FCE Speaking Paper: The Key to Success (Step 4)

We are going to continue to look at Paper 2 on the FCE Speaking exam. Once the other candidate has completed the long turn, you will be asked a question which you are expected to answer in about 20 seconds.

It is more difficult to make a template for this task on Part 2 of the FCE speaking test. However, you know that you will be asked for your opinion on the topic, so you can prepare some good phrases that you slot into your answer. 

For example, in last week’s post we looked at how to make a speaking template and we used an example where we asked:

  • “Which factors may influence people’s holiday choice?”

The examiner may follow this up by asking you:

  • What influences your holiday choice?

A good opening phrase would be:

  • Personally, I would probably …
  • It would depend on many factors, however, personally I would …
  • Oh, that is a hard question to answer but I would probably…

You then need to continue your answer by using a linking phrase:

  • The main reason for my choice/opinion would probably be …
  • Furthermore, I feel/believe that …
  • I would like to add that I would probably …

Normally, two good sentences will be enough to fill the 20 seconds. So, here is how you use your “mini speaking template”:

  1. When the examiner instructs the other candidate, listen carefully for the topic.
  2. While the other candidate answers, listen but at the same time quickly run through in your mind the main vocabulary you know on the topic.
  3. When the examiner asks you the question, listen very carefully.
  4. Ask the examiner to repeat the question (you won’t lose any points for doing so), while the examiner repeats the question, in your head, you match your “mini template” with your vocabulary.
  5. Deliver your answer.

When answering, you should try to avoid “I think …” as this is a very basic phrase. It is much better to say “I feel …” or “I believe…”.

Remember, this “mini speaking template” should be a “live” document and as you progress in your FCE studies, you should constantly update it until you are satisfied with it. Try your template out on several picture sets you find in magazines etc.:

  • Does your template work?
  • Do you need to adjust it?
  • Can you adapt it quickly enough?
  • Can you deliver it without it sounding “rehearsed”?

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