CAE Speaking Exam – How to Do Parts 3+4 of the CAE Speaking Test

CAE Speaking Exam – How to Do Parts 3+4 of the CAE Speaking Test


Hello, I’m Jack, and welcome to Oxford Online
English! In this lesson, you can learn how to improve
your score in parts three and four of the CAE speaking exam. Let’s first look at Part 3. In part three, you’ll discuss a question
based around five or more related points. Let’s look at a sample question: “What are the advantages and disadvantages
of these different activities for meeting people and getting fit? You’ll have two minutes to do this, and
you’ll talk to the other candidate or candidates. You won’t talk to the examiner during part
three. After two minutes, the examiner will ask you
to make a decision with your partner about the topic you just talked about. For example, the examiner might ask: “Which of these activities do you think is
the most beneficial for young people?” You’ll have a minute to discuss the question. Towards the end of the minute, you should
try to come to a conclusion together. If you can’t agree on a decision, then what? It’s okay – you won’t lose marks! Just finish by summarizing your two different
opinions. Let’s look at some tips you can use in part
three of the CAE speaking test. My first tip is to learn conversation fillers. What do you do if you don’t know what to
say? It’s always better to say something rather
than nothing, right? Remember, the examiners can’t mark you if
you’re silent. That’s why it’s a good idea to use conversation
fillers. These are phrases you can use to give yourself
some extra thinking time. Here are two examples: “Let me think about that for a moment…” “That’s an interesting question…” Let’s do an exercise to practice this. Here are six phrases. However, three of them are probably more likely
to be used as fillers. Can you guess which ones they are? “Do you know what I mean?” “I’d never really thought about that, but
I suppose…” “That’s exactly how I feel.” “Let me consider this for a moment, it’s
quite complicated…” “Fantastic. Do you mind if I just add something…” “To be honest that’s not a question I’ve
ever thought about before…” Which ones did you guess? Did you guess these ones? Now, don’t use these fillers too much. You’ll waste time and it won’t sound natural. However, knowing one or two filler phrases
can really help you if you have nothing to say. Tip number two: focus on depth and detail. To score highly, it’s not necessary to talk
about all the points in part three. It’s better to talk about three or four
points in depth. Let’s look at the sample question again: “What are the advantages and disadvantages
of these different activities for meeting people and getting fit?” Which activities would you choose to talk
about? I’d probably talk about chess, soccer and
hip-hop dancing, because they seem like very different activities. The main thing to remember is to avoid rushing
through the points with your partner. Remember, going into depth will let you demonstrate
more advanced language. Let’s look at two sample answers: “eGaming and chess aren’t very good for
getting fit, but they might be good for meeting people with similar interests. Sports like swimming or soccer are better
for people who want to get fit.” This isn’t bad, but the candidate is trying
to cover too many things too quickly. This means the answer is simple and the candidate
can’t use much advanced or interesting language. Let’s look at a better answer: “Of course chess isn’t a good way to get
fit, because it’s a sedentary activity. It’s exercise for the mind, not for the
body! I’m not sure how social chess is but I guess
you could connect with people by talking about tactics and exchanging tips on how to play.” By focusing on one point—chess—the candidate
can go into more detail and use a wider range of language. Focusing on this will help your score; your
scores depend on the language you use, not how many points you cover. Tip number three: use all the time you have. After two minutes, the examiner will ask you
to reach a decision with your partner. The question might be something like this: “Which of these activities would be the most
beneficial for young people?” When responding to this question, don’t
try to reach a decision too early. Your goal is to discuss the question with
your partner, not answer it. You have one minute to discuss your ideas
with your partner and try to reach a conclusion. Once you feel that you are near the end of
the minute, use a phrase to show your partner that you should finish your discussion. Here are some phrases you could use: “So, are we in agreement that soccer is the
most beneficial?” “Alright, it’s safe to say that we agree
that soccer is the most beneficial.” “Are we on the same page?” But here’s one important point to remember. In part three, it’s not necessary that you
agree at the end. In fact, disagreeing can give you the opportunity
to demonstrate some advanced language and communication skills. So my next tip for part 3 of the CAE speaking
exam is learn ways to agree and disagree. Firstly, when you state an opinion, what do
you usually say? Here are some examples: “I’m of the opinion that…” “I tend to believe that…” “I feel as if…” For example: “I’m of the opinion that sports like soccer
are really beneficial for young people, because they teach them to work together as a team.” “I tend to believe that physical activities
like swimming or surfing are more beneficial than things like chess or eGaming.” “I feel as if the best activity depends on
the individual. They could all be beneficial, but different
people will take different things from each activity.” Now if you agree with the other candidate,
you could say: I totally agree…” “That’s a good point…” “I tend to agree that…” But you may also disagree, and this really
gives you the chance to show your good manners. “I see what you’re saying, but I suppose
I would add that…” “May I also suggest that…” “I’m with you on that; however…” And if you can’t come to a conclusion together
at the end of part three, can you think of what you could say? Imagine that your partner believes that soccer
is the most beneficial, but you believe that hip-hop dancing is more beneficial. What would you say? Here’s one possibility. “So I guess we’re not in agreement as to
which activity is the most beneficial. I’d say that soccer is the most beneficial,
whereas he is leaning towards hip-hop dancing.” The examiners really like to see candidates
who interact politely, so practising a few of these phrases will help you demonstrate
this. Tip number five: ask for your partner’s
opinion. As you’ve seen, you need to focus on interacting
with your partner in the CAE speaking exam. This is especially important in part three,
because you talk only to your partner during part three. The examiner doesn’t take part in the discussion. How can you interact with your partner and
make the conversation feel more natural? A good way is to ask your partner for his/her
opinion whenever you can. Can you think of some useful phrases to do
this? Some examples are: “What do you think?” “Do you know what I mean?” “How do you feel about that?” You could also use a more colloquial phrase,
like: “Do you get what I’m saying?” “What do you reckon?” “Where do you stand on this?” Just make sure that you also spend time giving
your opinions too! To get the best scores, you and your partner
need to balance your talking time. Don’t talk for too long—bring your partner
into the conversation often. Next, let’s look at part four of the CAE
speaking test. In part four, the examiner asks candidates
questions about their opinions about topics related to part three. If you’ve been talking about sports and
activities in part three, part four would continue on this topic. For example, one question might be: “Do you think that sport should be compulsory
at school?” This part lasts for five minutes. The examiner will ask you several questions. The examiner asks you the questions, but then
you need to interact with your partner. A lot of the advice and language you’ve
seen in this video is also useful for part four. Using filler phrases, agreeing and disagreeing
and interacting with your partner are still important in part four, so you can use a lot
of the advice you’ve already seen in this video. However, let’s look at some advice that
can help you with part four specifically. First: always develop your ideas. This is important throughout your CAE speaking
test, but it’s especially important in part four. With everything you say, always add reasons,
examples or counterarguments. Let’s look at a sample question: “Do you think that sport should be compulsory
at school?” Here’s a sample answer: “Yes, I think so. It’s really important for personal development.” This answer’s okay – the candidate provided
a reason. That’s a great start. But can you think of how to improve it? Let’s develop the answer by adding some
examples. Can you think of any? “For instance, playing sport can help a person
to develop leadership skills, as well as self-discipline. Many sports also involve teamwork, so you
can learn how to get along with others and make friends.” You can see that adding a detailed example
like this allows the candidate to use more advanced vocabulary, like ‘leadership skills’
or ‘self-discipline’. Let’s look at another question and see how
we can improve it. “Do you think that some sports are more suitable
at school than others?” Here’s a possible answer: “I think that sports that involve a lot of
physical activity are better because they are good for your health.” Again, this answer is not bad, but we can
improve it by adding more details: “Adolescence is a time when the body is changing
rapidly. By getting exercise when you’re young, you
set yourself up for better health later in life. What do you think?” Again, adding details makes the answer more
interesting and also allows you to use a wider range of language. Also, notice how the candidate invites the
opinion of his partner, by asking ‘what do you think?’ This makes the answer even stronger. Let’s look at one more sample question,
but this time we’ll try to add a counterargument. “Some people say that to be healthy on the
inside, you need to start from the outside. What’s your opinion on this?” Here’s a sample answer: “For sure, I think that it’s important to
be physically healthy as it affects the way you feel.” This answer is too short. Can you think of a counterargument to add? “Of course, it works the other way too. In my opinion, being happy and satisfied with
your life can affect your physical health too. Being stressed for a long time can make a
person sick.” Adding counterarguments allows you to use
linking words and discourse markers like ‘of course’ or ‘in my opinion.’ Finally, remember that you are also interacting
with your partner. Don’t just develop your own answers; build
on what your partner says, too! You can do this in the same way. Comment on your partner’s answers and add
your own details, suggestions and counterarguments, just like we did here. Let’s look at one more general tip which
can help you, especially during part four: get informed Some people are already good at expressing
their opinions. But some of us don’t feel confident doing
this, especially in a second language. When you take a speaking exam like CAE, it’s
not just about English. It’s about your ideas and opinions, and
how well you can communicate them to others. This is a more general tip, but reading widely,
keeping up with the news and thinking about current affairs can help you in your CAE speaking
exam. Read news and opinion articles on news sites
such as the BBC, Al Jazeera and so on. Of course, it’s better to read in English,
but you could also read in your own language. The goal is to expose yourself to as many
different opinions as possible. The good news is, even if you don’t have
a lot of time until your exam, you can give yourself an advantage by reading current affairs,
and starting to think about what your opinions are. When you read, think about what you’re reading
and try to form your own opinions. This way, you’ll be able to talk about a
wide range of topics, and you’ll have more interesting ideas and opinions you can use
in your CAE speaking test. Let’s review what we’ve covered today. To improve your score on Parts 3 and 4 of
the CAE speaking exam, these are my top tips: 1. Learn conversation fillers; 2. Focus on depth and detail; 3. Make sure you use all the time; 4. Learn how to agree and disagree; 5. Bring your partner into the conversation by
asking for his/her opinions; 6. Always develop your ideas; 7.Read widely to
expose yourself to different opinions and ideas. But I have one more very important tip for
you, and that’s to practise! Practise with a friend, with your teacher,
or in class. Use these opportunities to practise agreeing,
disagreeing or using fillers like the ones we learned today. If you have a friend who is also preparing
for the CAE speaking exam, try to think of your own part three/four questions, or find
some online, and just practise, practise and practise them together. In this lesson, we’ve talked about a lot
of different language structures that you can use. However, practising with a friend, your teacher,
or in class, is essential. You can even try to think of your own part
4 type questions, and share them together. So, that’s the end of the lesson. Thanks very much for watching, and good luck
for your CAE speaking test! You can see more of our free lessons on our
website: Oxford Online English dot com. See you next time!

33 thoughts on “CAE Speaking Exam – How to Do Parts 3+4 of the CAE Speaking Test

  1. It is a very useful video for people that are preparing CAE test. Good tips and advice! thanks

  2. Watching this while I have my speaking exam in 10 hours and I really need my sleep… but I am too nervous 😭

  3. I took you advice seriously until i saw the word soccer. If you say that during your exam it could cost you you vocabulary.

  4. I teach this. 1 mintue to speak is not enough. Natural conversation btween 2 native English speakers requires more than 1 or 2 mintues to develop. Furthermore, the listening part where one has to fill in the blanks while listening is utterly unnatural. No native speaker would do this in real life. A better way of testing listening skills is thru conversation with native speaker about real life issues that are relative to people. This way one can combine, listening and speaking. Or, we can give candidates several issues to choose from where they have to develop 3 points about the issue with supporting information.

  5. Some say that it is better to cover all the topics outlining a couple of ideas for each, while others like in this video say that it is better to get in-depth although you might not have enough time to talk about all of them. So who should we listen to?

  6. This video is really helping me with my actual preparation for the exam. I am having it tomorrow and I think I will do it great!

  7. I have just got notified yesterday that I passed 🙂 Speaking was my far worst part so don't underestimate it guys! 😀

  8. Another tip I give my students (at all levels) is that you don't have to tell the truth! This means that when it comes to the discussion or the photo speculation, you have scope to say pretty much anything you like!…I was doing a run through with a student at B1 level, and when I asked her where she was from she replied "I'm from Valencia, it's a city in the middle of Spain"…Afterwards I told her that she failed her Geography exam but passed her English!

  9. Thank you 🙏 so much for sharing these videos. They are so helpful. I hope to pass the exam in a few weeks.

  10. My exam is in 2 days and it’s honestly super terrifying.

    What’s the worst, it’s a week before the rest of my course group ‘cause of my dumb cousin’s wedding on the same date as the 2nd oral exam date.

  11. Is there anyone here who'd like to practice it online? I'm going to have the speaking test tomorrow and I'm pretty unsure about my skills hahahaha. Anyway, thanks for the tips!

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