En qué consiste el writing?
Lo más importante que debes saber es que tienes que escribir 2 textos de entre 140 y 190 palabras en 1hora y 20minutos. Es muy importante que no te falten palabras pero que tampoco te sobren.

En la parte 1 tendrás que escribir un ESSAY dando tu opinión sobre un tema específico, usando como puntos a tratar dos ideas que te proporcionaran además de una a tu elección.

“Aquí tienes un ejemplo:
You have had a discussion in your English class about teaching materials for schools. Now your English teacher has asked you to write an essay.
Write an essay using all the notes and give reasons for your point of view.

Schools should spend more on computers and software than on textbooks. Do you agree?
Write about:
1) which is better for education
2) which are more enjoyable to use
3)……………………………… (your own idea)”

(source: First Trainer, Cambridge University Press)

Es muy importante que te tomes unos minutos para hacer un buen writing plan. En primer lugar, tienes que obtener ideas, escribirlas y por último ordenarlas.

Cada idea nueva que proporciones debe estar justificada, por lo que es mejor escribir sobre una en cada párrafo, siempre justificada y/o con un ejemplo. NO escribas listas interminables de ideas sin decir por qué. Recuerda usar los conectores adecuados en todo momento.

La elección del tema a tratar no es aleatoria. Debes identificar el tema (en ese caso sería educación y nuevas tecnologías), hacer una pequeña lista de palabras y usarlas en tu redacción.

Introduce el tema de una forma general e informa al lector del contenido de tu redacción. No empieces ofreciendo tu opinión directamente.  En la conclusión, resume los puntos principales y plasma tu opinión.
Es muy importante que cuides el contenido de la conclusión, ya que será lo último que lea el examinador y tiene que ser coherente con lo que has escrito. NO añadas nuevas ideas aquí.

Por último, lee cuidadosamente antes de entregar. Corrige faltas de ortografía y asegúrate de que no repites palabras, piensa en estructuras gramaticales y expresiones que hagan que tu redacción tenga el nivel adecuado.


En la parte 2 podrás elegir 1 entre 3 opciones de los siguientes formatos: article, report, letter or email (formal/informal) and a  review. En la próxima entrada te contamos en qué consiste cada uno!



“You should never walk alone”, Speaking CAE Part 3 and 4

In other words, to rely on your partner would certainly be a useful piece of advice when facing the last 2 parts of the Cambridge CAE Speaking Exam.
Apart from testing your grammatical and lexical resource, pronunciation and discourse management (coherence and development of your ideas); examiners expect candidates to prove that are able to exchange information, take turns and do not monopolise the dialogue in order to get a good score in the interactive communication criteria.

CAE Speaking Part 3

The examiner will ask you two questions/tasks.

Task 1: Now I´d like you to talk about something together for about 2 minutes. ( 3 minutes for groups of three).
Here are some different ways in which people communicate and a question for you to discuss. First you have some time to look at the task. (15 seconds), talk about the advantages and disadvantages of communicating in these different ways.  Thank you. (When the time is over no matter if the task have been accomplished successfully or not).

Task 2: Now you have about a minute (2 minutes for groups of three) to decide which two ways of communicating are the least effective. ( In this part there is no need to reach an agreement.However, some attempt at negotiating/persuasion or reasoned argument should be aimed for).

Needless to say that it is vital to be aware of the timing. Realising that it´s not necessary to talk about all the written stimuli individually and trying to combine some of them focusing on comparisons or differences could be a strategic approach at this point. Unfortunately giving feedback and extending your partner’s answer is often forgotten so we must stress that students who echo their partner´s answer before moving to the next prompt and use synonyms rather than repeating have more chances of success…

For instance:
• Paraphrase the question and use” crucial”, “essential”, “vital”… if your partner said something was “very important”
• Refer back to what your partner mentioned before “As X argued before…”, “I´d go along with you there…”, or” I´d agreed with you until certain extent…”
• Echo and develop giving extended answers
• Combine some of the prompts, so that you are able to talk about 2 or 3 of them more in depth analysing similarities, differences, preferences, and so on could be extremely helpful when you are running out of time.

CAE Speaking Part 4

The examiner asks questions which are aimed to broaden the topic explored in Part 3. These questions become increasingly more abstract and complex. There are two possibilities; either asking a question to both candidates, or directing the question to one of the examinees. In both cases, it is expected to offer their views and to discuss the question together. Therefore once again the key factor is to encourage and support each other.
All in all students shouldn´t be afraid of asking, trying to persuade their partner, exploring possibilities, speculating, interrupting politely or just simply state that you haven´t formed an opinion about that yet.


Cambridge PET Exam Day and Speaking Tips

On test day basic rules



  • Look at the date, time, and location of the exam and the travel time to arrive.
  • Arrive early.
  • Bring your identification card.
  • Relax!


  • Bring your phone or anything electronic inside the exam room.
  • Speak to other candidates in the exam room.
  • Bring food or drinks.

What to expect:

  • Your identification will be checked.
  • Be given a mark sheet – do not fold it.
  • Follow any instructions that you are given.
  • You can practice speaking (quietly) to other candidates while in the waiting area.
  • In the room, there will be the interlocker, the assessor, and the other candidate(s).
  • You will be given an equal amount of time to speak.
  • If the interlocker interrupts you, don’t worry!  This means you have spoken for the entire section.


Speaking Part Tips



  • Listen carefully to the instructions and questions.
  • Speak loud and clear to be understood well.
  • Be sure to use every opportunity to speak.
  • Start the discussion with your partner and always respond to what they say.


  • Memorize your answers.
  • Interrupt your partner when they are speaking.
  • Have long pauses between speaking.
  • Never be scared or nervous to ask for the interlocker or your partner to repeat themselves.

There are 4 parts to the speaking paper.  Although it may seem strange, it is recommended that you practice before the exam by recording yourself completing an entire speaking paper and then listening to the recording.  You will be surprised at how well you did, and you will hear some of the errors you make.

Part 1

Questions about your past, present, and future will be asked.  Always answer in full sentences, not a few words.

Part 2

You and your partner will be given a situation and various photographs.  You will discuss the situation and the photographs and come to an agreement at the end.  Always keep the conversation going, be active in the discussion!

Part 3

Here, you and your partner will each be given a photograph.  They will be different but have the same theme.  Speak for as long as possible.  It is good if the interlocker stops you!  Be sure to describe the picture, refer to different features of the picture, and speculate.

Part 4

Again, you will speak with your partner.  Generally, part 4 is an extension of the given theme in part 3.   Speak with your partner!  This is important.  The interlocker wants to see and hear that you can maintain a conversation in English.  Giving opinions and personal experiences is a must.

Topics for the PET exam include:

Family & Friends


Free time activities

Travel & Holidays

Television & Films


Daily Life and Health









Consejos para la parte 2 del Speaking de CAE

Speaking Part 2 (the dreaded pictures) is often one of the most difficult sections of the Cambridge CAE exam for students to pass. However, with proper training and practice, this section is easily mastered.

To begin with, CAE exam topics normally revolve around similar categories:

  • Science and technology
  • Climate and environment
  • Work and professional fields
  • Relationships
  • Hobbies and sports
  • Travel
  • Education
  • Health
  • Moods and emotions
  1. Students should begin by learning vocabulary, phrasal verbs, set expressions, collocations, adverbs and adjectives related to each of the categories.  It is useful to brainstorm using random pictures as prompts.
  2. Secondly, Part 2 asks the candidate to answer two questions related to the pictures.  These questions normally require an answer regarding on skill sets, emotions  (i.e. adjectives and adverbs)  

    Some examples of typical questions are:
    What do you think the people are feeling?
    What skill is being taught?
    What are their personalities like?
  3. Students should learn to compare and contrast elements using the correct discourse markers/ modifiers and linkers.  (regarding, nevertheless, on the other hand, in contrast to, etc…..)
  4. Students should remember that this is a very quick exercise with lots of required detail.  They should NOT spend time describing all of the objects in the photo (as in FCE/ PET).  They must the task and answer the questions in 2-3 minding the time.