In speaking exams you may be asked to discuss a topic and give your opinion. Watching other students doing this sort of task will help you learn how to do it too. So, watch the video first and then read the tips below to make sure you get top marks in your next speaking exam!

Here are our top tips for discussions.


  • Think about your opinion before the discussion starts.
  • Say what you really think about the topic and explain why you think that.
  • Listen to what your partner says and say if you agree or disagree.
  • Make sure you know the language for agreeing and disagreeing. 
  • Be polite if you disagree.
  • Ask your partner what he/she thinks.
  • Use every second you are given to do the task.
  • Finish the discussion by summarising what you have spoken about.


  • Only give your own opinion but also respond to your partner.
  • Worry if you don't agree with your partner. That's fine!
  • Talk about things that are not relevant to the topic.
  • Let the discussion stop. Keep it going! 

There are many suggestions of language you can use in discussions to agree and disagree in the section called Communication strategies.

Example discussion topics

You will probably be given a topic that has pros and cons, or advantages and disadvantages. Here are some example topics:    

  • The internet is the best way to do your shopping.
  • Young people under 15 shouldn’t use mobile phones.
  • All young people should stay at school until they are 18.
  • There shouldn’t be any advertising on TV during children’s programmes.
  • Famous celebrities shouldn’t complain if the paparazzi take photos of them every day.
  • It is the children’s responsibility to look after their parents when they get old.
  • Dogs should be banned from cities.


This is a very common task in a speaking exam. Tell us which questions you have been asked in your school exams. How did you answer them?


MissOrchestra700's picture
MissOrchestra700 21 June, 2020 - 07:47

I'm Rafia. I come from Bangladesh. Very poor English is taught in the schools of our country. But I learn English on my own. I want to improve my English speaking.

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MyStudyCoachJonas's picture
MyStudyCoachJonas 6 December, 2017 - 23:53

I haven´t done an english discussion exam but I will be prepared for one of this type of exams. :D

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 1 February, 2014 - 03:11

Hi josephkind,
Welcome to LearnEnglish Teens and we hope you enjoy practising English here. Please don't post personal details such as your Skype ID as this breaks our House Rules and it's not safe to post them on the internet where any strangers can see them. I have deleted it from your message.
Best wishes,
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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SARAH K's picture
SARAH K 11 August, 2013 - 12:30

We do not have speaking exams to our school. That's too bad. My teachers have always been focused in grammar and reading or writing exams and forget that the base thing is communication. I feel pity for this phenomen.

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 7 August, 2013 - 07:15

Hi biscuit_1604. Thanks for letting us know! :-) Do you do this kind of speaking task at school? What kinds of topics do you discuss?
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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megisiana's picture
megisiana 24 January, 2013 - 10:41

in my exam i talk about the advantages and disavantages of using computer.....this video help me very much.thanks a lot.....!!
You're the best guys!!!!!

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