BEC Sample Speaking Test | Cambridge Business English Certificate

BEC Vantage sample speaking test

Time allowed | 14 minutes

In the BEC speaking test there are normally two candidates and two examiners. One examiner will talk, ask questions and generally instruct the candidates about the different tasks in the speaking while the other examiner listens to the communication interchange. The second examiner will not talk or participate actively in the process.

The BEC speaking test is divided into three parts

BEC speaking Part 1

Conversation | approximately 3 minutes duration

The examiner will encourage the candidates to talk about themselves and to give their personal opinions in this part of the BEC speaking test.

BEC speaking Part 2

Mini-presentation | approximately 6 minutes duration

In this part of the BEC speaking test individual candidates are presented with a card with three topics related to business on it. Each topic will have two related ideas for a talk. Each candidate will choose one of the ideas and will have one minute to plan and think about what they want to say in their talk. Each candidate will be expected to talk for about one minute on the idea they chose.

BEC speaking Part 3

Discussion | approximately 5 minutes duration

The third part of the BEC speaking test involves the examiner giving the candidates a situation to discuss. There are normally two bullet points to help candidates focus their discussion. At the end of the discussion, the examiner will ask the candidates some additional questions related to the discussion topic.

Advice for the BEC speaking test
  • In the BEC speaking test you are given the opportunity to answer questions, present a short talk or mini-presentation and have a conversation with another candidate. This allows you to use your English in different ways just as you would normally in the real world.

  • You are marked on your ability to communicate effectively in different business situations. Even if you have little or no experience in business, you may still be able to score well if you can show effective communication skills.

  • You should not worry about not having or not using perfect grammar, however it is important that the grammar you use is sufficiently accurate to transmit the intended meaning.

  • Even if you do not feel confident speaking, it is better to try and speak so the examiner can grade your communication skills. If you do not speak sufficiently, then the examiner will have a harder time trying to evaluate your performance.

  • You will need to listen very carefully to both the examiner and your BEC speaking test partner, the other candidate, so that you understand the instructions for each task and are able to comment on and discuss what your partner says.

  • The variety of your grammar and also vocabulary will be evaluated, not just how accurate it is.

  • You do not need to have ‘perfect’ pronunciation to score well in the BEC speaking test, but it should be good enough to make it easy for the examiner to understand what you are saying, without any difficulty.

BEC Vantage speaking test