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Speaking exams

Speaking exams

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Speaking exams can be stressful! What if you don't understand the examiner? What if you don't know the exact word you need? Don't panic! This section has loads of tips and advice on how to survive your next speaking exam.

Woman speaking

This section is going to help you to prepare for speaking exams, which for many learners are the exam that is most feared! This section will give you lots of tips and advice so you can do as well as possible in any speaking test. Remember that everyone gets nervous in exams, especially oral exams. So, don’t worry, our tips will help you feel more confident in a speaking exam.

  • Listening to as much English as possible will help to improve your speaking. Listening to songs, podcasts, films, TV series or video clips will help you to feel more confident about speaking.
  • Speak as much English in class as possible. If you speak English regularly in class, you will find it easier to speak in an exam.
  • Slow down! It’s not a race. Before you speak, think carefully about what to say and speak a little slower than normal.
  • Use language you know is correct. Use words and expressions you have used before.
  • If you don’t know a word, think of another way to say it. For example, if you know the word ‘expensive’, but can’t remember the word ‘cheap’, you could say:
    It’s not expensive.
    It’s a good price.
    It’s not a lot of money.
  • Listen to yourself while you speak and if you hear a mistake, correct it. Native speakers make mistakes and correct them all the time.
  • Look at the examiner’s or other student’s face and eyes when you speak. Do they understand you? If not, say it again with different words.
  • If you don’t understand the question or the activity, ask the examiner. Say: ‘Could you repeat that, please?’
  • Always say something. Don’t just say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Explain your answer with a reason. Say ‘Yes, I agree because....’
  • If you can choose the question or topic, choose one you know something about. It’s easier to talk about something you know.
  • Speak clearly so that the examiner can hear you. If you find this difficult, practise with a friend at home. Stand at opposite ends of a room and speak to each other in English. Or speak to each other in English on your computers.
  • What can you prepare before the exam? Ask your teacher. For example, questions about personal information. Prepare what to say at home and practise with a friend, in front of a mirror or record yourself on your phone or computer. 
  • In some exams, there are two examiners. One who talks to you and one who listens. Say hello and goodbye to both examiners, but during the exam, focus on the examiner who talks to you.
  • This is your opportunity to show the examiner what you know. Use your best language and pronunciation.
  • Remember that everyone feels nervous in exams. So, take some deep breaths before the exam and try to relax.
  • Finally, remember that the examiners are normal human beings, not aliens!

Use the 'Book navigation' box on the right-hand side of the page to work through this section.

Total votes: 2059

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Discussion

How well did you do in the exercise? Do you have any more top tips for doing well in speaking exams?

Comments

i love speaking and writing exams they are very good

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12 users have voted.

nice

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15 users have voted.

nice

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21 users have voted.
1525x
146x

I can speak normally with people of similar ages or younger, but I feel a little nervous while speaking with elders. :(
(Please, correct any mistakes in this sentence.)

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34 users have voted.

hi , how are u?

up
26 users have voted.

i i want improve my English speaking and listening skills
please help me
thank you

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39 users have voted.
477x
25x

I hate speaking exams though.

up
32 users have voted.

I like it .. I love English subject 4ever :)

up
34 users have voted.

I really enjoyed this speak exam, it was interesting to me and made e feel so fine!

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65 users have voted.
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33x

I did the exercice pretty well.
I think that one of the most important things to learn english is always listen films,TV shows.... in english and practise in your house your pronunciation.

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73 users have voted.

English isn't very difficult but you have to study hard to get good results:)

up
76 users have voted.

Ouuhh.. o_o This website is so perfect. I'm new here. I will always come to this website everyday to make my ability in English better than before. I will make my parents proud of me cause I can speak & understand all about English Language. Finally, I want to say BIG THANKS for this website :)

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96 users have voted.
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I'm a gemini girl :D Geminis are always talkative, language's kind isn't problem for us. I love speaking and making mistake isn't problem for me. I speak a lot English with my teachers, friends, native speaker (There is a British man in our school for helping us to improve our language skills) and of course myself. Sometimes, I forget some words and I don't use the correct grammer rules or i can't understand the other speaker clearly. But everybody can understand me a little bit. I will improve my speaking skills <3

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96 users have voted.

i have the same problem.please tell me how can I overcome it.

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37 users have voted.
10218x
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l like speaking exams

up
102 users have voted.

I like speaking exam...

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101 users have voted.
6069x
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I like talk to english language

up
107 users have voted.
5036x
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I woud like to speak English very fluently

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100 users have voted.

Exercise is must essential in every human life cause its helpful for fitness so I am always exercise with good feeling.

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41 users have voted.
284x
3x

i want to speak english welk and it s depend on to talk with foreigners

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106 users have voted.

i didn't take any speaking exam in my life!!!!!

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105 users have voted.

I like to speak English language.

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115 users have voted.
2142x
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It was inetersting

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109 users have voted.
284x
3x

i want yo talk with foreiners.

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106 users have voted.
14829x
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I like speaking exams.

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100 users have voted.

i like to speak in english and i like speaking exams ;)

up
115 users have voted.

I don't know how to start the speaking exam , please help me

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134 users have voted.

Hi susucck! Don't worry, we have a few tips for you. One thing you can do is have a look at the six videos of speaking exams. Watch the students answering the questions, and then try answering them yourself. It might help you to make notes and prepare your answers, or record yourself giving your answer with your computer or mobile. Practise several times so that you remember more and can give your answer more easily. Are you taking a speaking exam soon?
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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120 users have voted.
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I like English a lot but my friend say's that there will be a time when i would begin to dislike it because it would get confusing to me.
Please how can i solve this out

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6 users have voted.

Hi Tessy. Yes, English can be confusing sometimes. But I think if you like it, you should keep going. If you have a confusing question but you manage to find the answer to it, that's a very satisfying feeling so don't give up! Best wishes,

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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5 users have voted.

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