BEC Vantage Speaking Test

Tips for the BEC Vantage speaking test

Here are some tips to improve your score in the BEC Vantage speaking test.

The BEC speaking test last for approximately 16 minutes. BEC speaking test candidates are interviewed with a partner and two examiners are involved in the process: one examiner who asks all the questions and the other who evaluates the speaking ability of each candidate.

The BEC speaking test has 3 parts.

BEC Speaking Test | Part 1

The examiner will ask you some simple introductory questions, and then a couple of questions related to your work: one of the work related questions will be more personal and the other more general.

Examples of questions | BEC speaking test | Part 1 |
  • Where are you from?
  • Why are you doing the BEC exam?
  • Do you have a job at present?
  • Is it difficult for graduates to find employment in your country?

Tips
  • Your answers should always be relevant.
  • Try not to give answers that are very short.
  • Avoid answering simply ‘yes’ or ‘no to the questions, try to expand your answers a little more.
  • Try to use examples to help support what you say in your answer.

Tips for for the BEC Vantage Speaking Test | Part 2

BEC Speaking Test | Part 2
This part of the BEC speaking test takes approximately six minutes to complete. The examiner will give you a card with three different business related topics on it. You will have to choose one topic to talk about for approximately one minute. The examiner will give you time (1 min) to prepare and plan your talk.

You will be asked to give your talk and then the other speaking candidate will ask you a follow up question. You will also be able to ask the other speaking candidate a question when they have finished their talk.

Example Topic Card | BEC Speaking Test | Part 2 |

Topic A - Customer relations
Why it is important to be polite when dealing with customers.

Topic B - Training
How to make sure that available training opportunities are taken advantage of by the maximum number of staff.

Topic C - Advertising
The factors that need to be considered in an advertising budget for a new product.


Tips
  • Make sure you take advantage of the one minute preparation time to plan what you want to say. You can make notes about what to include in your talk.
  • Divide your talk into three parts: the beginning, the middle and the ending. You can use ‘signposting’ language such as: “Firstly I’d like to explain that …., and now the most important factor/thing/issue …, and finally ….”
  • Use examples during your talk, when you can, to make it easier for the examiner and other speaking candidate who are listening, to understand.
  • Begin your talk with a bold statement: it is better to say something like, “Poor customer relations can lose clients and business revenue …” rather than saying, “It is important to deal with customers in a good way because …”
  • Practice talking about different business related topics for one minute. Record yourself and time yourself. Listen to the recording of yourself and analyze your presentation. What can you improve? What more can you say? What special vocabulary should you learn?
  • Listen carefully to your speaking partner’s talk because you will be expected to ask a relevant follow up question at the end.

Tips for the BEC Vantage Speaking Test | Part 3

BEC Speaking Test | Part 3 | Collaborative Task & Follow-Up Questions
This part of the BEC Speaking test takes about seven minutes to complete. The examiner will present you with details of a business related situation which includes two discussion points.

You will be allowed 30 seconds to read the details on the card. The examiner will ask follow up questions related to the business situation to each candidate at the end of the discussion.

Example task | BEC speaking test | Part 3 |

Staff Training
In order to show its commitment to the environment and sustainability your company has decided to dedicate a training day to the importance of responsible environmental actions the company and staff can take. You have been asked to come up with some general ideas to promote on the training day.

Discuss and decide together:
  • what kinds of actions the staff and company could take to be more environmentally friendly.
  • how you would promote the training event to encourage staff to approach the event with a positive frame of mind.

The task is designed as a role play or simulation. You should therefore approach it in a similar way to a real-life task. You will need to work with your speaking partner, sharing your opinions and trying to reach a decision together.

Tips
  • It will help both yourself and your partner if you work together collaboratively on this task.
  • Be prepared to ask your partner for his or her opinion rather than simply stating your own.
  • Listen 'actively' to what your partner says, responding to comments he or she makes.




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