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Cambridge English: Advanced

Find out about the CAE Speaking paper and get tips on how to shine on the big day

CAE Speaking

Part 1: Interview (< Previous Next >)

Tests ability to: use language for social purposes, e.g. making introductions, answering questions, stating an opinion.

This first section of the CAE Speaking exam lasts about two minutes (three minutes for groups of three) and gives the examiner the chance to find out a little about you and your partner through some 'getting-to-know-you' questions. These will be simple questions to help 'break the ice', for example questions about your family, your studies, where you come from or what your interests are.

Example Questions

The interview will begin with the examiner saying something like:

Q: Hello. My name is ........ and this is my colleague ........
Q: And your names are?
Q: Can I have your mark sheets please? ........ Thank you.
Q: First of all we'd like to know something about you.

The examiner will then ask each of you some questions. For example:

Q: Tell me about where you come from.
Q: Do you enjoy studying English?
Q: Do you have any hobbies or interests?
Q: Why are you preparing for the CAE exam?


You'll gain extra marks if you're able to give full, relevant answers to these questions.

1) Offer more than the bare minimum in your answers.
Q: Tell me about where you come from.
A: I come from Bielefeld. (Don't stop there!) It's in the northern part of Germany. It's a lovely place with a busy town and it's also close to some nice countryside.

2) Avoid short, 'yes', 'no' answers.
Q: Do you enjoy studying English?
A: Yes I do! I quite like studying languages and English in particular. I have a lot of English friends and love to be able to communicate with them in their own language. And I love being able to read English novels.
Q: Do you have any hobbies or interests?
A: No, not hobbies really. I used to like collecting things as a child but that doesn't interest me now. I suppose you could say music is a big interest, I especially like listening to English bands.

3) Offer examples to help you explain a statement.
Q: Why are you preparing for the CAE exam?
A: Because it's important for my job. As part of my appraisal, my boss advised me to take an English exam to help me develop my professional skills. I passed FCE last year and if I'm successful at CAE I'd like to try CPE.


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