BEC Higher Speaking Test Part 1 Tips
In part 1 of the speaking test, each candidate is asked 2 or more questions. The number of the questions depends on the length of the answers, as this part of the speaking test is designed to take up not more than 3 minutes.


1) Make the most of your question. Try to give a complete, interesting, spontaneous answer that takes up 15 - 20 seconds.
2) Don't tell the truth! A good answer that stretches the truth is better than a truthful but uninteresting answer.
3) Speak English! Avoid any reference to names of places, companies, schools or anything else that is not in English. If the question is something like: "Tell us something about the place you live," a good answer such as, "I live in a charming little village on the outskirts of Zurich, whose name means "Castle town" in English, although there's no castle there anymore, as far as I know," is much better than answering, "I live in Burgdorf."
4) Sound natural and spontaneous. If the examiners think you have rehearsed your answer, they're not happy.
5) MAKE THE EXAMINERS HAPPY. Give them something to laugh about.
6) Begin each answer with an expression such as: "As a matter of fact, ..." "To tell the truth, ...", "Well, ..." These expressions are very frequently used by native speakers, and they make your answers more natural-sounding. They also give you time to think.

BEC Higher Speaking Test Part 2 Tips

In part 2 of the speaking test, each candidate has 1 minute to give a mini-presentation on a topic provided by the examiners. Following this 1-minute presentation, the candidate's partner (Candidate B) must ask a question about what the first candidate (Candidate A) has said, and Candidate A must answer the question in less than 30 seconds.


1) Organize what you want to say: There are 3 things to consider. First of all,…secondly,…and finally,…
2) Make the most of each point: make a point, explain why it’s important, give an example.
3) Talk more about fewer points: 2 or 3 points are enough. There’s no time for more.
4) Don’t repeat the question. Many candidates lose valuable seconds repeating the question. Begin with, “There are two main aspects. First of all, …”
5) Avoid the word “important”: what’s essential, necessary, particularly useful, crucial, vital?
6) Plan to use a $2 structure: answer the question in the conditional: “I have had no personal experience in this field, but if I had to plan an event of this sort, I would… and I might…”

Maybe you can give personal experience and use “used to”: I used to work for IBM, and there we used to plan events virtually.”
7) Ask a good question, get a point for yourself: Have you ever had any personal experience in this?
8) Keep your question short and precise. The optimal timing is about 5 seconds for the question and 20 seconds for the answer.
9) Use an indirect question form for the question and get an extra point: “Could you tell me if you’ve ever had any experience in this matter?”
10) Use a conditional question for the question and get an extra point: “If you had to interview a candidate, what key question would you ask?”

BEC Higher Speaking Test Part 3 Tips
In part 3 of the speaking test, candidates discuss a mini-case study, suggest options and come to agreement by the end of the 3-minute task.


1) Chat. Try to limit what you say to a single sentence.
2) Play ball. Toss the subject back and forth as if you were playing ball, or juggling a hot potato.
3) Agree! Disagree! Respond to what your partner says by agreeing or disagreeing.
4) Ask questions. Ask your partner what he or she thinks. Rather than suggesting, "We should have a party," make it a question: "Don't you think we should have a party?" If your partner says, "We should have a party," ask "Why?"