FCE Speaking – Part 2

The speaking part 2 of your FCE exam is straightforward; the candidate needs to talk about two photographs and compare them.

The examiner gives you two photographs and asks you to talk about them. You have to speak for 1 minute without interruption and the interlocutor then asks the other candidate to comment on your photographs for about 30 seconds.

The other candidate receives a different set of photographs and you have to listen and comment when they have finished speaking. The question you have to answer about your photographs is written at the top of the page to remind you what you should talk about.

So, as you can see, FCE Speaking exam consists of four parts:

1. Student A speaks for one minute about two photos

2. Student B speaks for 30 seconds about the same photos

3. Student B speaks for one minute about two NEW photos

4. Student A speaks for 30 seconds about the same new photos from point 3

These photos are almost always about people. The technique for answering this part is the same as Speaking Test Part One: respond in about 3 sentences and try to show off your vocabulary.

Useful Vocabulary: FCE Speaking Part II

Because students are being tested on comparing, describing, expressing opinions, and speculating, it is important that students know the language related to these concepts.

Comparing

We can use the following words for comparing two photos that are similar:

  • as
  • as well as
  • both
  • have in common
  • in the same way
  • like
  • more (adjective) than
  • the most (adjective)
  • similar
  • similarly
  • same
  • the same as

We can use the following words for comparing two photos that are different:

  • although
  • but
  • contrary to
  • even though
  • differ
  • however
  • instead
  • on the contrary
  • on the other hand
  • the reverse
  • unless
  • unlike
  • whereas
  • while
  • yet

Describing

Use the Simple Present and Present Continuous to talk about what is happening in the photos. 

Expressing opinions

  • My initial reaction is …
  • I (really) think that …
  • I believe (that) …
  • I’m sure that …
  • In my opinion / My opinion is …
  • For me/ From my point of view, …
  • Frankly, …
  • I do believe/ feel/think …
  • I tend to think that …
  • It seems clear to me that …
  • To the best of my knowledge, …
  • What I think is …
  • It would seem to me that …
  • I can’t help thinking that …
  • I think it’s fair/reasonable to say …
  • I’ve come the conclusion that …

Speculating

  • You could say …
  • I reckon/suppose …
  • It could/might well be that …
  • It could be said that …
  • My best guess is …
  • It’s possible that …
  • Perhaps

Keep in mind some extra tips when performing this Speaking part 2

  • Weak candidates simply describe the pictures: “I can see a car. The car is red. There is a tree.” You aren’t asked to describe them. Strong candidates compare the pictures – that’s explained more below.
  • Don’t waste the first five seconds by explaining which pictures you have chosen. Just start comparing the pictures! (If you feel you have to make it clear, you can point to the pictures you have chosen.)
  • Dead air … is still a crime! You get 60 seconds to do this task. Use all of it! When your time is up the examiner will stop you.
  • While you are comparing the photos, try to look at the examiner and the other candidate from time to time. It’s hard because you have to look at the pictures, but strong candidates don’t talk to the photos – they talk aboutthe photos.

Hope you can put into practice all the information and you succeed in this Speaking part 2!

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