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Mastering the Cambridge Starters Speaking Test: Achieve a Perfect Score of 5 Shields

The Speaking part of the Starters exam consists of four sections. In this section, candidates will work one-on-one with an examiner for three to five minutes. To receive up to five shields in this section, young applicants must comprehend the exam thoroughly. It is important for parents to assist their children in reviewing material and preparing for the Cambridge Starters Speaking exam.

1. Sections in the Speaking Starters exam

1.1 Speaking Part 1

The examiner greets the candidate.

The examiner describes the task, shows a large picture, and asks the candidate to point to objects in the picture.

Examples:

  • “Where’s the chair?”
  • “Where are the bananas?”

The examiner then shows the candidate 8 small pictures, each depicting a different object. The candidate is asked to place two of these small pictures in specific locations in the large picture.

Examples:

  • “Put the robot next to the chair.”
  • “Put the carrot on the table.”

This section assesses the candidate’s ability to understand and follow instructions.

The candidate takes the Speaking Starters Cambridge test.
The candidate takes the Speaking Starters Cambridge test.

1.2. Speaking Part 2

The examiner asks the candidate a few questions about the large picture. The candidate only needs to respond with a single word.

Examples:

“What’s this?” (plate)

The examiner may ask for further details about the picture, and the candidate should respond with a simple sentence.

Examples:

  • “What’s the man doing?” (reading)
  • “Tell me about the boat.” (It’s blue/red. It’s on the floor)

1.3. Speaking Part 3

The examiner asks the candidate about 4 of the 8 small pictures they saw in Part 1. The candidate only needs to respond with a single word.

Examples:

  • “What’s this?” (crocodile)
  • “What color is it?” (green)
  • “What’s your favorite animal?” (cat)

In Part 3, the candidate is asked about 4 of the 8 small pictures shown in Part 1.

In Part 3, the candidate is asked, in turn, about 4 of the 8 small pictures they have seen in Part 1.
In Part 3, the candidate is asked, in turn, about 4 of the 8 small pictures they have seen in Part 1.

1.4. Speaking Part 4

The examiner asks several questions about various topics like school, family, friends.

Examples:

  • “What’s your friend’s name?”
  • “Is your house/apartment big or small?”
  • “Can you play table tennis?”
  • “What’s your favorite color/animal/sport/food?”

This section assesses the candidate’s ability to understand and answer questions about themselves.

2. Speaking Starters exams sample analysis

2.1 Paolo’s Speaking Exam

Feedback:

Part 1: In Part 1, the candidate is required to point to the people/objects the examiner asks about.

When the examiner asked “Where’s the guitar?” Paolo not only pointed to the picture of the guitar but also said “The guitar is this.” This demonstrates that Paolo fully understood the question and was able to answer with both actions and words. This is a positive point for Part 1.

However, when asked “Where are the flowers?” Paolo hesitated in answering, saying “The flowers are in the… vase?” So, the examiner assisted him by pointing to the flowers and asking again

“Are these the flowers?”

When a candidate is not sure about an answer in the Speaking Starters exam, there is no need to worry as the examiner is always ready to help.

The large picture in Paolo's Speaking Starters test
The large picture in Paolo’s Speaking Starters test

Part 2: In this section, the candidate answers five questions about the large picture, using as much vocabulary as they know.

When asked “What’s this?” Paolo not only gave the correct answer for the selected object but also used complete sentences rather than one-word answers. Paolo continued to excel by providing complete answers to the following questions.

Part 3: In this section, the candidate answers questions about 4 small pictures. Paolo consistently provided correct and detailed answers, demonstrating a clear understanding of the questions and confident communication.

The small picture in Paolo's Speaking Starters test
The small picture in Paolo’s Speaking Starters test

Part 4: Paolo understood and confidently answered most of the examiner’s questions. He struggled a bit when describing where he plays soccer, but he was able to answer the next question excellently.

Evaluation:

Cambridge Starters Speaking

2.2. Rebecca’s Speaking exam

Feedback:

Part 1: The candidate is required to point to the people/objects the examiner asks about.

Rebecca understood the question “Where’s the girl?” and answered correctly. However, she didn’t point to the picture. When asked to place two small pictures in the large picture, Rebecca did this very well.

Part 2: The examiner asked Rebecca “What’s this?” and pointed to the picture of a flying balloon. Rebecca responded “It’s a balloon.” Answers from candidates don’t have to be 100% grammatically correct, but they should be understandable. Rebecca demonstrated a clear understanding of the examiner’s questions and typically responded with complete sentences rather than short, one-word answers.

The large picture in Rebecca's Speaking Starters test
The large picture in Rebecca’s Speaking Starters test

Part 3: In this section, the candidate answers questions about 4 small pictures. Rebecca continued to respond with complete sentences. This shows she understood the questions and had the necessary vocabulary to answer. She performed this part very well.

Part 4: In this section, the candidate answers three questions about themselves. Rebecca clearly understood the questions and promptly provided accurate answers.

Evaluation:

Cambridge Starters speaking

3. Practice tests for Starters Speaking and answers

4. 200+ practice Starters exams on FLYERS virtual English Testing Platform

The FLYER Virtual English Testing Platform offers over 200+ Cambridge Starters exam practice tests (covering all parts: Listening, Reading & Writing, and Speaking)  to provide your child with preparation for the Cambridge Starters exam.

  • These exams have been carefully compiled to match the format (up to 90%) following Cambridge’s latest standards. 
  • The automatic scoring system and answer key will help students review and study effectively at home.
  • Interactive exercises and game simulations stimulate children’s brain activity and interest in learning.
  • It offers various fun learning features such as challenges with friends, short practice exercises, and vocabulary reviews.

In the speaking test, students will listen to audio with the voices of native English-speaking teachers and record their answers directly in the test. By simply accessing the virtual exam room on a phone, tablet, or computer, children can practice to their heart’s content in FLYER’s vast library of practice tests.

Practice Speaking Starters online
Practice Speaking Starters online

Moreover, a helpful feature for parents is the Learning Report, which makes it easy to track the progress of their children’s studies. The system automatically stores all test results and uses them to provide feedback on the student’s current proficiency level, strengths, and areas that require improvement. 

More significantly, parents who use FLYER’s virtual testing platform can save up to 80% on their kids’ exam preparation expenses!

5. Tips for candidates in the Speaking exam

Starters speaking
  • Remember to say “Hello” and “Goodbye” when entering and leaving the test room.
  • Don’t worry if there is something you don’t understand. Just say “Sorry, I don’t understand,” and the examiner will repeat the question, offer suggestions, or provide you with the answer to that question.
  • Confidence is an essential factor to excel in the exam.
  • You only need to answer questions with a single word to earn points. If you answer the whole question, you will receive a higher score.

Conclusion

Based on this information students should now grasp the Speaking section in the Cambridge Starters examination. Be familiar with the exam procedures. Furthermore, you have been exposed to sample exams where candidates achieved a score of five shields. We hope that students will dedicate themselves to studying and approach the Speaking Starters exam, with a sense of confidence and ease.

Linh Nguyen
Linh Nguyen
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
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