How to teach Cambridge First Certificate (FCE)


The FCE speaking test is held with two examiners, only one of whom speaks, and two or (very rarely) three candidates. This first part of the exam could hardly be easier in terms of what students need to do, which is simply to listen to and answer the personal questions that the examiner asks them. The examiner almost always makes it obvious who should answer at each point, and certainly if there is any confusion about that. After three minutes (or five minutes with three candidates), the examiner will move onto Speaking Part Two.

Typical topics include friends and family, hometown, food and drink, free time and hobbies, work, studies, technology, language learning, accommodation, and future plans. There will probably also be at least one more unusual topic that has yet to appear in past exams, such as perhaps dieting or keeping in touch with people. The examiner will ask one or two questions on one topic, then switch and do the same for one or two more topics. Unlike some exams such as IELTS, the examiner doesn’t announce changes in topic.

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