Speaking exams can be stressful! What if you don't understand the examiner? What if you don't know the exact word you need? Don't panic! This section has loads of tips and advice on how to survive your next speaking exam.
Information gap activity
If you have a speaking exam with another student, you may be asked to do an information gap activity. This means you look at some information and your partner looks at different information and then you talk and exchange the information.
Here are our top tips for information gap activities.
- Listen carefully to the instructions.
- Ask your teacher to repeat if you don’t understand exactly what you have to do.
- Look at your partner and check that he/she understands you when you speak.
- Be ready to repeat or explain things if he/she doesn’t understand you.
- Listen to your partner’s answers carefully and show interest in what your partner says.
- Take turns with your partner.
- Talk a lot more than your partner.
- Ignore what your partner says.
- Worry if you and your partner have different levels of English.
- Look at your partner’s worksheet and copy the answers!
Examples of information gap activities
Example 1: information exchange
Student A: Look at the information about films at the local cinema. Listen to your partner’s questions and use the information to answer them.
Student B: Look at the information about films at the local cinema and ask your partner questions to find out more about the films.
Example 2: picture difference
Students A and B: Look at your picture. Describe it to your partner. Listen to your partner talking about his/her picture. Find five differences between the pictures.
Example 3: role play
Look at the information on your role card and talk to your partner. Find a solution to the problem.
Student A: You are a guest staying at a hotel. The hotel website says it is a luxury hotel, but in your room the sheets and towels are dirty, the bathroom is too small, the street outside is very noisy and ... (you decide two more problems). You want to change to a better room and you want a discount. Talk to the receptionist and solve the problem.
Student B: You are a hotel receptionist. There is a guest staying at the hotel who complains about everything, even when there isn’t a problem. You can move a guest to a different room, but you can’t change the price of a room. Talk to the guest and solve the problem.