Part 1 (Interview)
Tests ability to: use language for social purposes, e.g. making introductions, answering questions, stating an opinion.
This first section of the CAE Speaking exam lasts about three minutes (five minutes for groups of three) and gives the examiner the chance to find out a little about you and your partner through some ‘getting-to-know-you’ questions. These will be simple questions to help ‘break the ice’, for example questions about your family, your studies, where you come from or what your interests are.
Part 2 (Long Turn)
Tests ability to: speak at length coherently, use language to describe, compare and contrast, hypothesise and comment upon a topic.
Part 2 of the CAE Speaking test lasts about 4 minutes (six minutes for groups of three). Candidate A is passed a set of pictures and has to speak about the pictures without interruption, either from the examiner or their partner. When Candidate A has finished the examiner asks Candidate B to answer a brief question about the pictures. The roles are then reversed: Candidate B is given a different set of pictures and speaks for 1 minute followed by Candidate A, who answers a brief question about the pictures.
Part 3: (Two-Way Discussion)
Tests ability to: use language to discuss and interpret, to agree, disagree or agree to disagree, negotiate and collaborate, to rank or classify.
In Part 3, candidates are given oral instructions and provided with written prompts to form the basis for two tasks which they carry put together. They are expected to discuss some or all of the prompts in relation to a question, expressing and justifying opinions, evaluating and speculating. They are then asked another question which will engage them in negotiating towards a decision related to the written prompts that they have previously discussed. The instructions for the first task will begin with the words ‘Here are some… and a question about them’.
The sheet with the written prompts and a central question will then be placed in front of the candidates. The candidates are given about 15 seconds to read the question and the prompts. This is made clear to the candidates with the instruction: ‘You now have some time to look at the task.’ The task gives candidates the opportunity to show their range of language and their ability to invite the opinions and ideas of their partner. Candidates are expected to share the interaction in this way and to initiate and respond appropriately.
After the candidates have discussed the question with relation to the prompts they will be given another task in which they are asked to make a decision. The instruction for this will be: ‘Now you have a minute to decide…’ The decision will be related to the prompts they have just been discussing. They are assessed on their ability to use the language of negotiation and collaboration while doing this. However they are not penalised if they fail to reach a negotiated decision. There is no right or wrong answer to the task.
Part 4: (Three-Way Discussion)
Tests ability to: use language to summarise, report and explain decisions; develop a topic further.
In Part 4 of the CAE Speaking test, which lasts about four minutes (six for groups of three), the examiner will join the discussion and ask candidates questions related to the visuals used in Part 3.