Thankfully the written CPE exams are over and done with. Good luck to all my students who took them on Sunday. All that is left is the interview so i thought I'd re-post some useful advice on how to approach paper 5.
CPE interviews 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 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.
2 To make sure you've understood the question discuss with your partner what you have heard. Agree on what you have to answer before starting.
3 Move your chair so that you are facing the other person. Remember what we said about eye-contact.
4 Start with a question, not a monologue.
5 Listen to what the other person says, comment on it, ask them questions.
6 Disagree with the other person whatever they say. It's always easier to have something to say if we disagree.
7 Give the other person chance to speak. You'll lose marks if you monopolise the conversation.
8 DO NOT stop speaking until the examiner tells you that your time is up.
PART THREE (part one)
1 Make sure you understand the question before you start speaking. If necessary, ask the examiner to explain it.
2 Give yourself a few moments to think about what you want to say.
3 Remember there are no wrong answers. Nobody expects you to be an expert on the subject of the question.
4 Feel free to ignore the prompts suggested. You do not have to use them, if you do not wish.
5 DO NOT stop speaking until the examiner tells you that your time is up.
6 Listen to what the other person says as you will be asked to comment on it.
PART THREE (part two)
7 Remember the longer questions asked towards the end of this part are always connected with the topic discussed in the prompt cards.
8 Give full answers, not just short, monosyllabic ones
9 Comment on what the other person says, use their name.
10 There are no wrong answers, only badly-expressed ones.