FCE Speaking – Part 1

The speaking part 1 of your FCE exam is straightforward; the candidate needs to answers simple questions about themselves and express their opinion based on personal experiences. If they have a lack of experience, they should use the hypothetical tenses:

The questions in part one of the exam are usually very simple, but you should give an answer of about 30 seconds. They can also ask you questions using “tell me about…”

  • Tell me about your best friend
  • Tell me about where you live
  • Tell me about your mobile phone

You need to use the topic to give an extended answer, not just describe. Talk in the past, present and future. For example you ought to talk about the frequency you use your mobile phone, where you bought it, what you use it for and your opinion of it.

Work and employment:

  1. What do you do?
  2. How long have you been doing that?
  3. What´s the best part about your job?
  4. What did you do before what you are doing now?
  5. What do you plan on doing in the future career wise?

Places and where you live:

  1. Where do you live?
  2. How long have you lived there?
  3. What´s the best part about living there?
  4. What would you most like to change about where you live?
  5. What is there to do in your neighbourhood?

Free time and entertainment:

  1. Do you have any hobbies?
  2. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
  3. Are you keen to start a new hobby?
  4. Do you do any sport or exercise?
  5. How long have you been doing your favourite hobby?

Learning and education:

  1. Do you speak any foreign languages?
  2. Are you interested in history and other cultures?
  3. What do you enjoy learning about?
  4. What are the advantages of going to university?
  5. Would you live to study further in the future?

The more you practice the answers to these questions, the more comfortable you will feel the day of the exam.

When preparing for your FCE Speaking, remember to:

  • Speak clearly. Clear pronunciation is important to communicate effectively.
  • Speak slowly. Speaking quickly is not always better and does not always show fluency. It will not improve your score to try and speak like a native speaker.
  • Use the full time. If you have said everything you planned to say but you still have some time left, use it!
  • Practice speaking for 45 and 60 seconds, without pausing for long periods of time. This may sound obvious or strange, but it’s a skill that can be learned and developed.
  • Practice speaking English in a non-test-taking environment. This will give you confidence and fluency .
  • Practice specific FIRST questions. This will help you become familiar with the exam’s format.
  • Improve your vocabulary. This great list of FCE wordlists is an excellent place to start.
  • Know what is expected of you. Learn the FCE scoring so you can deliver what they are looking for.

Hope you find these pieces of advice useful!

Also check the following posts:

Overcoming the B2 plateau when speaking in English

Practical exercise to boost your fluency

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