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B1 Preliminary Speaking Exam Parts 3 & 4 – Video

by Gina Mares on May 19, 2020 , Comments Off on B1 Preliminary Speaking Exam Parts 3 & 4 – Video

In this lesson, you can learn how to do parts three and four of the Cambridge B1 Preliminary speaking exam. You’ll see what to expect in the B1 Preliminary speaking test parts three and four, and what you can do to get a good score.

QUIZ: B1 Preliminary Speaking Exam Parts 3 & 4

Now, test your knowledge of what you learned in the lesson by trying this quiz. There are ten questions about part three of the B1 Preliminary speaking exam, and ten about part four.

You can get help with some questions if you press ‘Hint’. You will get your score at the end, when you can click on ‘View Questions’ to see all the correct answers.

B1 Preliminary Speaking Exam: Part Three

In part three of the B1 preliminary speaking test you talk to your partner, not to the examiner. It lasts two to three minutes.

At the beginning, the examiner will say: “Now, in this part of the test you’re going to talk about something together for about two minutes. I’m going to describe a situation to you.”

Then, the examiner will give you a booklet with the task. You’ll see several pictures. It might look something like this.

Picture example for B1 Preliminary Speaking Part 1

 

Then, you’ll hear the instructions. For example: “A family wants to go on a trip this weekend. Talk together about the different places the family could visit and decide which trip the family would most enjoy. All right? Now, talk together.”

Listen to the examiner carefully, because the instructions won’t be written on the task. If anything is not clear, ask the examiner to repeat the instructions.

First point: remember that the situation is about other people, not about you.

This task is not asking you to describe where you want to visit this weekend. It is asking you to talk about where the family in the picture should visit.

Don’t say ‘I think the castle is a good idea because I love history.’ This trip is not for you. You are only recommending ideas for the family.

Instead, say ‘I think the castle is a good idea because it would be educational for the family.’

Now let’s look at another situation.

 

Picture example for B1 Preliminary Speaking Part 1 example 2

 

Pause the video if you want more time to read and think.

Remember also that the instructions will not be written on the task in your real B1 speaking exam!

Let’s look at how to begin. Do you know how you should start?

A good way to start is to ask your partner a question.

For example, for this task, you could ask ‘Which present do you think is the best?’

Or, ‘What do you think about getting him a camera?’

Let’s look at another task.

Picture example for B1 Preliminary Speaking Part 1 example 3

 

Imagine you’re in the B1 speaking test. This is your task. Can you think of a question you could ask your partner to start?

Pause the video and try to make one or two questions you could use to start this task. Do it now!

Could you do it? Of course, there are many possibilities! You could ask ‘What do you think about bringing a camera?’

Or ‘Do you think they should bring a guidebook?’

Asking a question is a good way to start. What next?

The conversation should be fifty per cent you speaking and fifty per cent your partner speaking. You don’t get extra points for speaking more.

Give your opinion about something, and then ask your partner a question. Your opinions on each idea should not be very long – one or two sentences maximum – then ask another question. Ask your partner to respond to your ideas.

Let’s go back to our first example.

Picture example for B1 Preliminary Speaking Part 1 example 1

Remember: one or two sentences, then ask a question.

For example: ‘I think going to the beach is a good idea if the weather is nice because the children could play in the sea. What do you think about the family going to the beach?’

Let’s move on to our next point: linking your ideas when you speak.

In part three of the B1 speaking exam, you need to link your ideas with comparisons and contrasts.

Look at our second task again.

Picture example for B1 Preliminary Speaking Part 1 example 2

Imagine you’re in the exam. Your partner says ‘I think the mobile phone is a good idea because our classmate could keep in contact with us. What do you think about the camera?’

And then you reply ‘I don’t think the camera is a good idea because cameras are old-fashioned. What do you think about the book?’

These are good answers and ideas, but as a conversation, it sounds unnatural. There’s no connection between one answer and the other.

Here’s a better example. Your partner says ‘I think the mobile phone is a good idea because our classmate could keep in contact with us. What do you think about the camera?’

You reply ‘I don’t think the camera is a good idea, because today all mobile phones have cameras. What do you think about the book?’

This sounds better, right? Comparing and linking your ideas helps you to sound more like you’re having a normal discussion.

Our next point: you need to react to your partner’s ideas and suggestions. How can you do that?

When your partner speaks, you need to listen actively. Don’t just sit there like a robot. React, nod your head, or say something to show how you feel. Watch our lesson on Active Listening for more tips. You can use phrases to agree or disagree in English.

If you agree with what your partner says, you could say something like:

  • I agree
  • Good idea
  • That’s interesting
  • You’re right
  • That’s true
  • I think so too

If you disagree with your partner, remember to be polite. You could say:

  • Really?
  • I’m not sure about that.
  • I don’t think I agree.
  • I don’t think so.
  • Good idea, but I prefer…

Also, when you disagree with your partner, give a reason, or an alternative suggestion.

For example: if your partner says, ‘I think the book is a good idea because books are not that expensive’, and you disagree, you could reply ‘I don’t think I agree. I understand that a book would be a cheap present, but we want to get our classmate something special to remember us, like the watch.’

When you’ve finished discussing your options, you should make a decision together.

At the end, ask your partner something like ‘what have we decided?’ or ‘shall we choose one?’

Remember: you don’t have to be honest. If your partner thinks that one idea is better, you can agree just to finish the conversation. It doesn’t matter if you really agree or not.

If your partner is unsure, try to lead the decision. Look at our first task.

Picture example for B1 Preliminary Speaking Part 1 example 1

You could say, ‘I think the family should go to the beach, because we agreed it has a lot of activities for all of the family.’ This shows that you have control over the conversation.

What about our second task?

 

Picture example for B1 Preliminary Speaking Part 1 example 2

You could say, ‘I think we can agree that the mobile phone is the best idea because our classmate can keep in contact with us.’

Again, you’re controlling the discussion, but also involving your partner. Doing these things can help your score.

Make sure you leave enough time to reach a final decision together, but you also need to talk for the full two to three minutes. If you stop too early, the examiner will not say anything, and you will be sitting in uncomfortable silence.

When preparing for the B1 speaking exam, try to get a feeling for how long you need to speak. Don’t answer the question too quickly. After around two and a half minutes, start trying to reach a final decision.

Now, you should understand how to do part three of the B1 Preliminary speaking exam. What about part four?

B1 Preliminary Speaking Exam: Part Four

In part four, the examiner will ask you questions, and you’ll discuss the questions with your partner.

This means you need to speak to both the examiner and your partner in part four.

The questions will be on a similar topic to part three. Part four lasts around three minutes.

For example, if the topic in part three was connected to travel, you might hear questions like:

  • Do you prefer to travel with friends or alone?
  • What can people learn from travelling to different countries?
  • What do you like doing when you go on holiday?

Think: how could you answer these questions?

Here’s a sample answer for the first question: ‘I prefer to travel with friends. It’s more interesting.’

What do you think? Good answer?

It’s not terrible, but it could be better. This answer is just two short sentences, and it doesn’t have many ideas.

First, try to join your ideas together using words like ‘but’, ‘although’ or ‘because’. For example: ‘I prefer to travel with friends, because it’s more interesting.’

Next, try to use more specific vocabulary. ‘Interesting’ is very general. For example: ‘I prefer to travel with friends, because it’s more sociable.’

Then, try to add more ideas to your answer, like this: ‘I prefer to travel with friends, because it’s more sociable, plus you always have people to talk to and hang out with.’

Remember these three points: join your ideas together, use specific vocabulary, and add ideas to your answer. In this way, you can make your answers stronger!

Like in part three, you should ask your partner for their opinions.

The examiner will ask questions in part four. However, you should also talk to your partner.

So, at the end of your answer, you can ask your partner a question like ‘How about you?’ or ‘Do you agree?’

Also, react to what your partner says.

For example, imagine your partner says ‘People can learn a lot from travelling to different countries. For example, they can see how things like culture, food and architecture are different around the world.’

How could you react to this?

First of all, you could agree or disagree. For example, you could say, ‘Yes, I think so, too’ or ‘I’m not sure I agree with you.’

Even better, try to add your own ideas. For example: ‘Yes, I think so, too. Also, people can learn about different traditions, for example how festivals are celebrated.’

Or, ‘I’m not sure I agree with you. Travelling is a great experience, but I think you can learn about other countries’ culture, food and so on even if you don’t go there.’

Let’s try another one. Imagine that your partner says: ‘When I’m on holiday, I just like lying on the beach and doing nothing all day.’

How could you respond to this? Try to make two or three sentences. Say if you have the same opinion, or not, and add your own ideas. Pause the video and say your response aloud.

Could you do it? There are many possible answers. Let’s look at two.

You could say ‘I’m the same way. My work’s really busy, so when I’m on holiday, I just want to relax and forget about the stress of daily life.’

Or, you could say ‘I guess I’m quite different to you. I love active holidays, so I enjoy things like hiking, rafting, cycling, and so on. If I stayed on the beach all day, I’d get really bored.’

In general, in part four, try to add reasons, details and examples to your answers. This will let you use a wider range of grammar and vocabulary, which improves your score!

Let’s put these ideas together. For each question the examiner asks, you should do one of two things.

First, you can give your answer, then ask your partner for their opinion. You can also continue the discussion by reacting to what your partner says.

Or, you can let your partner speak, and then react to what they say.

A good idea would be to take turns, so that you answer one question first, and then your partner speaks first for the next question.

It’s better in part four if you and your partner can control the discussion, rather than waiting for the examiner to speak. The examiner might stop you if you speak for too long or go off-topic, but that’s not a problem.

That’s it. Good luck if you have a B1 Preliminary speaking exam soon!

Make sure to watch the other Oxford Online English lesson B1 Preliminary Speaking Exam Parts 1 & 2 if you haven’t already!

Thanks for watching!

Gina MaresB1 Preliminary Speaking Exam Parts 3 & 4 – Video

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