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Day 6: Speaking exercises: make the most of your speaking opportunities.

Welcome to Day 6 of 'Your Roadmap to Speaking Exam Success'. What follows are some suggestions to help you use your time as profitably as possible.

What better and easier way to start than speaking to yourself? OK, not in public or you may get some strange looks, but when you find yourself alone you have the perfect opportunity to practise for the long turn in your exam.

1) Try an oral diary - at the end of each day talk about 2 things that happened that you feel good about, 2 things you wished you'd done better. This is good practice in past tenses and in speculating with the use of conditionals and modals such as: 'I wish …', 'If only …' 'I should have …'.

2) There's a popular radio show on the BBC called 'Just a minute' where guests have to speak for one minute on a given subject. Try this yourself - it's great practice in timing yourself ready for the exam and will give you lots of practice in speaking at length on a subject. Write a series of statements on different cards. For example:

Everyone should become a vegetarian.
People are too materialistic.
Describe the best place you've ever visited.
Describe someone who has made a big impression on you.

Pick a card at random and get speaking!

3) If you're studying for an exam like CAE which asks you to describe or comment on photographs, practise using graphics from magazines or newspapers.
A) Introduce the photo with a statement on the theme, for example, 'This photo shows .....' ,
B) Describe what you can see, for example, in the foreground ... in the background, on the left ....
C) Practise speculating on what might be going on or what might have led up to the scene.

4) When speaking with your new contacts an obvious activity will be some 'getting to know you' conversations. Concentrate on giving full answers to your partner's questions and remember to help the conversation along by asking your partner questions and showing interest in what they say. The examiner is likely to ask you about your family, your studies, any hobbies or interests you have and topic-specific questions if you're doing a business or professional exam. Make sure you cover similar subjects in your practice session.

5) For general conversation practice try our weekly 'Get Speaking' task sheets.

6) For exam practice you'll find sample questions in the exam handbook available from the exam board website. Then there are our own sample questions on the Splendid Speaking website.


1) Download our Get Speaking Task Sheet to help you with topics to speak about.
2) Sign up for our weekly newsletter for an email with news of the latest task sheet.
3) Print the sample tasks from the exam handbook or from the Splendid Speaking website.
4) Practise some of the personal actions you listed on Day 4.


Find out how to get expert feedback on your speaking skills in tomorrow's lesson.


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