Saturday, November 25, 2006

CAE interview - do's and don'ts


1 Be friendly, be polite. This is a chance to show the
examiners how well you can speak English, not a fight to
the death.

2 Learn some words that may come up, e.g. the name of
the subject you are studying or the job you want to do
in the future.

3 DO NOT learn a little speech by heart. It sounds
unnatural and you'll get even more nervous than you
need to be trying to remember it.

4 Keep eye contact with the examiner. That means looking
him or her in the eye rather than staring at your shoes
or some point on the wall behind them.

5 Remember there are no wrong answers here, only well-
expressed and badly expressed ones.

6 DO NOT give short, monosyllabic answers, nor tell them
the story of your life.


1 Remember that the question you'll be asked will vary.
Sometimes it may require you describe and comment or
you may be asked to compare and contrast.

2 If you don't understand the question ask the examiner to
repeat it. You'll not lose marks for this. However, you will
lose marks for answering the wrong question.

3 DO NOT stop speaking till the examiner tells you your
time is up.

4 Pay attention to what the other person says as you will
be asked a related question when they finish.


1 Make sure you understand the question before you start
speaking. If necessary, ask the examiner to repeat it.

2 Move your chair so that you are facing the other person.
Remember what we said about eye-contact. Also use their

3 Start with a question, not a monologue.

4 Listen to what the other person says, comment on it, ask
them questions.

5 If you can't think of something to add, disagree with the other
person, whatever they say. It's always easier to have
something to say if we disagree.

6 Give the other person chance to speak. You'll lose
marks if you monopolise the conversation.

7 DO NOT stop speaking until the examiner tells you that
your time is up.


1 Remember the questions asked in this part are always
connected with the topic in part three.

2 Give full answers, not just short, monosyllabic ones

3 Comment on what the other person says, use their name.

4 There are no wrong answers, only badly-expressed ones.

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