Cambridge Advanced (CAE) Speaking

Issued by the University of Cambridge, the Certificate of Advanced English provides proof of an advanced English level. While you’re preparing to take the test you’ll need to address five different parts: Reading, Writing, Use of English, Listening, and Speaking.

Structure of Speaking portion

The Speaking portion of the CAE is divided into four sections and lasts 15 minutes (23 for testing groups). You’ll typically be tested on speaking either as part of a group of three or with a partner.

Splendid Speaking

You can read an authoritative guide to this section of the CAE by clicking over to the website for Splendid Speaking where, at the bottom of the page, you’ll see some example questions. Let’s have a look at the four parts in detail.

The first part and the second part

The first part is made up of a brief conversation between you and another candidate. You’ll be asked questions that focus on use of the language in society. During the second part, however, you’ll be asked to talk alone for about one minute about a given prompt. You’ll be given 30 seconds to respond your partner’s prompt too. To prepare for this section you’ll need a clear understanding of different grammar rules and expressions because you’ll be required to describe, discuss, compare, and express personal opinions.

The third and fourth parts

During the third part, test-takers will need to discuss either a written document or an image. A point will come in the discussion when you’ll be asked a question leading you to negotiate and then make a decision. In this part, the proctor will be checking on your ability to interact, exchange ideas, express or justify opinions, agree or disagree, suggest, reach a decision, and so forth. The fourth part is a full-on discussion related to the topics already covered during the third part. Also here the proctor will be assessing your ability to express yourself while justifying opinions or agreeing/disagreeing with your partner.

Practice online

Every section of the CAE is equally important but lots of students can run into problems on this portion. That’s why it’s crucial to study plenty in advance, doing lots of practice exercises which are fortunately available for free online. A real extract from the exam in pdf format is available on the ESOL Exams site that you could print out and practice on. Whereas, on Wellington House Bcn, you’ll find example tests, questions and helpful tips for how to do well on the test. If you prefer interactive activities, the website Flo Joe offers a series of exercises you can do from home. On the YouTube channel for La Mansion de l’Ingles you’ll find an instructional video for the CAE Speaking section.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.