Speaking tips

Speaking tips

This section will give you lots of tips and advice so you can do as well as possible in any speaking test.

This section is going to help you to prepare for speaking exams, which for many learners are the exam that is most feared! This section will give you lots of tips and advice so you can do as well as possible in any speaking test. Remember that everyone gets nervous in exams, especially oral exams. So, don’t worry, our tips will help you feel more confident in a speaking exam.

  • Listening to as much English as possible will help to improve your speaking. Listening to songs, podcasts, films, TV series or video clips will help you to feel more confident about speaking.
  • Speak as much English in class as possible. If you speak English regularly in class, you will find it easier to speak in an exam.
  • Slow down! It’s not a race. Before you speak, think carefully about what to say and speak a little slower than normal.
  • Use language you know is correct. Use words and expressions you have used before.
  • If you don’t know a word, think of another way to say it. For example, if you know the word ‘expensive’, but can’t remember the word ‘cheap’, you could say:
    It’s not expensive.
    It’s a good price.
    It’s not a lot of money.
  • Listen to yourself while you speak and if you hear a mistake, correct it. Native speakers make mistakes and correct them all the time.
  • Look at the examiner’s or other student’s face and eyes when you speak. Do they understand you? If not, say it again with different words.
  • If you don’t understand the question or the activity, ask the examiner. Say: ‘Could you repeat that, please?’
  • Always say something. Don’t just say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Explain your answer with a reason. Say ‘Yes, I agree because....’
  • If you can choose the question or topic, choose one you know something about. It’s easier to talk about something you know.
  • Speak clearly so that the examiner can hear you. If you find this difficult, practise with a friend at home. Stand at opposite ends of a room and speak to each other in English. Or speak to each other in English on your computers.
  • What can you prepare before the exam? Ask your teacher. For example, questions about personal information. Prepare what to say at home and practise with a friend, in front of a mirror or record yourself on your phone or computer. 
  • In some exams, there are two examiners. One who talks to you and one who listens. Say hello and goodbye to both examiners, but during the exam, focus on the examiner who talks to you.
  • This is your opportunity to show the examiner what you know. Use your best language and pronunciation.
  • Remember that everyone feels nervous in exams. So, take some deep breaths before the exam and try to relax.
  • Finally, remember that the examiners are normal human beings, not aliens!
Average: 4.3 (16 votes)
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Submitted by lilbobo on Tue, 07/11/2023 - 10:28

Thank you for the tips ıts very helpful but I still feel nervous about speaking in exam or class. ıts a big problem for me because I have an exam two days later. I dont know what I want to speak. if you are in class you fell nervous more than normal life. I hope ıt will pass good way for me cause ı scary a lot. I wish you all the best...

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Submitted by Freshka on Wed, 07/06/2022 - 12:08

Thanks for all of your advice. I have been studying English for a couple of years. I speak relatively well. My level of English is between B1/B2, but I'm still scared when I have to say something in another language than my native tangue. I think I have this "barrier" because I don't practise enough. Also, I'm very self-critical, so I'm always worried about people's opinions much more than others. When I speak, I make the same mistakes over and over again and forget a lot of words. I'm so frustrated, but it's a part of studying. I watch a YouTuber who says about rewarding yourself for your hard work. It's a key to success. When I see that I did progress, I always reward myself. Writing is easier for me than speaking face to face, but it's normal I guess. But this activity is very helpful because I can use a new word and when I write this many times I catch it and I don't need to study more. I will end for today. Thanks for reading my short opinion about this subject. I wish you all the best!
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Submitted by Fairy on Thu, 04/07/2022 - 12:42

Thanks for tips! Actually I have a problem with speaking. I'm very afraid to speak with people. I'm KET student but I think my speaking skill isn't improve. Sometime I want to talk in class like other people but I can't do it. When I open my mic i feel scary. you know I'm worried about people's opinions. When I speak I feel and thought people will laugh me or joking at me. But in class, all of my friends and teacher are not like that. They help me and teach me not to afraid. but I still can't do it. When I am only one I can speak well and all of my pronunciations are really good. But in front of people i can't speak well. I'm worried for my exam. I have 2 exams next 2 months. Cambridge and school exam. I don't worried for my listening, reading and writing tests.but I feel scary for my speaking test. Help me!

Submitted by editor_rachael on Fri, 04/08/2022 - 16:13

Hi Fairy,


Lots of people feel nervous about speaking in another language. You could try to find some relaxation techniques that help you, for example yoga or breathing techniques. And usually the more you practise doing something that makes you nervous, the less nervous you become, so try to find friends to practise speaking with.


However, it sounds like you get very nervous, so we think it's important that you talk to your parents or a teacher about the problem to see if there are ways they can help you.


Good luck with your exams!


LearnEnglish Teens team

In reply to by Fairy

Submitted by hanniel on Fri, 11/10/2023 - 12:16

okay thank you we will try to stay the most positif that we can It's a good idea to control your feeling when you are in front of your exams

In reply to by editor_rachael

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Submitted by IGYOON on Thu, 08/13/2020 - 10:28

Literally this is the best speaking advice I ever had in my lifetime.

Submitted by bloomybloom on Sun, 05/31/2020 - 15:56

I love these advices , I think they will help me a lot in my speaking exams .
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Submitted by GeliG on Sun, 04/26/2020 - 07:00

Great advice! Thanks lots!
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Submitted by empty on Fri, 07/05/2019 - 13:00

That was very good , thank you !

Submitted by Sizuka on Thu, 05/02/2019 - 10:39

It is a very good piece of advice. And also it is very much effective.
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Submitted by empty on Wed, 04/03/2019 - 11:40

very sweet! thanks for all these advices you give us!
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Submitted by smilemaria85 on Sat, 06/09/2018 - 20:28

Thanks for giving us these helpful tips. I'm sure these will help me in my speaking exams.

Submitted by Matvalpin on Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:16

It is good :) thanks
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