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PET (B1 Preliminary) Speaking Exam Part Four – Video

by Oli Redman on 22 July, 2016 , No comments

In this video, you can learn about the Cambridge PET speaking exam part four.
Hopefully, you’ve already watched previous video lessons in this series, so you know what to expect.
In this lesson, you’ll learn what will happen in part four of the PET speaking test and how to improve your score.

1. What to Expect in Part Four of the PET Speaking Exam

PET Speaking Exam Part Four Advice - three people speaking in an interview image

So, what should you expect in part four of the PET speaking exam?

Part four is very simple. Part four of the speaking exam lasts for about three minutes; you speak with your partner.

The examiner will ask you and your partner to talk about something connected to the topic you talked about in part three.

Remember that in part three, the examiner shows you a photo, which you discuss with your partner.

For example, if your photos in part three showed people eating food, you could be asked to talk about the food you enjoy eating, or maybe restaurants you like going to.

If your photos in part three showed people having fun with their friends, you could be asked to talk about what you like or don’t like doing with your friends.

An important thing to remember is that the examiner will normally ask you to discuss two things in this part. Let’s look at an example:

  • Your photos showed people in different types of clothes. Now I’d like you to talk together about the types of clothes you like to wear and when you like to wear them.

You can see that the question has two parts.

It is important to remember to talk about both the types of clothes you like and when you like to wear them. Many people forget to talk about both.

Let’s look at another example:

  • Your photos showed people shopping. Now I’d like you to talk together about where you like to shop and who you like to shop with.

Again, you can see this question has two parts.

You will have to talk about where you like to shop and who you like to shop with. You have to speak about both of these questions in this part.

2. How to Begin Your Answer

So, how do you start?

A good suggestion is to start by asking a question to your partner. This shows that you understand what the discussion is about but also gives you more time to think about what you are going to say.

Let’s look at an example. The examiner asks you:

  • Now, I’d like you to talk together about food you like eating, and where you like to eat.

You start:

  • I like to eat pizza in a restaurant.

Not a great start, is it? It’s very simple and doesn’t feel like the start of a conversation.

Now let’s look at a better way to begin:

  • So, what kind of food do you enjoy eating?

This is much better. It shows that you understand the topic and that you are trying to communicate with your partner.

Of course, it gives you some time to think about what to say next!

Let’s look at another example. The examiner asks you:

  • Now I’d like you to talk together about the types of clothes you like to wear and when you like to wear them.

You start:

  • I love wearing T-shirts.

This is not a very good way to start. It doesn’t really start the conversation, does it?

Let’s listen to a better way to begin:

  • OK, what kind of clothes do you like wearing?

This sounds more like the start of a conversation, right?

This is a much better way to begin.

3. Listen and Respond to Your Partner’s Ideas

It’s important to listen to your partner actively and respond to what he or she says. The examiners want to see a natural conversation between two people.

If your partner says:

  • I really enjoy going to Italian restaurants because the food is delicious. Do you like Italian restaurants?

And you reply:

  • I really like Indian food because I love spicy food.

Can you see the problem? You didn’t answer your partner’s question.

Let’s try again:

  • I really enjoy going to Italian restaurants because the food is delicious. Do you like Italian restaurants?

You reply:

  • I do like Italian restaurants because I love pizza, but I prefer Indian food because I love spicy food. Do you like Indian food?

PET Speaking Exam Part Four Advice - pizza in restaurant image

It might look like a small difference, but it’s very important.

This answer is much better. You answered the question, expressed your opinion and moved the conversation forward by asking a question.

Even if your partner doesn’t ask a question, you should still respond to what they say.

Let’s look at an example.

Your partner says:

  • I love wearing t-shirts and shorts in sunny weather.

You say:

  • I like wearing jumpers in cold weather.

This sounds unnatural and strange, doesn’t it? It sounds like you aren’t listening to your partner and you’re just taking turns to speak.

Let’s see if we can make a better answer. Your partner says:

  • I love wearing t-shirts and shorts in sunny weather.

You say:

  • I totally agree, t-shirts and shorts are more comfortable in sunny weather. In colder weather I prefer to wear jumpers.

This is much better. Again, you show that you are listening to your partner, but you also express your own ideas.

4. Moving the Conversation Forward

In part four of the PET speaking exam, you need to talk for three minutes.

How can you keep the conversation going? How can you make sure you don’t get stuck on one topic for too long?

You need to control the conversation. A good way to do this is to ask your partner questions. Especially if your partner goes off topic,
you should ask a question to bring the conversation back to the question the examiner asked.

Listen to this example.

Student 1: I love going to the cinema with my friends.
Student 2: I like playing tennis with my friends.
Student 1: I go to the shopping centre at the weekend with them.
Student 2: I play tennis with my friends on Sunday morning.

This doesn’t sound like a normal conversation, does it?

You should imagine that you are talking to your friends. It should sound natural and relaxed.

Let’s listen again.

Student 1: I love going to the cinema with my friends. Do you go to the cinema often?
Student 2: I sometimes go to the cinema if there’s something I want to see, but actually I prefer playing sport with my friends, especially tennis. What do you usually do at the weekend?
Student 1: I usually go to the shopping centre and hang around with my friends all day. What about you?
Student 2: That sounds great. I usually play tennis on Sunday mornings and sometimes I go swimming at the swimming pool.

That sounded a lot more normal, didn’t it? It actually sounded like a real conversation between friends.

Why? Because they asked the right questions to keep the conversation moving.

Let’s look at an example where the students get stuck on the same thing for too long:

Student 1: My favourite food is chocolate. I love eating anything with chocolate. What do you think?
Student 2: I agree, chocolate is amazing. I eat chocolate a few times a week. How often do you eat chocolate?
Student 1: I eat chocolate almost every day. I love having chocolate cake, chocolate crepes, and chocolate bars. What is your favourite type of chocolate?
Student 2: I love milk chocolate. What is your favourite type of chocolate?

Sounds boring, right? You don’t want to get stuck on the same thing.

Let’s listen again but this time we are going to try and control the conversation and move away from chocolate.

Student 1: My favourite food is chocolate. I love eating anything with chocolate. What do you think?
Student 2: I agree, chocolate is amazing. I eat chocolate a few times a week. How often do you eat it?
Student 1: I eat chocolate almost every day. Let’s move on. What other food do you like?
Student 2: I really like Italian food: pizza, pasta, things like that. Do you like Italian food?

I think we can agree that the second conversation was much better.

The first student moved the conversation along and changed the topic.

You don’t want to get stuck on one thing for a long time.

5. How to Make Your Answers More Interesting

But what should you actually talk about?

It’s a good idea to give your real opinions and talk about your experiences, your life and your plans.

Tell your partner about interesting things you have done in the past, or plans you have for the future.

Making your answers more detailed and interesting is always a good thing. It will help you to use your English, it will help you to talk for the full three minutes, and it will help you to communicate with your partner and have a natural conversation.

All of these things can help you to get a higher score in your PET speaking exam.

Let’s look at an example.

Your partner asks you:

  • What hobbies do you like doing in your free time?

And you say:

  • I love playing basketball because it is good sport. I don’t like football because it is a boring sport.

This answer is OK, but it’s not so interesting, and the opinions are quite simple.

Let’s listen again:

  • I really love playing basketball.. I played with my friends last weekend. In the future, I’d love to be a professional basketball player. I don’t like football. I know that a lot of people love it but I think it’s quite dull. What do you think about football?

This answer sounded a lot better, right? The answer was much more interesting and you spoke about the past and the future showing the examiner that you can use different verb forms.

Let’s look at another example.

Your partner asks:

  • What clothes do you wear to school?

You reply:

  • I wear a uniform to school. I don’t like wearing a uniform. I prefer wearing other clothes.

This is a very boring answer. You want to give more information and use a range of language in your answer: different verb forms, adjectives, and so on.

Let’s listen again:

  • I have to wear a uniform to school. It’s horrible. In the past, I didn’t have to wear one but I do now. I love getting home from school so I can change into my normal clothes.

PET Speaking Exam Part Four Advice - school uniforms image

This is a better answer because it uses different tenses and gives a more detailed personal example.

6. Final Review

Okay, we’ve looked at what you can expect in part 4 of your PET speaking exam; let’s review the key point to remember.

Remember to talk about both things the examiner introduces at the start.

It is a good idea to start with a question to start the discussion.

Make sure you listen to your partner and respond to his or her ideas.

Try and control the conversation and make you aren’t stuck on the same thing for a long time. Ask your partner questions to keep the conversation moving forward.

And lastly, make sure you give lots of opinions and examples. You want to make your conversation interesting.

I hope you now have a good idea of what to expect in your Cambridge PET speaking exam and how to impress your examiners. Good luck!

PET speaking test part four quiz

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Oli RedmanPET (B1 Preliminary) Speaking Exam Part Four – Video