In today’s tip we are going to watch a video of a sample answer for Part 2 the Speaking test. If you haven’t taken the Speaking test before, this video will give you a clear idea of what you have to do in Part 2. The candidate’s level is possibly around 6-6.5.
Cue card and sample answer
What does she do well?
The candidate does a few things well:
- She answers all the parts of the cue card.
- She begins her answer in a natural, spontaneous way.
- She gets a difficult cue card but she is still able to talk for two minutes (see Difficult cue cards).
- She makes eye contact with the examiner.
- She speaks continuously and doesn’t hesitate too much.
- She doesn’t speak too slowly.
What could she improve?
In order to get a higher band, the candidate could improve in a few areas, for example:
Use of tenses
She sometimes uses the wrong tenses. For example, she uses the present simple when talking about the past (My mum or my dad make a line — 01:23) and the present continuous (when we are meeting with my friends — 02:00) instead of the present simple.
The past simple is fine for talking about things you did regularly in your childhood. However, if you want to impress the examiner you can show that you know how to use other structures such as used to + infinitive (see Talking about your childhood).
During her answer, the candidate makes some typical vocabulary mistakes, for example:
- She overuses the word actually (for example 01:33, 01:45, 02:14). However, she uses it appropriately in the first sentence of her answer.
- She makes three mistakes with the verb meet (02:00). Firstly, she uses the wrong tense as explained above. Secondly, she says we instead of I. She also includes the preposition with (meet with my friends) — in natural English, we just say meet my friends, not meet with ….
- She uses the word tell (02:33) instead of say.
- She uses the phrase something like this (01:25, 02:25) instead of something like that, which is more natural.
Speaking natural English and avoiding typical errors will make a good impression on the examiner. However, you should not become too obsessed with avoiding mistakes. You need a good balance between accuracy (not making mistakes) and fluency (speaking continuously and without hesitation).