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10 Speaking Questions: Part 1 (Interview) | C2 Proficiency (CPE)

Level: C2
Article navigation:
C2 (CPE): What’s in the Speaking Paper?
C2 (CPE) Speaking Part 1: Introduction
C1 (CAE) Speaking Part 1: Questions/Topics
C2 (CPE) Speaking Part 1: Tips
C2 (CPE) Speaking: Useful Phrases

C2 (CPE): What’s in the Speaking Paper?

  1. Part 1 (Interview)
  2. Part 2 (Collaborative task)
  3. Part 3 (Long turn and duscussion)

C2 (CPE) Speaking Part 1: Introduction

Timing: 2 minutes

Task type and format:
A conversation between the interlocutor and each candidate (spoken questions).

This part tests the candidates’ ability to provide information about themselves. It consists of an initial greeting, establishing where the candidates come from, and whether the candidates are working or studying at the moment. The interlocutor then asks one question, selected from a list of six, to each candidate in turn. The candidates do not need to talk to each other in this part of the test, though they may if they wish.

C2 Proficiency (CPE) Speaking Part 1 Video

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Speaking Practice (On-line)

Find your speaking partner, practice and prepare for exams together.
Use our base of questions/topics to prepare for your speaking exam

C1 (CAE) Speaking Part 1: Questions/Topics

Interlocutor: Good morning / afternoon / evening. My name is …….. and this is my colleague …….. .

And your names are …….. ?
Could I have your mark sheets, please?
Interlocutor First of all, we’d like to know something about you.

Where are you from (Candidate A)?
And you (Candidate B)?

[address Candidate B] Are you working or studying at the moment?
[address Candidate A] And you?

Questions that may be addressed to each candidate are below.

  • How would you describe the area you live in?
  • What are your neighbours like?
  • Would you prefer to live somewhere else?
  • What would you like to improve about the area you live in?
  • How much free time do you have at the moment?
  • How good are you at organising your time?

  • Do you come from a large family?
  • Do you have much opportunity to travel?
  • Who are you closest to in your family?
  • Do you have friends who are closer to you than family members?
  • How important is friendship to you?
  • What would your dream job be?

  • Do you like to be physically active or do you prefer relaxing?
  • How important is the internet to you?
  • Is there anything you would like to learn about your country?
  • Tell me about the TV advertising in your country.
  • Do you enjoy cooking or do you find it boring?
  • Is there an interesting area of your country that you would like to visit?

  • Do you use the internet to study English?
  • Are you a student or do you have a job, or both?
  • Do many tourists visit your part of the country?
  • What’s your favourite food?
  • Do you find your hometown enjoyable to live in?
  • Who do you spend your free time with?

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Practice Tests Online

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Sample papers, online practice tests & tips.

  • Do you have a large family?
  • What do you like most about your studies/job?
  • How are you planning on using English in your future?
  • Do you enjoy playing computer games?
  • Is fashion important to you?
  • How do you prefer to travel? By train or by plane?

  • How many hours TV do you watch in an average week?
  • Describe a typical day at school/work/college.
  •  Do you live in a large house?
  • Can you remember your first English lessons?
  • Do you enjoy shopping?
  • How much exercise do you take each week?

  • Would you say you are very fit?
  • Has your attitude to school/college/work changed since you started there?
  •  Do you enjoy reading?
  •  Tell me about your best friend.
  •  How much time do you spend at home?
  •  Would you describe yourself as ambitious?

  • Do you use the internet a lot?
  • Tell us about a TV programme you really enjoy watching.
  • Where did you go for your most recent holiday?
  • Who are your best friends?
  • Could you tell me something about the area where you grew up?
  • What do you find most difficult about English?

  • What type of house would you like to live in?
  • What do you particularly like about them?
  •  What are the most popular sports in your country?
  •  Tell me about an interesting hobby you would like to take up in the future.
  •  Do you and your friends share the same ideas and opinions?
  • Are you planning to do anything special this weekend?

  • Could you describe your family home to me?
  • Do you plan to take up a new sport in the future?
  • Are there good quality TV programmes in your country?
  • Have they done anything that has particularly helped you?
  • Do you find it hard to relax?
  • What was a memorable holiday when you were a child?

C2 (CPE) Speaking Part 1: Tips

  • practise giving information about yourself
  • give a few details as well as general information
  • give short answers, but be prepared to extend them
  • don’t memorise answers about yourself – this will sound unnatural.

C2 (CPE) Speaking: Useful Phrases

Expressing opinion

  • To my mind,
  • I’m of the mind that…
  • The way I see it,
  • As I see it,
  • From my point of view/ perspective,
  • I look at it like this…
  • I’m a firm/big believer in…
  • Look, here’s what I think…
  • If you ask me
  • I hold the view that…
Personalising the topic

  • As far as I’m concerned…
  • Speaking from personal experience I’d say that…
  • In my experience, …
  • I often find that…
  • In my case
  • Speaking for me personally
  • From what I’ve seen
  • I can’t speak for anyone else but in my case…
  • This is a topic that is close to my heart because…
  • This really resonates with me personally because…

  • What I mean is…
  • I guess what I’m trying to say is…
  • In other words…
  • To put it another way…
  • How can I put this?
Time Buyers

  • It’s funny you should ask that…
  • That’s weird I was just talking about this the other day…
  • Hhmmmm that’s a tough one…
  • That’s an interesting question…
  • Now let me see…
Changing topic

  • Moving on to…
  • Now when it comes to…
  • … which leads me on to…
  • Now let’s take a look at…
  • Let’s move on shall we?
Adding additional points

  • It’s also worth bearing in mind that…
  • Another point worth highlighting is…
  • What’s more/On top of that
  • It must also be pointed out that…
  • Aside from that,

  • Totally/Absolutely/Exactly
  • I think we’re on the same page here,
  • I’m with you on that one.
  • I couldn’t agree more.
  • Hear, hear!
  • I’d go along with that.
  • I was just going to say that.
  • You took the words right out of my mouth.

  • I see what you mean but…
  • I take your point but…
  • I beg to differ I’m afraid.
  • I’m afraid I have to disagree with you there.
  • Yes but if we look at it from another angle…
  • That’s not exactly how I see it.
  • No, you’ve lost me there.
  • I’m afraid I just don’t buy it.

  • Wouldn’t it be better to
  • I hear what you’re saying but…
  • Hear me out here …
  • I’m sure we can come to a compromise.
  • 0k, 0k, you’ve talked me round. (you’ve convinced me)
Making a decision

  • Right, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
  • I’m torn between __ and___
  • At the end of the day, we’ve got to choose one…
  • My first instinct is to go for… what do you think?
  • The one that jumps out at me is…
Asking for opinion

  • What’s your take on this?
  •  Where do you stand on this topic?
  • What do you reckon?
  • Would you go along with that? (after expressing opinion)
  • What are your thoughts on this?
Impressive structures

  • Coming back to what (Javi) was saying about …. I’d also like to point out that…
  • I think it’s important not to forget that…
  • The vast majority of people tend to think that…
  • When all’s said and done…
Giving examples

  • A clear example of this is…
  • The first example that springs to mind is…
  • For instance,
  • The most obvious example is…
  • When I hear the word __ I immediately think of __
Wrap up/referring back

  • So as I was saying…
  • In summary,
  • In a nutshell,
  • In summary,
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