Tips for the B2 level exam

The Spoken Exam has four tasks, which are similar to things you do in real life. You tell stories, argue, solve problems and communicate information to get things done. This collection of tips, suggestions and useful language will help you do well in the exam.

You can find an overview of all 4 parts of the Spoken Exam, where you get important information about ‘what we expect’, ‘what to focus on’ and also on ‘how to prepare’. For each of the four B2 tasks, you get a document with information on language requirements, advice, tips, DOs and DONTs and even web links for further practice.

Click on the pictures on the right to download the documents.


… Our goal with these warm-up questions is to reduce your anxiety and help you start speaking. Having said that, it is important to bear in mind that assessment starts from the moment you first open your mouth, therefore make sure that you speak in full, logical, natural sentences. After the first warm-up questions, you will get 2 questions on everyday topics (hobbies, media, sport, lifestyle, etc.), none of which require any background knowledge or long answers...

Click on the picture to download the tips for the interview.

Picture story

…We would like to hear a continuous speech of a cohesive, logical story based on pictures. Using the 10-12 pictures and the introductory past tense sentence, you will demonstrate knowledge of the usual past tenses (simple, continuous, perfect and reported speech). Concentrate on the story, not the pictures….

Click on the picture to download the tips for the Picture story.

Situations: Transactional Dialogues

…we would like to hear short, oral problem solving. For each situation (roleplay), you will get a cue card, which will tell you who you are, where you are and what you would like to arrange and the interlocutor will tell you who they will play in the situation. The focus is more on the transactional language used than the location of the conversation (e.g. restaurant or doctor’s surgery).

Click on the picture to download the tips for the Transactional dialogues.

Communication task: Discussion

…This is a 3-minute improvised discussion about a given topic. By the end of the discussion, we would like to see you and the other candidate come to an agreement. In the course of the discussion, you will collect the main points of argument about the topic (e.g. What characteristics make a good parent?) and then you will agree on which the best option is...

Click on the picture to download the tips for the Discussion.

Assessment Criteria

Now that you are familiar with the tasks and requirements of the B2 speaking test, it's time to have a look at the assessment criteria that the assessorts will use to evaluate your performance. There are 5 criteria used in the B2 and C1 exam with the interlocutor giving an 'overall impression' mark ranging from 1-5 and the assessor giving marks (1-5) according to 4 other criteria, which gives us a grand total of 25 marks.
If you give these criteria a thorough look, you will be able to come up with some strategies to be even more successful in the speaking test.

Click on the picture to download the assessment criteria for B2 and C1.