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05/05/2015 3:17am

Hii! Can you give some tips to pass FCE speaking?

Gerry English Expressions
05/05/2015 8:16pm

Hi Marta,

Thank you for your question!

As I am from Canada, I am not very familiar with the FCE, however I checked Youtube and watched a video-example of its speaking test. Essentially, it is similar to many of the one I know of, so this advice can pertain to just about any English speaking test.

Many speaking tests ask you:

*PERSONAL QUESTIONS to start, so, prepare some answers to these questions. Remember that they will ask you about your PAST and your FUTURE personal experiences, so pay attention to your usage of VERB TENSES. If you are confused about which tense to use, use the simple present because the test-giver will understand it the easiest
*They may also ask you questions of FREQUENCY - for example: "Do you ever eat lunch outside?" or "How often do you stay late at work?" So, be prepared to use adverbs of frequency like, "I usually stay late...", "I never stay late...", sometimes, almost never, rarely, on occasion, etc.

*to DESCRIBE PHOTOS scenes. To prepare for these questions, prepare some useful, introductory PHRASES beforehand. For example, "In this photo, there is a..." or "Well, in this scene, I see a woman who is..." Make sure that the phrases you prepare can be used for different topics.

*to talk about your OPINIONS (or ask you to EXPLAIN specific issues). To prepare for these questions, create a list of phrases that will help communicate your opinions. For example, "Well, I think that...", "In my opinion...", "I agree that..., but I disagree that...", etc.
*When giving your opinions or explaining issues, remember to start your answers with a TOPIC SENTENCE. A topic sentence will introduce what you will say, organizes your thoughts, and can make your speech sound more professional. For example, if they ask you, "Do you think that people should keep animals in zoos or should they be left to live alone in the wild?" So, in this case start with a topic sentence that is a general statement about zoos or animals, and THEN give your opinion. For example, "Well, both children and adults love watching and learning about animals. In my opinion, I think that it is okay to keep animals in zoos, but..."

*Use a thesaurus and find SYNONYMS for words that you will use MANY times during your speaking test, and use these words rather than using the same word over and over again. For example, during a test, you may want to say "usually" a lot, so after you use it one time, the second time say, "most often", or instead of the word "opinion", say, "my view". This really works for adjectives like "good". Use words that are more specific like, "beneficial", "healthy", "advantageous"...all these words mean "good", but they are different and it will show the test-giver that you have studied your vocabulary. Find synonyms for very very common words like: "good", "bad", "happy", "sad", "fun", etc.

*Get a tutor to help assess your pronunciation. If you want, I need students to take my Online Speaking Test. If you agree to let me post your results and a small photo of yourself, you can take my test for free and I will assess your speaking skills for free. Check it out here:


I hope this helps, Marta!

Please visit again and ask me your English questions!

Gerry ;)


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