Cambridge Advanced: SPEAKING

Paper 4 of the CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH: ADVANCED (CAE) exam tests your ability to communicate effectively in face to face situations.

The Speaking test lasts approximately 15 minutes. It is taken face to face, with two candidates and two examiners. (Please note that you will take the Speaking test with one or two other candidates – never alone.)

The Speaking test is worth 20% of the whole Cambridge Advanced exam.





(2 minutes)

The interlocutor asks each candidate to say a little about themselves (interests, studies, career, etc.).

You must be able to

-give personal information

-talk about present circumstances/past experiences

-talk about future plans

-express opinions


(4 minutes)

Each candidate talks about a pair of photographs for 1 minute, followed by a 30-second response from the second candidate.

You must be able to

-speak for 1 minute without interruption 

-give information

-express your opinions

-relate photos to yourself and your own experience


(5 minutes)

The interlocutor asks candidates to carry out a task based on written prompts. You have to talk with the other candidate and make a decision. The 2-minute discussion should be followed by a 1-minute decision-making task.

You must be able to

-sustain an interaction

-exchange information and opinions

-express and justify opinions

-agree, disagree or partly agree

-suggest and speculate

-reach a decision through negotiation


(4 minutes)

The interlocutor asks candidates general opinion questions related to the topic covered in Part 3.

You must be able to

-exchange information and opinions

-express and justify opinions

-agree, disagree or partly agree

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)


Part 1

The interlocutor will ask each of you to speak briefly in turn and to give personal information about yourselves. You can expect a variety of questions, such as:



How would you describe the best holiday you have ever had?

What sorts of things can spoil a holiday for you?

Do you prefer package tours or tours you organize and book yourself? Why?


In what ways is knowing a foreign language useful to you now?

How do you expect language skills to be important to you in the future?

What’s the best way to learn a foreign language?


Do you think it is important to wear fashionable clothes? Why?

What are some of the strangest fashions you have seen?

What traditional clothes do people from your country wear?


Who was your favourite teacher?

At elementary school, what subjects were you good at?

Do you wish you had been home schooled?


What do you do to protect the environment?

Do you think nuclear is power safe? Why is it important?

What would you teach your children about protecting the planet?


Do you go for regular medical check-ups? Why?

When was the last time you went to a hospital?

How do you deal with stress?


What are the main attractions in your hometown?

Where is the best place to get a reasonably priced, but delicious meal in your hometown?

Has your hometown changed a lot since you were a kid? If so, how?


What kind of food do you think is the least healthy?

What is a typical meal from your country?

When was the last time you ate at a restaurant?


Do you make friends easily?

Has a friend ever let you down?

What qualities do you think are important in a friend?


Did you have any hobbies when you were a child?

Are there any hobbies you would like to try?

Why do people need hobbies?


Who uses the Internet the most in your family?

What social networking sites do you use? Why?

What kind of information are you comfortable releasing to the public?


Have you ever been to watch a professional sporting event?

Who is your favourite professional athlete? Why?

How do you feel about extreme sports? Would you like to try any?


  • Take a deep breath and relax before you go into the exam room. This will help you more confident.
  • Try to sound natural. Don’t learn a speech off by heart, but prepare for this part of the interview by making sure you can talk about yourself, your home, your family, your hobbies, etc. Practise giving information about yourself!
  • Avoid one-word answers. You can give short answers, but it is good to extend them if you can. At the same time, avoid answers that are too long and complicated.
  • Don’t be afraid to say you never do something, but explain why you don’t. The examiner wants to hear you produce some language.
  • Listen carefully to the question and answer exactly what is asked.
  • Always listen to your partner’s answers because the interlocutor may ask you both the same question.
  • Remember to speak clearly and loudly enough so that both examiners can hear you.

    Part 2.

    Part 3.

    Part 4.


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