Cambridge Advanced English or CAE exam is the widely accepted English proficiency exam that thoroughly tests your abilities to understand and speak English. It is a high-quality exam that tests whether a person can study or work in English-speaking countries or not. The test is conducted by the University of Cambridge twice a month. It evaluates the English skills of a person in 4 different sections: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking. This article will discuss awesome tips to increase your score on the CAE speaking section!

The speaking section is difficult for most of the people taking the CAE exam. They manage to get a good score in the other 3 portions but fail to perform well in the speaking part of the test. In this article, we will share some tips with you so that you can also improve your performance in this section.

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Overview of C1 Advanced (CAE) Speaking

In the speaking part of the CAE exam, two candidates are assessed together. You take the exam along with another candidate who is your partner for the next 15 minutes. There are two examiners  (you and your partner); an interlocutor, who asks you questions; and an assessor, who assesses your English during the whole process.

The CAE Speaking section is further divided into four sections.

The First Speaking Part lasts for approximately 2 minutes in which the interlocutor interviews you and asks a question about your hobbies, sports, etc.

In the Second Speaking Part, the interlocutor shows you 3 different pictures. You have to speak about two of them for 1 minute. The questions are also written on the page so that you know what to talk about. Your partner is asked to comment on what you said for 30 seconds. You will also be asked to comment on what your partner said about his set of photographs. This part lasts for about 4 minutes.

In the Third Speaking Part, the interlocutor gives you a topic along with written instructions to discuss with your partner for 2 minutes. Then you are asked to make a choice. You are given one more minute to discuss with your partner and then answer the interlocutor.

In the Fourth Speaking Part, the interlocutor asks you and your partner questions about the topic in part 3. You have to discuss these questions with your partner and answer the interlocutor. This part lasts for 5 minutes.

During this whole process, the assessor evaluates your English skills based on your grammar, choice of words, pronunciation, interactive communication, and flow of the language. He awards you a score between 1 to 5. A person would be very unlucky to get a score of 0.

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Tips & Techniques to Increase Your C1 Advanced Speaking Score

In this section, we will share with you some important tips you must follow to get a better score in CAE speaking. If you follow them all, we hope you will get a much better score.

Tip 1: Develop and Organize Your Answer

The first and most important tip is to develop your answer. You will be asked questions related to everyday topics. Don’t just speak out to the interlocutor about anything that comes into your mind. Rather, take a little pause after listening to the question, organize your thoughts, and after you have developed a good answer, speak it out.

Tip 2: Give Detailed Answers

Always give a detailed answer to every question asked along with examples. A simple yes or no will not work because it will not let the assessor evaluate your grammar and vocabulary.

Tip 3: Learn About the Common Questions

In part 1 of the CAE Speaking, the interlocutor asks very common questions related to everyday life. Learning about common questions and keywords will help a lot. Common questions are asked about the place where you live, your leisure time, your work, your study, your friends, your plans, etc. Learning some keywords related to these topics and using them in your answer will be of great help.

Tip 4: Selecting the Photos

Choose the pictures as early as possible. Don’t waste time. The best way would be to choose a picture that seems to be much different.

Tip 5: Comparison and Speculation of the Pictures

You should learn how to compare the pictures shown in the 2nd part of the exam. While comparing the two pictures, always mention first the similarities and later the differences between them. Use the linking word to better explain the two pictures. You should not only say what you in the pictures. Also, speak about the ideas behind the pictures, what the pictures represent, etc. In the end, also mention how you should feel if you were in the place of the people in the photographs.

Tip 6: Develop Backup Ideas

It would be very helpful to develop backup ideas in case you don’t know what to say. In case you are stuck and don’t know what to talk about, start comparing what the people are doing in the pictures, what they are wearing, why they are doing so, etc. This strategy will be much helpful in saving you from scoring badly.

Tip 7: Don’t Leave Dead Space

Speak for the whole time. Don’t stop to think in between the speech for long periods. Don’t stop even if you forgot a word or made a grammar mistake. Leaving a dead space will make the examiner think that you don’t know what you are talking about.

Tip 8: Focus on Some Points

In part three of CAE Speaking, it is not necessary to talk about all the points. Just take three to four points and discuss them in detail. Going into depth will allow you to speak in an organized way and express a better understanding of the language. Don’t ever try to cover too many things in a short period.

Tip 9: Discuss with Your Partner

When asked to make a choice, don’t decide too quickly. Rather, discuss with your partner to complete one minute and then answer the interlocutor. Use concluding phrases at the end of a discussion with your partner.

Tip 10: Comment on Your Partner’s Answers

In part four, you and your partner are asked questions. Listen carefully to what your partner answers and develop ideas related to it. You can comment on the answers of your partner when your turn comes. You can mention whether you agree or disagree with your partner on a particular point.


We hope that this article in the CAE Speaking section was helpful. To learn more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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