CAE Speaking Test Tips Part 3 (The Two-Way Discussion)

The third part of the CAE oral exam is to test if you can use English to discuss and show understanding, to agree or disagree, negotiate and collaborate with your partner.  Th Two-Way discussion will last for about 5 -6 minutes and the examiner will instruct you and your partner to talk about a set of images.

Example Two Way-Discussion Task

The examiner will say something like –

Q: I’d like you to talk about something together for a few minutes. 

Here are a set of pictures;

The two instructions should both be discussed. “Discuss” the role of the people and “decide” which job would be the most stressful. This shows that you can negotiate and collaborate with your partner. You don’t have to reach agreement but you must at least try.

Top Tips

IT will be better for yourself and your partner if you work together. Help each other, guide each other and encourage each other to talk more.

1. To show that you are working with your partner, make sure to ask them lots of questions about what they think, as well as talking about what you think.

2. Listen ‘actively’ to what your partner says, responding to comments he or she makes. Use expressions such as the following to comment on something:

“That’s an interesting point.”
“I was interested in what you said about …”
“So, when you say …….., do you mean ……..?”
“Could you explain what you mean by …….?”

3. Use expressions to allow yourself time to think. For example: ‘That’s a good question.’, ‘Well, let me think …

4. In order to bring the discussion to a constructive conclusion try using expressions such as the following:
“So, weighing up the pros and cons, do you think …?”
“Are we generally in agreement that …?”
“So, all in all do we feel …?”
“Essentially, do we all agree that …?”
“So, to sum up …”
“So, in general …”
“It seems we’ve reached the conclusion that …”

To read parts 1 and 2 of this CAE Oral exam guide, click the following links;

Part 2 – The Long Turn

Part 1 – The Introduction

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The third part of the CAE oral exam is to test if you can use English to discuss and show understanding, to agree or...
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