A Complete Guide To The Aptis Speaking Exam Parts

a completed guide to the aptis speaking exam


Part 1Personal Information (Giving personal Information):

You will be given 3 questions and you will  need to speak for 30 seconds for each question.

Here are some examples of questions you might see in part 1 of the exam.   Note-All questions in this part require information about you.

These questions should be easy to answer. Just relax used this as an opportunity to get used to talking to a computer!

Topics: Family, My Job, Weather, Likes and Dislikes, Daily Routine,Interest and Leisure,Holidays and Travel, Future Plans, Books, Films, Food, Health and Fitness, Media, Learning.

Examples of some questions might include:

  1. Please tell me about your family
  2. Please tell me about your hobbies.
  3. Please tell me about your work or studies.
  4. Please tell me about your favorite food.
  5. What do you like doing in your free time?
  6. What is the weather like today?
  7. What is your typical day like?
  8. What is the food like in your country?
  9. What is your village/ town/ city like?
  10. How do you like to spend your holidays and vacations?

Best Practices:

If you feel nervous: begin by repeating/ reading the question. ” What is your village,town or city like? It is …….

If you need time to think, say:  Let me see…    or     Hmm.. I would probably say..

Always use a stopwatch or ,mobile phone to time your answers.

Try developing a structure to answer these types of questions: This will help if you are struggling to fill up the time.

key to aptis speaking 1: Your focus should be on improving your vocabulary and reduce repetition, pauses, and nervousness.



Example of a typical answer:

Please tell me about your hobbies and interest?
(30 seconds)

I enjoy reading  books in my free time. I especially enjoy non-fiction books. I’m also interested in politics. I love watching debates on TV and trying to mimic the speakers.  I love  (verb + ing) listening to K-pop music. I make time to play with my kids on the weekend, and when I can, I usually watch TV, in particular, the news. When I have the chance I make my own t-shirts and clothes on my old sewing machine. One of my other interests is camping . I prefer outdoor activities and spend a lot of time gardening. I’m growing cucumbers this year. 

Example of a speaking structure:

In my free time I like______________.

It is______________, because____________.

I also like to____________, and___________.

I think is fun_________, because_________.

(Conclusion)That’s why free time is important to me


Expanding on a topic.

When I am________________ , I feel___________.

I wish I could ______________ all day, and I even forget about everything else.

I enjoy doing____________ with  my friend (friends), because ________________.

Part 2-  Giving a Basic Description of picture /Opinion/ Comparing with own situation

There are 3 task in part 2 of the Aptis speaking exam: 1. Describe the picture. (You have to speak for 45 seconds ) 2.Giving an opinion. (You have to speak for 45 seconds )3. Comparing with own situation/experiences. (You have to speak for 45 seconds)

Question 1: Describing the picture. 



Who do you see? Where are they? What are they doing? What do they look like? How do you think they feel? What’s in the background?(if applicable) What’s the weather like?(if applicable)

It’s best to give a general impression or description rather than separate details. And if you have time give short details about separate details of the picture.


This is a picture of a busy neighborhood.

There are five people in the picture. I think they are at a family event. The man on the right is making a toast.

I can see many skyscrapers in the background.



This is a busy, bustling city. It must be New York.

She looks very sad. Perhaps no one remembered it was her own birthday.

I suppose it’s a holiday.

They all look very happy. The woman on the left is wearing skiing gear. They might be getting ready to go on vacation.

The man is wearing a tailored suit and a top hat. He must be Japanese because of the flag on his briefcase. The woman behind him looks friendly.

They are all wearing formal clothes. They might be getting ready for a wedding.

The girl in the middle seems to be excited. She must be getting ready for a fun adventure..

He must be the child’s father.

She could be his grandmother.

They seem to be really relaxed.

She looks very sad.

She looks surprised. Perhaps she’s meeting and old friend.

I get the impression he is hurt because he is holding his head.

It’s not clear whether it’s a competition or not.



I like this photo. It reminds me of my family.This photo makes me think of my own mother and the time we celebrated her winning an award.

I would love to try this. In fact, I’m going to try it this weekend.

I like this picture, though I’m afraid of dogs and I am not keen on being around animals.


Useful structures and vocabulary for describing a photograph

Beginning you description

This is a picture of………..

It shows………… key features)


Key tenses & structures

Present continuous: He’s riding a bicycle. They’re running under a bridge.

There is/are + object + verb +ing:

There’s a boy riding a bike. There are several people having dinner here.


Speculating (making guesses)

It looks as if… + a sentence (he/she/ it +is+ ing / they are + ing / there is/ are … etc.)

(He /She/ It looks …. or / They look like…) + a noun

(He/ She/ It looks …. or /  They look…)+ an adjective.

I think..( he’s / she’s/ they’re probably)… (Verb + ing)

(He/She/ it/ they) might be… or/ must be… 


Spatial language (Where in the picture you are talking about)

In the foreground / background…

Next to / Behind/ in front of… this, there is/ are…


Paraphrasing (explaining a word that you can’t remember)

It’s a thing that you use for…(making pancakes/ flipping eggs over in the pan)

It’s similar to a

It looks like some kind of..



Question Two : Opinion 

To do this we usually use adverbial phrases at the start of the sentence.

Here are some phrases/structure to use when giving an opinion.

Expressing your opinion

I think that…



And after expressing your opinions, here are some ways that you can justify them:

Justifying you opinion 

because.. (+subject verb)

as…(+subject verb)

since… (+subject verb)

because of… (+noun phrase)

due to….(+noun phrase)

as a result of…. (+noun phrase)


 Question Three: Comparison with your own situation.


I would definitely choose picture one as I like……..

I guess my first choice would be picture two.

For me, the most important thing is to …………

I don’t think it really matters where you go as long as …………

Personally, I would prefer …………

Of course, the good thing about living in the city is that there are tons of facilities and entertainment. On the other hand, life in the country is much less stressful.

I wouldn’t mind being on a beautiful island like that, but on the other hand, I think I would be bored to death after a couple of days there.

If I had to choose one of these places, I would definitely go for the one in the picture at the bottom.


Part 3 (Describe Compare & Contrast) Speculate and Choose.

3 questions. 45 seconds each.

Question One: Describe (Expressions from Part Two) , compare and contrast. Question Two: Speculate about these two situations/pictures Question Three: Choose one of the images or situations



Question 1

Describing  two pictures: In the first picture, I can see… / In the other picture, there are/is…../ Looking at the (fist/second) picture I can see…/ Which may show…/ (They/He/She/) may be (verb+ing)..

Structures  and vocabulary for comparing and contrasting two photographs

Things in common: Both pictures show/have  /  I think they both are (in/on/of..) / There is/are(_____) in both pictures… /Similarly in the second picture, the first picture has…

Contrasting the pictures: There are several differences. / In the top picture is(____) whereas, in the bottom picture.. /In the picture on the right whereas , the picture on the left../ The picture of(___)is… / It looks like../ However, the picture of(___) looks like…/ They look like..

Highlighting  differences: The main difference between the pictures is…. / The main focus of the (first/top/L/R))picture is (_____)whereas.. /After looking at these images , the biggest difference is ….

Adding ideas: In addition… / What’s more…. / One more thing…


Example Answer:

 Both pictures show people at work. There are computers in both pictures. However, there are several important differences. In the top picture or the picture on the (L/R) the man looks quite stressed. I think she is probably a manager or a boss, whereas, in the bottom picture the man looks very relaxed. He probably works as an Artist or  in a museum . The woman might be preparing  for a deal or a stressful decision. However, the picture of the man looks like and nice peaceful environment,  but the woman looks like  her workplace is a crowded stressful place to work………..


Question 2

Structures and vocabulary for speculating and choosing

Speculating :

I imagine it would be….(adjective)/ I would find it… (adjective) / It might be nice to.. / I could see myself…./ Perhaps it would be / I suppose … /I guess it would be nice to..

Question 3

Choosing one image / situation : I would choose the top/ bottom situation/ image because…/ I think I’d  prefer to… (verb) because… / I think I’d prefer to (verb) because…..  /I would definitely choose to…. /  It would probably be better to… because…./ I doubt I would like to _____in picture (1/2) but I would prefer to)_____in picture (1/2)/ In my opinion (1/2) would be better. because..





Extending your answer in Part 4

If you have more time try using the following:

Adding more information:  Another important point to make is/ thing to say is…

Disagreeing with yourself : On the other hand, sometimes I think that…/

Then again, it’s also true that….. /Then again, it’s also true that….

Giving a conclusion:  So in conclusion, I would say… / So it has to be a balance…/It all depends on…


Part 4: Discussion of Personal Abstract Ideas.

In part 4 you will see an image, but the trick is that you will not be asked to describe this picture. The picture is only used as a visual clue to help you draw upon your own experiences. You will have one minute to prepare  and two minutes to respond

In part 4 you will be shown an image, and presented with three points to discuss. You will have one minute to prepare, and you can make notes. Look at the example below and the notes that someone has made.

Question 1: Personal Experiences/ Recall: Tell me about a time…

Question 2: Emotional Response/Feelings/Opinion:  How did you feel about …./ How does this____ make you feel  / Explain why you…….

Question 3: Speculation/ Opinion: Why do you think…

Example Question:

Tell me about a personal achievement or award you have received.

How did you feel about this achievement?

Do awards encourage people to do their best?

You have 1 minute to prepare before you answer the question take full advantage by taking some quick notes for each question 

Example Notes:


Award/Achievements – I have a Bachelor’s degree/ I received the second highest GPA in my class/I ran a marathon last month

Feelings- proud – useful to community/ accomplished (a goal)/ I am able to provide for myself/I have a career that I enjoy/ My family and friends respect.

Encouraging- Yes. Helps when motivation is low/  Helps me stay discipline to complete goals. If I don’t win or achieve a goal the hard work is satisfaction. E.g. completed the marathon – improved my English abilities.


 Note: Don’t worry about full sentences- you don’t have time. Just write down some key points to help you structure your answer and remember ideas/ vocabulary.

Quick thinking is essential in the preparation for part 4.

Prepare for 1 minute (use a stopwatch) and then keep speaking for 2 minutes.

Structuring your answer – (Beginning/middle/end) and make sure  it cover all of the questions in the same order they were asked.

Choose a range of vocabulary  and keep it appropriate to the task

Fluency –  speaking without too many pauses

Accuracy  – Try not to make to0 many mistakes.

Need Practice

Aptis Speaking part 1Aptis speaking task 2Aptis Speaking Part 3/Task 3Aptis Speaking Part 4


Take the Official  Familiarization Exam

British Council’s Practice Test