PEARTREE LIFE: Experiencing Languages

Finding speaking exams a bit testing…?

Sometimes you study, work hard and practise until you get so good at something you can do it really well almost without thinking… until you have to do it in an exam. Then the nerves, stress and pressure sometimes make your mind do strange things and you can suddenly forget how to do something you were doing absolutely fine until the test started!

That’s exactly what can happen to people who have to take speaking exams in another language, so in this week’s Language for Lunch we looked at how to use the widest possible range of grammar and vocabulary in speaking exams to showcase your English language skills. We also looked at how practising doing this can help you avoid getting too stressed and forgetting all the useful language you know once you’re in the exam room.

This week, we practised the first part of the Cambridge FCE and CAE speaking exams, as well as the first part of the IELTS speaking exam. One of the main things we found was that students often stick to the basic tenses they’re comfortable with when answering exam questions, which means that getting higher scores is very difficult. To help with this problem, always try to make some good example sentences about yourself when you learn a new grammar point - this way, it should quickly become part of the everyday English you use and this will help it come to mind more easily, even in an exam setting. Remember, the examiner has no idea you’re a master of present perfect continuous and the 2nd conditional unless you use them!

See you on Thursday 23 November at 12.30 to talk about the later parts of the FCE, CAE and IELTS speaking exams.

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON! It’s only a Cambridge exam

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About Peartree Languages

Peartree Languages is a language school located in Cardiff.


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