This is a very common task at the beginning of a speaking exam. It is something you can prepare at home and practise. If you know what to say, you will feel more relaxed and confident at the start of the exam.

Here are our top tips for talking about yourself in an exam.

Do:

  • Think about the types of topics and questions you may be asked before the exam. School, family, free time, daily routines and future plans are common topics.
  • Practise answering simple questions about yourself. Work with a friend to practise or record yourself and listen to the recording.
  • Listen carefully to the questions. If you don’t understand the question, ask your teacher to repeat it.
  • Give complete answers in full sentences.
  • Look at the examiner. His/her face may tell you when you’ve said enough and he/she is ready for the next question.

Don’t:

  • Memorise your answers. It’s good to have ideas ready, but it’s better not to memorise long replies to typical questions.
  • Just reply with ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
  • Panic if you are asked an unexpected question. Take a few seconds to think before you answer it.

Here are some examples of things you can say about yourself:

My name’s ...
I’m from ... / I live in ...
I was born in ...
I’m ... years old.
I go to ... school.
I like ... because ...
I don’t like ... because ...
In my free time / After school, I ...
My best friends are ... because ...
My favourite (school subject, actor, pop group, sport) is ... because ...
I have ... brothers and sisters.
In the future, I’d like to ... because ...

Discussion

Everyone loves talking about themselves! Have you ever had a speaking exam like this? Can you think of any other sentences that might be useful?

Comments

Demy's picture
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Demy 21 January, 2013 - 10:44

Yes.As for me speaking it's more easy than writing.
Not long ago I at the contest in English I had similar situation.
I had to tell you about myself and then get a ticket and in a minute to tell on this subject. I did'nt know what would be the topic and little worried. But the most difficult was the fact that I told it to FIVE rectors of the university. When I went I was scared but I tried to calm down. I told a little about yourself and then they started to ask me various questions.I pulled out a topic and start to improvise. It lasted about half an hour.
In the end I am glad that I have succeeded. They even smiled at my assertiveness and said that I was well done)

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diva's picture
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diva 26 May, 2012 - 14:46

yes it's quite natural that everybody feels like talking about themselves but in cases people don't like this they don't want to tell anything about their living style about their doings etc this is what makes them mysterious for others anyhow i haven't had any exam like this yet but i can hope to have it soon :-)
to know best a person i think you must ask him about his specialities he or she can speak good at this thing

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