As you set your sights on pursuing higher education, one crucial milestone stands between you and your International dream college—an exceptional performance in the C2 Proficiency (CPE) Speaking exam.

Rest assured! We are here to be your guiding light on this language proficiency assessment. In this article, we have provided a comprehensive guide of essential tips specifically designed to elevate your CPE Speaking score and help you succeed in an English-speaking academic setting.

So whether you’re going for the first try or a seasoned professional trying to reach the maximum, read on for some valuable advice on improving your score in the CPE listening exam!

Overview of C2 Proficiency (CPE) Speaking

The CPE Speaking paper is one of the four components of the C2 Proficiency (CPE) exam, and it’s arguably the most important. After all, it’s your chance to show the examiners that you can use English in a real-life communicative context.

According to the C2 Proficiency speaking exam format, the paper consists of three parts, each thoughtfully designed to evaluate different aspects of your language proficiency. In Part 1 or for the first two minutes, you will engage in a warm-up conversation with the examiner, covering familiar topics and easing into the test. Part 2 involves a collaborative task with another candidate, encouraging interactive communication and teamwork in a short time span of 4 minutes. Lastly, Part 3 combines 10 minutes of individual long turns and a discussion, offering you the opportunity to present your viewpoints in-depth and engage in a dynamic exchange of ideas.

Having acquired an understanding of the rigorous test format, let’s proceed to explore 10 significant tips and strategies to confidently succeed in this 16-minute-long challenging assessment of your CPE exam.

Tips & Techniques to Increase Your C2/CPE Speaking Score

Tip 1: Learn the Format of the CPE Speaking Paper

First and foremost, learning the format of the CPE Speaking paper is crucial for you, as a C2 Proficiency test taker. Understanding the exam structure and requirements will allow you to feel confident and well-prepared. This plan of action can help you to understand the purpose of each part of the exam, the specific skills that are being assessed, and how to develop a strategy for answering the questions in each part. With this knowledge, you can effectively manage your time and deliver well-structured, concise responses during the test, maximizing your chances of success.

Tip 2: Practice Simulated Speaking Exams

One of the most efficient ways for you to succeed on the CPE Speaking Test is to practice simulated speaking tests. You can simulate test conditions by finding sample CPE speaking tasks online or in practice books and recording yourself answering within the time constraints. By participating in exercises that simulate actual test settings, candidates can familiarize themselves with the exam format and requirements, allowing them to feel more confident on examination day.

Tip 3: Focus on Fluency and Coherence

Fluency and coherence are essential elements of spoken English at the C2 level which can dramatically improve your CPE speaking score if you master them. Articulating ideas coherently and expressing them fluently showcases linguistic competence and ensures effective communication with examiners. A strong focus on fluency enables candidates to convey complex thoughts seamlessly, while coherence ensures a well-structured and logical flow of speech. Both of these qualities are important for success on the CPE Speaking test.

Tip 4: Use a Wide Range of Vocabulary

Undoubtedly, employing a wide range of vocabulary is an indispensable technique in the CPE Speaking Test. The CPE is a high-level exam, and examiners will expect candidates to be able to use a variety of vocabulary to express their ideas. This means using not only basic vocabulary, but also more advanced vocabulary including idioms, phrasal verbs, and collocations.

You can look up online resources, such as dictionaries and thesauruses to improve your vocabulary and deliver your best on the big day!

Tip 5: Use Specific Examples

Speaking with examples demonstrates a profound grasp of the subject matter and enhances the credibility of the arguments presented. In addition, when you provide specific examples, you are giving the examiner something concrete to understand and relate to. This can help to make your speech more memorable and persuasive.

Tip 6: Be Aware of Your Body Language

Body language is a powerful form of communication that can either enhance or detract from your speaking skills. Demonstrating confident posture, maintaining eye contact, and employing appropriate hand gestures can convey assurance and engagement in your answers. Conscious awareness of body language enhances the overall impression of language proficiency and contributes to a more polished and convincing performance.

Tip 7: Be an Active Listener

Being an active listener is essential for success on the CPE Speaking test. The examiners are looking for candidates who can not only speak fluently and coherently but who can also listen carefully to the questions that are asked and respond appropriately. Engaging attentively can also allow you to comprehend prompts thoroughly and formulate well-structured responses.

Tip 8: Practice Turn-Taking

In Part 2 and Part 3 of the C2 Proficiency (CPE) Speaking test, having a partner candidate necessitates practicing turn-taking effectively. Mastering this skill ensures smooth transitions between speaking and listening, enabling you to engage in healthy and cohesive discussions. Practicing turn-taking enhances collaborative performance, showcasing adeptness in interactive communication, and contributes to a more proficient performance, particularly in the latter part.

Tip 9: Stay Updated on Current Affairs

The Speaking test often includes topics related to contemporary issues, hence mastering this skill will definitely improve your score in the CPE speaking exam. Staying updated demonstrates a candidate’s ability to discuss relevant and meaningful subjects, showcasing a deeper understanding of the language and the world. To help you out, there are a number of ways to stay up-to-date on current affairs. You can read newspapers and magazines, watch news programs, or listen to relevant podcasts.

Tip 10: Stay Authentic

As this is the last tip, it must be emphasized that being authentic is one of the most important things you can do to succeed on the CPE Speaking test. Examiners appreciate candidness, and authenticity adds credibility to your language proficiency.

Being true to yourself ensures a positive and lasting impression, leaving a remarkable final impact on the overall performance and making it the ideal approach to conclude the CPE Speaking assessment.


The journey to success in the C2 Proficiency (CPE) Speaking test consists of valuable tips and techniques. By acknowledging your true self, interacting with others in the best way possible, and practicing regularly, you can refine your language skills and develop the confidence needed to ace this exam. With these CPE speaking tips, we wish you the best of luck for your language exam ahead!


We hope that this article on increasing your CPE speaking score was informative. Please check out our Scholarships Page for different information on scholarships and universities across the globe!

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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