BEC Higher  Speaking

Cambridge Business English Certificate Speaking TestThe BEC speaking test lasts 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.


Part 1.

  • In this section of the BEC Higher speaking test, you will take turns with the other candidate(s) answering questions from the interlocutor.
  • You will have to provide some personal information about yourself and you will also be expected to be able to express some of your personal opinions.

General Questions

  • What do you like most about your job or course?
  • What’s your ideal job?
  • How important is English for your future career?
  • How important is the place where you work or study?
  • Do you prefer to work or study alone or with other people?
  • Which country would you most like to work in?
  • .What’s the most important industry in your country?
  • • What kind of skills do people need to work in this industry?
  • • How easy is it to find a job in your country? •
  • . How important do you think training is in the business world today?
  • • Which do you think is most important, good qualifications or experience?
  • • How has globalisation affected your country?
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Part 2

  • In this section of the BEC Higher speaking test, you have to present a short talk based on a particular business related topic.
  • You will be asked to select one of the topics from three possible options given on a card the interlocutor will give you.
  • Once you have chosen the topic for you talk, you will be allowed one minute to plan and prepare your ideas for the talk.
  • You will be expected to talk on the topic for about one minute.

Example Task

The examiner will say something on the lines of:
Q: In this part of the exam I'm going to give each of you a choice of three different topics. I'd like you to select one of the topics and talk about it for about 1 minute. You'll have about one minute to prepare this and you're allowed to make notes if you want to. Now, here are your topics ... and you can make notes on the spare paper while you are preparing to talk but please don't write on your topic sheets. All right?
Q: Now, (Candidate 1), would you begin by telling us which topic you've chosen?(Source: BEC Teachers Resource:
(Example Topic)
A: Customer relations: the importance of politeness when dealing with customers
B: Training: how to ensure training opportunities are taken up by as many staff as possible
C: Advertising: the issues to consider when drawing up an advertising budget for a new product


How to Use Your Preparation Time

1. Quickly choose one of the topics
2. Think of three points
3. Order them by importance (least important to most important)
4. Think of explanations for each point



............ ( topic) - is a key function of any successful business. I'm going to talk about the importance of ……. [topic]"“I have 3 main points to consider: A, B, and C.” [Short topic headings, e.g. cashflow, motivation, cost].


  • Feature 1
Firstly, A is significant as.......... Neglecting this point ........ ........ Moreover,...............
  • Feature 2
“More important than that is B (explain) “... for the reason that....
  • Feature 3
But in my opinion, the most important thing is C (because / explain).


So, in conclusion, there are 3 things to consider when dealing with …….. All of them are important and should be taken into consideration.

Cambridge English Business BEC Higher Speaking

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Some of the more common topics include:

  • Business Strategy
  • Meetings
  • Presentations
  • Events
  • Solving problems
  • Negotiating
  • Customer Relations
  • Staff Development
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Customer relations: the importance of politeness when dealing with customers.
Politeness is a key function of any successful business. I'm going to talk about the importance of politeness when dealing with customers. I have 3 main points to consider: attentiveness, understanding and tact.
Firstly, attentiveness is very significant. Neglecting this point can negatively impact on the further relations with a customer. Moreover, when a customer is telling you his issue, we should give them our complete attention. Customers consistently tell us they hate dealing with employees who don’t listen or pay attention.
More important than that is understanding. We need to figure out the details that your customers enjoy and make them a routine part of doing business with us.
Finally/But in my opinion, the most important thing is tact. When talking with a new customer, it’s important to give them your full name and get theirs right away. This makes our conversation more personal and enables us to better connect with our customer.
So, in conclusion, there are 3 things to consider when dealing with customers: attentiveness, understanding and tact. All of them are important and should be taken into consideration.
When you finish your presentation, your partner will ask you a couple of questions.
1. What did you mean saying " figure out the details that your customet enjoy'?
2. Have you ever experienced the points you mentioned in your business?


  • Advertising: how to advertise a new product effectively
  • Advertising: how to identify the best advertising methods for a product
  • Advertising: The importance of stereotypes in advertising
  • Customer relation: how to set up an effective customer services system
  • Customer service: the importance of getting customer feedback
  • Finance: the importance of making accurate sales forecasts
  • Financial management: how to decide on the budget for training
  • Global strategy: The importance of global presence
  • Health and safety: how to develop a responsible attitude among staff to Health and Safety requirements in a company
  • Human resources: how to approach internal recruitment
  • Human resources: How to encourage ethical behavior from employees
  • Human resources: The importance of ethics in today’s business world
  • Information management: the importance of an effective internal communication system in a company
  • Information management: the importance of keeping staff informed about company policies and plans
  • Marketing: How to promote an imported brand
  • Marketing: the importance of advertising slogans in promoting a brand of product
  • Personal skills: how to motivate employees to achieve their full potential
  • Product development: the factors involved in deciding when to withdraw a product from the market
  • Project development: how to ensure inter-departmental co-operation on new projects
  • Project management: the importance of teamwork for the effective management of projects
  • Project promotion: how to make effective use of the media when promoting a new product or services
  • Purchasing: how to achieve and maintain good relations with all suppliers
  • Purchasing: how to evaluate and select new projects
  • Purchasing: how to select a suitable supplier
  • Recruitment: how to ensure that job advertisements attract appropriate applicants
  • Recruitment: how to fill a key vacancy
  • Recruitment: The importance of having a good CV
  • Recruitment: the importance of recruiting from a variety of sources
  • Sales: how to monitor the performance of sales staff
  • Staff management: the importance of assessing staff performance effectively
  • Technology: the factors involved in assessing the cost-effectiveness of new technology
  • Time management: the importance of planning work time effectively
  • Time management: the importance of punctuality in all aspects of work

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Part 3. Collaborative task: 5 minutes


  • The main thing is to collaborate, which means asking things like 'what do YOU think about it?' Treat it like a business meeting. You are part of a team.
  • The task tells you to 'discuss and decide'. Spend 1 minute to 90 seconds discussing the first point then come to a decision about it. Say 'shall we move to the second point?'
  • For the second bullet point you certainly need to discuss the topic, but you don't need to actually make a decision. You need to be in the process of making a decision.
  • To explain that a bit further - if you are in the middle of deciding and the time runs out - that's great. If you make a final decision about the topic but you still have time left on the clock - that's bad. Use all your time.

Советы и рекомендации по выполнению заданий 

В данном блоке даны полезные советы по выполнению всех заданий экзамена BEC Higher: Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking.