It’s very similar to the B2 First exam’s part four
In the final part of the C1 speaking test, you will have a discussion with your partner(s) about the topics or issues you explored in part three. The examiners will be looking at your ability to be able to express and justify your opinions, as well as agreeing or disagreeing. Although you’re not required to reach a decision like in the previous part, you still need to have the discussion with your partner and involve them, whilst using discourse markers and linking expressions. Your speech can be more natural but remember to try and use some advanced level vocabulary language.
What happens in this part?
- The examiner will ask a question and ask for you and your partner’s opinion.
- You’re also expected to say if you agree or disagree with your partner’s opinion. The examiner will gesture to you for when you should discuss the questions together. See an example test here.
- It is four minutes long (six for groups of three)
- You are examined on your ability to express and justify opinions, agreeing and/or disagreeing
What are the questions like?
Let’s assume you had just answered the question we had in part three about the different kinds of satisfaction people get from doing different things. The examiner will ask you questions that are similar to this:
How important is it to follow trends in fashion? Why?
Is it better to have a few close friends or a lot of acquaintances?
Do you think that people’s interests and priorities change as they get older? Why/why not?
Some people say that having a high status is not the most important thing. What do you think?
Is it possible to be rich? Why/why not?
What kind of responsibilities do you think rich people have? Why?
We can see here that the questions you’re asked explore the prompts from part three further, and so you’re asked a broader set of questions on these and ones which require you to express your opinion.
Below we list some possible topics for questions that might come up in your exam
Which topics do they take questions from?
The questions will be about similar topics to that of part three. Some common topics chosen are:
- The environment
- Social issues
One of the best ways to prepare for speaking part four is to get together with your friends and have discussions with them about any of these topics and makes notes of the vocabulary you used to speak about them. One of you could play the role of the examiner with a list of questions. You should practice agreeing or disagreeing with what your partner says and expressing your opinion. We also recommend that you get some practice with a good English teacher. You can see our online Cambridge English exam prep courses by going here.
If you don’t know what to say, you can buy yourself thinking time by saying something like ‘That’s a really interesting question’. Scroll down this page to see more examples;
You won’t have the questions written down, so it’s really important for you to listen carefully to the question. If you don’t quite understand the question you can ask the examiner to repeat it by politely asking ‘Sorry I missed that, could you repeat it please?’
Look at the examiner when you answer the question they ask you and look at your partner if the examiner asks you to discuss the question together. After you’ve given your opinion, remember to ask your partner for there’s too. You should always be listening and nodding to what your partner says while they speak;
Remember to explain the reasons for your opinion after you’ve said it;
You should politely interrupt your partner if they’ve spoken for a long time and it’s OK to disagree. To interrupt your partner politely you could say:
Can I just jump in here?
I’d just like to say what I think about this…
They’re some interesting points; I’d just like to say something about this…
Here is a list of phrases and words you can use for this part of the test. If you’re not sure how to use them, ask your teacher for help.
Justifying your opinions
…and that’s because…
..and for me it’s because..
I think this is mainly because of the fact that..
Building on your ideas
And also, let’s not forget…
Another thing is…
There’s also the fact that…
Just as importantly…
Giving your opinion
I think that…
I’m no expert but..
I would say that..
It’s clear to me that..
In my view..
As far as I’m concerned
Well, one thing I’m sure of is..
The way I see it is that..
I see it that way too.
I totally agree.
I completely agree.
I was just going to say that!
I couldn’t agree more.
Yeah, I see what you mean.
I was just thinking that!
Well, in my opinion..
Hm, well the way I see it is that..
I disagree because..
Yeah, but, the thing is..
Well, I’m not quite sure about that because..
I think you’re partly right but on the other hand..
But don’t you think that..
Well, I think you’re right there but..
I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree
Asking for your partner’s opinion
What’s your idea?
Do you have anything to add, *name of partner*?
What do you think
Do you agree?
Don’t you agree?
What would you say about this?
Did I forget anything?
Interrupting your partner
If I could just say as well..
I’d just like to add..
I’d like to comment on that
Buying thinking time
That’s a really interesting question…
I’ve never really thought much about that…
That’s a good question
Hm, well that’s an interesting question and I think it’s a complicated issue because..
Congratulations, you’ve just finished the speaking test for the Cambridge English C1 advanced exam!
*Idris Elba, British actor – best know for series The Wire and Luther