The Speaking section of the Cambridge Proficiency Exam (CPE) tests your ability to speak English in different situations.

CPE speaking section: first part

The first part is an interview section. You talk about a common topic on your own. A sample topic could be about how important English is in your country, or how important is modern technology in your country. You will speak by yourself for 2 minutes about the topic and then your fellow examinee will comment about what you have said. Then, a different topic will be given to the other person, and you will need to comment about it. In order to succeed in this part of the exam, you need to practice speaking about common topics, and listen to other people speak about them, and practice commenting on what the other person has said. You really need to listen and make sure that you expand upon the topic, adding interesting information about it.

CPE speaking section: second part

The second section of the CPE Speaking Exam is more involved. In this section, you will look at related pictures, and then you are given a scenario, that used the pictures. For example, you could be given pictures of people eating. The topic for conversation would be about healthy eating. You might be asked which photos would be used for an advertising campaign to promote healthy eating. Then your partner will be asked to expand upon your ideas, or to agree or disagree with your conclusions. In order to succeed in this task, you need to involve your partner more than in the first task. You could ask “How do you feel about the first picture?” or if you need more information ask ” Please explain that last point in more detail.”

This speaking section of the CPE really shows if you are a good listener and how well you can think fast and react in English. Practicing with an experienced conversation teacher is really the best way to prepare for this part of the test.

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