CAE CourseCAE Speaking CourseCambridge English Test Preparation

CAE Speaking Part 1

CAE Speaking Part 1 Format

The Speaking paper is the shortest CAE exam paper. The whole paper lasts about 15 minutes for 2 people. Occasionally there will be 3 students, so in this situation the exam will last a bit longer.

In the 'Speaking' paper part 1, you will be asked some questions about yourself.

Here are some example questions:

Have you been learning English all your life?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Who are you most like in your family?

Okay, that's enough from me, I explain all this and give you loads more useful tips for the CAE Speaking part 1 in this video:

CAE Handbook for Teachers - page 79
Book Lessons

CAE Speaking Part 1 Technique

1. Think of questions you would ask someone you've just met. Think of questions similar to the examples above. Think of questions you might ask someone in an interview.

2. Write some answers to these questions. I suggest 2-3 sentences to give you the opportunity to show your knowledge of English.

3. Get a friend or someone you know to ask you the questions. Get them to give you feedback on how to improve your answers.

4. Don’t memorise your answers - it’s obvious!

CAE Speaking Part 1 - Memorise Technique

I'm now going to help you remember the technique.

We will write down a summary of what we have learned so far through a dictation exercise.

Everything is explained in the video below and you can write down the dictation here.

If you want to check your writing afterwards and see the answers and explanations to the video, check out the Use of English part 2 page of this course.

Sentence Structures and Word Families

CAE Speaking Part 1 - My Example Answer 1

Now you will watch a video with me showing you an example answer to a part 1 question.

Make sure you follow the instructions and exercises which I will explain to you during the video....

More Part 1 Examples

Below are some more videos I made from a live lesson I did with a student.

This time you will watch one video without my comments and then you will watch the same video a second time with my comments and feedback on the screen.

This will be a really good way for you to learn and improve your own answers to part 1 questions, so make sure you watch all the videos and write down notes from the videos on this worksheet.

CAE Speaking Part 1 - My Example Answer 2

What did you think of that answer?

You should write down any thoughts you have on the back of this worksheet, then compare them with my ideas in the next video...

CAE Speaking Part 1 - My Example Answer 2 With Feedback

CAE Speaking Part 1 - My Example Answer 2 Final Thoughts

My answer to this question is too long. It is good to show a variety of language but you do not want to dominate the interaction.

C1 Advanced Speaking Part 1 - My Sample Answer 3

Do you think that is a good answer?

After you've written down your thoughts on the back of this worksheet, compare them with my comments in the next video.

C1 Advanced Speaking Part 1 - My Sample Answer 3 With Feedback

My Sample Answer 4

What do you think of this answer?

After you've written down your thoughts, compare them with my comments below the next video...

My Sample Answer 4 With Feedback

I think the answer I gave for myself in the first part of the video was fine 😉

The answers I offered to Alex were good as well. BUT remember, do not try to rehearse a script before the exam. It is normally obvious to the examiners that you are not thinking of the answers on the spot.

CAE Speaking Tip: Did you notice I used the phrase 'on the spot' in the last sentence? 'On the spot' is another way to say 'immediately', not premeditated. You could use this in the speaking exam to fill in time while you think. For example, "It's difficult to think of an answer on the spot, but if I had to say something, I would say...."

CAE Speaking Part 1 - My Answer Versus Student Answer

In the following video you will watch both me and the student answer the same question: "How important is music in your life"?

Write your comments on this answer in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

When you've finished your comments, see if they match my comments in the video below...

CAE Speaking Part 1 - My Answer Versus Student Answer With Feedback

In my answer, I make sure I try to answer the question as closely as possible. I repeat the words in the question to help with this.

I think the student's answer was fine.

I wrote some comments on the screen in the video above, so make sure you watch those.

The only general improvement is that the answer is probably a bit too long for the exam.

C1 Student Answer 1

Now, let's watch the student give some example answers to some part 1 questions.

Remember, if you struggle to understand what she says, you can always press the button on the video to turn on the subtitles!

The subtitles in my videos have been auto generated as I haven't add time to write them for all my videos. For this reason, you may see some mistakes. I apologise for this and if you want to help improve my work, you can write the correct subtitles and email them to

What do you think of her answer? Write your thoughts, then watch the next video...

C1 Student Answer 1 With My Feedback

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Student Answer 2

Student Answer 3

Student Answer 4

Had enough of part 1?

If you still haven't had enough of watching CAE speaking part 1 videos, here's another longer video for you. There are some useful tips in there, so I recommend watching it.

Below is one final CAE Speaking part 1 video for you, with some more useful tips and 5 more example questions and answers.

I understand if you're falling if you're feeling lazy, skip to the Homework section below 😉

Homework - Your CAE Speaking part 1 answer >>

        1. Send me a video of you answering some part 1 questions.
        2. Film yourself in landscape on your mobile and email the video to

      If I have time, I will mark your answers and give feedback!

Next Video >>

CAE Speaking Part 2 - Long Turn - This is a tricky part of the speaking exam. I will show you how to ACE it in the exam 😉

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