
    • What was your last family celebration? …… (What did you do?)
  • Cambridge B2 First (FCE) – Exam 1 – Speaking

    The B2 First Speaking test evaluates the speaking skills of candidates at an upper-intermediate level. It is designed to assess fluency, accuracy, and the ability to communicate effectively in English. Here’s an overview of the B2 First Speaking test:

    • The test lasts for 14 minutes per pair of candidates.
    • It comprises 4 parts, each testing different aspects of speaking.
    • Candidates usually take the test in pairs or sometimes in threes.
    • Two examiners are present: one interacts with the candidates (the Interlocutor), and the other (the Assessor) listens and evaluates the performance.
    • The Interlocutor leads the test and gives instructions, while the Assessor takes no active part in the interaction.

    Here’s a summary of what to expect in each part of the test:

    B2 First Speaking: Part 1 (Interview)

    In the first part, the candidates talk individually to the Interlocutor. They answer questions about themselves. This section is about getting to know the candidates and making them feel comfortable.
    This part typically takes 2 minutes and includes:

    • A brief introduction by the Interlocutor.
    • Questions about personal information such as where you are from, your studies, work, interests, and hobbies. They may also be asked to express their opinion on different topics.

    Candidates should aim to respond naturally and not sound rehearsed.

    B2 First Speaking: Part 2 (Long turn)

    In the second part, each candidate is given two photographs and has to talk about them for about 1 minute. There is a question about the photographs written on top of the page that the candidate must respond to while discussing the photos. After each candidate has spoken about their own photos, they are then asked a quick follow-up question about their partner’s photographs, requiring a response of approximately 30 seconds.
    This part focuses on the ability to:

    • Describe, compare and speculate about the photographs.
    • Express opinions about the photographs.

    B2 First Speaking: Part 3 (Collaborative task)

    In the third part of the B2 First Speaking test, candidates are presented with a mind map featuring a central question along with five associated options or discussion points. They have 15 seconds to review this before initiating the discussion. The task comprises two distinct sections:

    First section (about 2 minutes): Candidates engage in a discussion about the central question and the related options in the mind map. They are expected to share pertinent ideas, react to their partner’s opinions, and smoothly navigate through the different discussion points in a logical manner.

    Second section (about 1 minute): An additional question is presented. Here, candidates must choose one or two of the options to elaborate on, providing well-reasoned responses while expressing their agreement or disagreement with the chosen options.

    Key points in this part include:

    • Discussing each option presented.
    • Reaching an agreement or conclusion.
    • Demonstrating the ability to engage in a discussion and negotiate.

    B2 First Speaking: Part 4 (Discussion)

    In the final part of the B2 First Speaking test, which lasts about 4 minutes, candidates are asked a series of questions that are related to the topic discussed in Part 3. Initially, candidates are expected to answer some questions individually, providing longer and more detailed responses. Subsequently, they are prompted to engage in a discussion with their partner, collaboratively responding to some other questions.

    • Express and justify opinions.
    • Agree or disagree with the partner.
    • Engage in a more extended discussion, elaborating on their ideas.

    Overall, the B2 First Speaking test assesses a range of speaking skills in different contexts, focusing on interactive communication and the ability to express and justify opinions and ideas in English.

    Marking criteria

    The examiners use 5 criteria to determine your proficiency in spoken English:

    1. Grammar and Vocabulary: This criterion examines the range and control of the candidate’s grammar and vocabulary. Examiners assess the ability to use a variety of grammatical structures and vocabulary appropriately and accurately.
    2. Discourse Management: This area focuses on the candidate’s ability to produce coherent and cohesive speech. It includes how well ideas are organized and connected and the use of cohesive devices and discourse markers.
    3. Pronunciation: This criterion evaluates the clarity and accuracy of the candidate’s speech. It includes aspects such as intonation, sentence and word stress, and the clarity of individual sounds.
    4. Interactive Communication: Here, the focus is on the candidate’s ability to engage in dialogue with others. It involves initiating and responding to conversation, maintaining and developing interactions, and negotiating towards an outcome.
    5. Global Achievement: This overall assessment looks at the candidate’s ability to handle communication effectively on a range of topics, with an emphasis on coherence, fluency, and appropriateness of language in extended discourse.

    Example of a real B2 First (FCE) Speaking exam

    You can see how the exam works in this video:

    Useful language

    Describing and comparing photos:

    • In the first/second photo, there’s/are…
    • Both pictures show…
    • The main difference between the two is…
    • Whereas the first picture depicts…, the second one presents…
    • One striking feature in the first photo is…
    • Contrasting with this, the second photo illustrates…
    • Similarly, in both photos, one can notice…

    Speculating:

    • It looks like…
    • They might be…
    • I imagine they are feeling…
    • They seem to be…
    • Possibly, they are about to…
    • This could suggest that…

    Expressing opinions:

    • In my opinion…
    • As far as I’m concerned…
    • From my point of view…
    • To me, it seems that…
    • I’d say that…
    • It strikes me that…

    Initiating the conversation (Task 3):

    • Shall we start with…?
    • What do you think about…?
    • Let’s begin by discussing…
    • I suggest we first look at…

    Agreeing and Disagreeing:

    • I completely agree because…
    • I’m not so sure about that. I think that…
    • That’s a valid point, but have you considered…?
    • I understand your perspective, however,…

    Suggesting and offering ideas:

    • We could consider…
    • How about if we…?
    • Another possibility might be…
    • It might be worth considering…

    Introducing a new option:

    • Let’s consider another option, for example…
    • Moving on to the next point…
    • What about this option? It says…

    Summarizing:

    • So, to sum up,…
    • In conclusion, we both believe that…
    • To put it briefly,…
    • Taking all points into consideration,…

    Asking for Opinions:

    • What’s your opinion on…?
    • Do you agree with…?
    • How do you feel about…?
    • Would you agree that…?
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