Your exam day minute-by-minute. What to bring, how to prepare.
The Spoken Exam at A2 level has four tasks. There are usually two candidates in the Spoken Exam, you and your partner. So, when we write "you" in these tips, it means that the same thing happens to the other candidate, too, or if we say "you give your presentation", it means that both of you do it, one after the other.
Task 1 – Interview
First, you will get an introductory question (e.g. 'How are you?', 'Where do you study?'), then 3 more questions about a specific topic. You will give a short answer to each of these three questions.
Tips and Ideas for Task 1
Listen carefully to each question. Answer the question in your own words. Don't just say something that you have learnt earlier.
When you prepare for the exam, practise saying aloud short sentences about your family, hobbies, school or work, eating and drinking habits, regular activities, travel, your home, the weather etc.
Task 2 – Picture Sequence (fluent speech in 1.5 minute)
This task begins before you enter the exam room. In another room you get a sheet with the picture sequence on it. Each sequence has 4 pictures and it tells a story. You have ten minutes to prepare. You can make notes, and then take these notes with you into the exam room. You can also use a non-electronic dictionary. In the exam room, you will tell your version of what the people are doing in the picture sequence. Of course, you can use your notes to help you, but don't read from them.
Tips and Ideas for Task 2
In the preparation room, don't write full sentences about the picture because you can't read them out. Instead, write down a few key words and phrases for each picture, mostly key verbs and nouns (e.g. "play the guitar", "lie in the sun", "wait for the bus" etc.). These key words will help you speak freely; your notes will help you think aboout the story and on what is happening in each picture.
In the preparation room, you can use a dictionary, but looking up words takes a long time. Only look up words which you feel you need very much. You use words best which you already know.
The main grammar structures in this task are the present continuous tense, simple present, there is and there are, words about places (e.g. 'in front of', 'next to')
One great way to prepare for this task during the last weeks before the exam is to talk to yourself in English and describe scenes you see around you in the street, at home, at work or school or anywhere else. "Tell yourself" about what you can see, what the people you see are doing and also think about why they are doing those things.
Task 3 – Transactional Dialogues
In this task you and the examiner will have 3 short, informal conversations: your examiner will always be your friend in the role-play. For each conversation you will get a rolecard to tell you what to say, (e.g. 'Ask your friend to go to the cinema with you.'). When you have read the card, you speak to the examiner. The examiner will reply to you, ending the conversation. You and your partner will take turns at doing the cards.
Tips and Ideas for Task 3
Read each card carefully, twice if necessary. Make sure you understand the situation, then decide what and how you want to say what the rolecard expects you to say.
You can practise for this task with friends, parents, relatives or other people who speak English. Imagine a lot of everyday situations and what people say in the street, at the hotel, at the doctor, in shops, at a railway station or airport, at cinemas-theatres-bars-restaurants etc. One of you speaks as an official, the other person as the customer, guest, patient, visitor etc.
In these dialogues you can use polite informal language. Practise these a lot (e.g. 'Could you pass the salt?', 'Would you like to have a coffee with me?').
Practice materials for Task 3 - Click on the links!
You can find a lot of short, elementary-level conversations on the 'Speaking' page of the website ESLgold.com. Listen to them and practise the useful expressions.
Task 4 – Communication Dialogues
You do this role-play task with your partner. You are both in a situation (e.g. tourist and receptionist in a hotel). You get a card with four questions in notes on it; your partner has four pieces of information in notes on her card. You ask the questions; she answers in full sentences. There is then another role-play where your partner asks the questions and you answer them.
Tips and Ideas for Task 4
You can practise for this task with friends, parents, relatives or other people who speak English. Imagine a lot of everyday situations and what people say in the street, at the hotel, at the doctor, in shops, at a railway station or airport, at cinemas-theatres-bars-restaurants etc. One of you speaks as an official, the other person as the customer, guest, patient, visitor etc. Try to continue these conversations a bit longer.
In these role-plays you should use use polite formal English.
Practice materials for Task 4 - Click on the link!
On this fantastic 'Everyday Dialogues' page of ESLlibrary.com, you can listen to 37 short coversations in situations which are very similar to those you can talk about in Task 3 and Task 4 of the exam. Listen to them several times and collect all the useful expressions you can use in similar situations (e.g. in shops, restaurants, hotels etc.).
Good luck in your exam