How to score higher? Record, transcribe and analyze
Here are some steps that you could follow when practicing for the speaking test:
1. Choose a real speaking test from one of the Cambridge books.
2. Record yourself answering one or all of the parts of the test.
3. Listen to the recording and transcribe it (write down everything you said).
4. Analyse the transcript. How could your answers be improved?
5. Take some time to prepare better answers for the same questions.
6. Try the same questions again! Record yourself, transcribe and analyze.
7. Repeat the process a few times until you are happy.
Imagine if you did this kind of hard work every day for a month. You’d definitely be more confident and better prepared than you are now.
Useful speaking strategies
1. Try to develop each bullet point in detail. If you don’t say enough for the first two or three points, you’ll find yourself with too much time for the last point.
2. Tell a story! My second point tells the story of how I was given the chair by a friend, and I could probably speak for 2 minutes about this point alone. When you tell a story about something real that happened, you’ll find it easy to keep talking. Stories are also interesting for the listener (the examiner). 3. Add examples. In point 3, you can see that I added an example at the end ("last night I fell asleep in my armchair while I was watching a film"). I could easily take this example and develop it into another short story.
4. When describing an object, don’t forget the simple things like size, color (I forgot that one!), shape, material, position ("just under my living room window").