Welcome to the 10-hour course, which has been designed for those of you who are hovering around the 6.5 - 7 band score, but need more guidance to enable you to be confident of achieving a band score of 7+
We are going to delve straight into the speaking aspects of the test.
Part 1 - You meet the examiner, provide him/her with your ID, and then answer questions about yourself. This is known as 'the Ice Breaker', as this part of the test is intended to get you relaxed.
The examiner will be assessing you, but he/she also knows that you will be nervous to begin with, and will ask you questions which you can answer 'easily'
(The famous excuse "I am shy" will not matter to the examiner. The only thing he or she is there to do is to test you).
Now when I say 'easily' I mean that the questions are about 'YOU' so you should know about yourself.
You should learn how to introduce yourself fully, and provide some background about your life both in and outside of work or study.
My advice is to prepare an introduction and practice it, as elements of it may appear in parts 1 & 2.
Format of the test:
The questions are designed for the examiner to hear certain grammar/vocabulary in your answers. So it is vital for you to understand the format of each question, and to answer it effectively.
Part 2 is the most difficult part of the test, as it involves 'only you'. As you know you will have to prepare and 'present' your talk. Most successful students increase their vocabulary on general topics and try to speak English everyday in preparation. These are 2 examples of things you should be doing.
Part 3 stems from part 2. It is a general discussion in which the examiner wants you to 'lead' the conversation. The questions he/she asks are there to allow the examiner to listen to you providing discussion type responses, and not 'closing' the conversation. Allow the examiner the opportunity to respond if he/she wants to. This is one skill of good discussion.
To sum up this section, it pays to begin the speaking exam well, as it will help you to relax more quickly. Over the next few lessons we will breakdown the 3 parts of the test in more depth.