Aptis Speaking Test 4: Advice & B2 Answers

Test 4 Advice & B2 answers

Aptis Speaking Practice Test 4: Advice and B2 Answers

This is the supplementary version of Aptis Speaking Practice Test 4.   This version contains advice and B2 answers.  All our videos are recorded by native English-speakers, so that you can copy their pronunciation and intonation. 

We recommend that you start by reading the summary of the questions in Aptis Speaking Practice Test 4Think about what answers you’re going to give to the questions.  Then watch the original mock-exam video to give you practice in answering the test questions within the time-limits.  Make some notes about what you think you did well, and which questions you found more difficult.

How this video can help you improve

These extra versions of the original video are to give you some advice and B2 answers to help you improve your responses.  Useful vocabulary and expressions are highlighted in bold in the text below. 

We recommend that you write these down in your notebook, as you’ll find that they come up frequently in the speaking tests.  Writing down new vocabulary helps you to memorise it.

You’ll see that in our sample answers we try to include as many different grammatical structures as possible.  This is because you need to show the examiner how much you know by using a variety of language.  But it’s also important that your language use sounds natural.  We’re examiners, and we immediately know when students are trying to use language they’ve learnt without considering the context.  Your language must be appropriate to the question.  Appropriate structures are also highlighted in bold.

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Advice and B2 Sample Answers for Aptis Speaking Practice Test 4

This is the script for the video.  The language level is B2.

Part 1

Please tell me about some places near your home.

Try to use a variety of structures and vocabulary.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • I live in a residential area so there are lots of houses and blocks of flats near my home.
  • There’s also quite a good variety of shops, although if I need a large supermarket, I have to go to town.
  • There aren’t any cinemas or theatres nearby, but there are lots of bars and cafes.
 
What’s the weather like today?

This question might seem very basic at first, and it can be hard to give a full response.  But you need to try to include a variety of structures and expressions, as well as weather vocabulary.  So be imaginative!  For example:

  • The weather forecast said it was going to rain today, but it’s actually sunny and warm.
  • It’s not typical weather for February at all – it’s usually much colder at this time of year.
  • But the nights have been chilly, only about 10 degrees – a lot different to the temperature today – it’s about 23 degrees!
 
Please tell me about your holiday plans.

Try to include a variety of future forms as well as expressions and vocabulary to do with holidays.  You can also include some conditionals and modal verbs.  For example:

  • Well, I’d usually have booked my holiday by now, but this year’s different because of the pandemic …
  • If it’s possible to travel abroad in summer, I might go to the UK.  If not, I think I’ll go to the coast.
  • But I’m definitely going to spend the holiday with my family.

 

Part 2

Describe this picture.  (The picture shows a cafeteria, possibly in a school, as you can see lots of children eating. There are also some adults in the background.)

You have to describe the people, what they’re doing, what they’re wearing, but more importantly (especially at B2), speculate as to where they are and how they might feel. Give reasons to support your ideas. Focus on the useful language of speculation & deduction. In this part we’re giving you sample B2 answers.

This is a cafeteria.  It looks as though the photo was taken in a school because most of the people are children, and the adults look like teachers.  Most of the people are eating.  But it could be a motorway cafe too, because the children aren’t wearing school uniforms and there’s a baby in a buggy in the background.  The children in the foreground don’t look very happy.  Maybe they’re not enjoying the food!  They look about 10 or 11 years old, so it might be a primary school.  

 
What kind of dishes do people normally eat in your country?

Try to include some passive forms as well as using typical food vocabulary.

In Spain it’s very common for people to eat ‘tapas’, which are small portions of food, usually served in bars.  Meat dishes are very popular, and so is fried fish, especially at the coast.  Rice is eaten a lot, for example in paella with seafood, chicken or rabbitOlive oil is a typical ingredient in most dishes, and we follow the Mediterranean diet.  We eat a lot of salads, especially in the summer months.  And in the winter, stews with meat or lentils.

 
How do you think people’s eating habits have changed in the last fifty years?

Here you’re being asked for your opinion – try to give it in a variety of ways. Give reasons to support your opinion.  Remember to use the gerund (‘ing’ form of the verb) if you want to use a verb as the subject.

Well, I’d say that our eating habits have changed a lot over the last 50 years.  In my opinion, people are more aware of the health risks of eating too much fat or sugar.  Keeping fit has become really important, so many people have changed their diets and eat more healthily. On the other hand, our modern lifestyle means that most of us don’t have as much time as we used to for buying and cooking fresh food.  So I think many people end up eating ready-made meals from the supermarket.

Part 3

Tell me what you see in these two pictures.  (The images show two groups of people communicating in different ways:  face-to-face and via mobile phone.)

Here the examiner is asking you to compare and contrast two pictures. You need to make sure you cover both photos, so don’t spend too long on the first one. It’s often a better idea to compare as you go, using words like while and whereas:

The first picture shows a group of people sitting in a circle on the ground, while in the second photo there are five people standing in a line.  The group in the first picture are chatting to each other, whereas in the second all of them are on their mobile phones.  Nobody seems interested in anyone else, while the first group are probably a group of friends enjoying a chat with each other.  The first picture was taken outside in a garden, whereas the second one looks like a workplace.

 
What type of communication do you prefer?

Here you’re being asked about your preferences.  Try to vary the way you express them, as well as using vocabulary about different forms of communication.

It depends on the situation.  At work, I’d rather use technology such as emailing or messaging for some tasks.  But for others I prefer face-to-face communication.  With my friends I use WhatsApp a lot – maybe too much!  It’s really useful for making arrangements, but I miss the long phone-calls we used to make.  Since the beginning of the pandemic I’ve been communicating more and more with video calls such as Zoom – I don’t know what we would have done without it!

 
How have new technologies have changed the relationships we have with each other?

Make sure you use the present perfect to talk about changes.  Contrast this with talking about the past – include structures like used to and would.  Consider different types of relationships.

Well, as I was saying, new technologies like Zoom have kept us all in touch recently.  If we hadn’t had this technology, a lot of our relationships would have suffered, at work as well as at home. But the biggest change in how we relate to each other must be the mobile phone.  Most of us have one now, and even grandparents have learnt how to send messages and photosBeing able to get in touch instantly with relatives and friends around the world has made us feel closer.

 

Part 4

Use the minute they give you to take notes on what you’re going to say. Don’t try to write full sentences. Divide your paper into three columns, to make sure you include each of the three points. Your answers don’t have to be equal in length ­­– for example, how you felt will probably be the shortest part. But you must answer all the questions, so make sure you have something in each column. (Remember, the photo here is only decorative – do not describe it!)

Tell me about a time when you had to look after someone.

This part gives you the chance to use a variety of narrative tenses and forms (past simple, used to, would, past perfect).  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Well, I’ve had quite a lot of experience in looking after children over the years, but the first time I really had to take responsibility was when I was 11 and my nephew was born. I used to look after him while my sister went shopping … then later on, when I was a teenager, I would babysit in the evenings too.

The most memorable occasion was when

I remember spending hours playing with him and reading him stories …

I would take him to the park …

 

How did you feel about it?

Try to include imaginative, colourful adjectives and expressions:

I’d never felt so grown up before! But at first I felt a bit nervous, as he was so small. I was scared I’d drop him! But the main feeling was one of happiness – I love children!

I couldn’t have felt more

I was totally

What do you think we can learn from such an experience?

Try to use different ways of giving your opinion this time. Here’s another sample B2 answer:

As I see it, it’s a really important life experience. It teaches you to be more responsible and also less selfish, as you have to consider someone else. You can’t just do what you want all the time, and that’s a fact we all should all realise at an early age – the younger, the better. It also makes you appreciate your free time more when you have it. You learn how to make decisions when necessary, and how to be the one in charge. To my mind, it helps us develop our social skills and communicate more clearly.  I believe it also makes you appreciate your parents and other relatives more … you remember all the times that you’ve been looked after by others.

Follow-up

Listen to the native speaker again and try to copy her pronunciation and intonation.  Note down some of the expressions you find useful for your own personal answers (don’t just try to remember everything the speaker said).  Now go back to the mock-exam version of the video and try again.  We’re sure you’ll notice an improvement!

Further practice

Make sure you’ve done the other Speaking Practice Tests 1 – 3, with their accompanying versions offering different types of help.  You’ll find the complete list in our Guide to the posts, along with links to all the extra exercises you can do to practise your vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.

For more help with grammar, you can consult our Grammar Reference section, where you’ll find useful structures for B1 and B2.  For example, you can revise the uses of future forms for plans, which came up in this test.

There are also mock-exam Aptis Grammar and Aptis Vocabulary tests

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