Part 4 of the CAE speaking exam is the longest and the toughest part of the exam. Most of the people report they had most of the trouble during this section while taking the CAE exam. The reason is that you are not given any new topic. You have to continue the discussion you left in the 3rd section of the exam and elaborate your views further in CAE Speaking Part 4. People taking exams are mostly non-native and are not used to this type of discussion. They fail because they don’t have enough practice. You shouldn’t worry about failure because we are writing this article only to help you pass the exam with the best score. Keep reading the article to get more details.

Introduction to CAE Speaking Exam Part 4:

This part of the exam is very much linked to the previous part. You have to continue the discussion you were having in the previous part. You and your partner are required to go into more detail about the topics, express your views, and either agree or disagree with one another. The examiner also asks you questions about the topics you are discussing. You have to answer his questions properly.

The questions asked by the examiner are usually of three types. He may ask a question relevant to the topic in part three form one candidate and ask the other candidate to add to the answer further. He may ask the other candidate to evaluate the answer of the first candidate. Rarely, the examiner asks two different questions from each candidate. These questions are relevant to the topics in part 3 but can be quite different from one another.

The purpose of this part of the exam is to evaluate your ability to express and justify your opinions. The 4th part of the  CAE Speaking exam is less structured as compared to other parts and you have more freedom to answer the questions in your own way. But surely there are some guidelines to be followed.

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Tips to score better on CAE Speaking Part 4:

People fear this section of the exam a lot. However, if you follow the following tips, you can easily ace this part of the exam as well.

1. Talk to your partner, not the examiner

The biggest mistake people make during this section is that they think they have to talk to the examiner. You are not required to talk to the examiner. The interlocutor just gives you the questions. You have to answer them, engage your partner in your answers, and ask his views about the questions. You can agree or disagree with your partner. You are allowed to comment on your partner’s answers. Keep this thing in mind that you have to talk to your partner.

2. Ask your partner questions

Keep your partner engaged by asking questions, which is especially important in CAE Speaking Part 4. Experts say you should ask a lot of questions. Ask his views on your answer. Ask him what he thinks about different topics. When he gives an answer, interrupt in a polite way by asking “can I add something?” Express your views about his answer. Agree or disagree with his answer. He will reply to you and your discussion will carry on.

3. Give complete answers

Give complete and detailed answers to the examiner. A simple yes or no will not be enough. Explain your answer to the examiner. You can include examples and expand your answer. You can also give references to support your answer. While giving an answer to the examiner, you can also invite your partner to share his own views. This will allow you to show your English speaking skills in a broader aspect. You can use more words from vocabulary and more phrases in the answer. The examiner will definitely give you a better score for this.

4. Stay relevant to the topic

Your answer and your discussion with your partner should be all relevant to the question asked by the examiner in CAE Speaking Part 4. If the examiner asks you questions related to sports, he wants to hear vocabulary related to sports and games. In this theme, you can also add vocabulary related to fitness. But using words related to finance environment, or business will be very irrelevant. Using irrelevant words leaves a very bad impression on the examiner and he may even fail you for that.

5. Use delaying tactics

During your exam, you will reach a point when you would not know what to say. Your mind will blank out. In that case, you should not stop talking. You can use delaying tactics to stall the time and prolong the discussion. You can use phrases such as well, now let me see, let me think, oh! that was a great question etc.

The examiners are conscious about these tactics but using them is better than stop talking. The more time you waste sitting silently, the greater are your chances to fail. Always remember, sitting quietly is the biggest crime. It is, in fact, treason.

6. Common mistakes to avoid

The examiner sitting there is not that cruel to fail all the students. The students fail because of their own mistakes. Most of the students make mistakes because they are confused and very much nervous, especially those students who are taking the exam for the first time. You should be confident during the whole exam process. Always believe in yourself and your English skills.

Avoid interrupting too much. Keep in mind that your partner is also being evaluated along with you. You can interrupt him but remember giving him enough time to speak out his view. Don’t interrupt him in between his answer.

You should not use non-verbal means of communication. If you agree with your partner’s ideas, don’t only nod but use words such as exactly, sure, etc. Nodding and using non-verbal means result in a bad score.

This is all about the fourth part of speaking part of the CAE exam. After this, your exam is over. Your performance in this part will greatly affect your overall score in the exam. However, if you follow our expert tips, we hope you will perform very well and get a much better score.


Hopefully, this article on the CAE’s speaking part 4 was informative and helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.