The Trinity B1 Speaking Test (GESE)

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The Trinity B1 Speaking Test (GESE)

What is the Trinity B1 test?

The trinity B1 is a 10-minute exam which tests your English-speaking skills. It looks at fluency, grammar and vocabulary. The test is divided into two parts: one part prepared, the other unprepared. The prepared part is called the Topic Section. Before you go to the exam, you must get your topic ready and, when you arrive, give your topic sheet to the examiner (more about this in the next section). The unprepared part is a pure conversation between you and the examiner.

The Topic Section

So what do we mean by the Topic Section? Before you go to the test centre, download a Topic Form from the Trinity website. The Topic Form is a mindmap with a space in the middle. In this space, write your chosen topic, then write five ideas which are connected to it. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry because we’re about to explain.

Choosing Your Topic

Unlike many tests, the Trinity test is actually quite good fun. Why is that? It is because, at least for five minutes, you get to choose exactly what you want to talk about. What are your interests? Do you have an exciting job or a family you adore (or hate)? Maybe you play the piano or love listening to music. You can choose any topic which is interesting for you. But you should choose the one that’s the most interesting. Choose the thing that excites you the most. That way, you will find it easier to speak.

Develop The Topic

Let’s say, for example, you really like films. Maybe films are the most important thing in your life and talking about them makes you really emotional. This is a good topic to choose because it will give you lots of ideas, and so lots of things to say.

First, take your topic form and write in the middle the word “films”. Next, you have to fill in the other five blank spaces. So, what should you put here? The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer, only that you should put something which gives you ideas. For example, you can write “favourite film”, plus the name. Next, you can write the name of the actor who appears in your favourite film. After that, you could write “I like this film because”. Fourth, “I have seen this film X number of times”. Finally, “what I think is not good about this film”.

All of these things are just suggestions and really you could write anything in your topic form. The idea is to write things that will give plenty to talk about.

So, what happens next?

Using The Topic Form

When you get to the exam, give your topic form to the examiner. They will read your notes and then begin to ask you some questions based on this. Let’s continue with the film example. So far, you have written “favourite film” as your topic and have provided several related ideas. The examiner will look at the form and say something like: Oh, I see you like films. What’s your favourite film?

And here will begin a five-minute conversation abouts films. The examiner will use your form to develop the conversation, to make sure you have enough things to talk about. For example, once you have described your favourite film, the examiner might say: So, which actor is in this film? Or: do you like such-and-such an actor? Likewise, these questions will also be based on your Topic Form.

In summary, the purpose of the Topic Form is to help start a conversation. That’s why there is no right or wrong with the Topic Form, because it is just a tool which the examiner can use to ask you questions. The examiner won’t give you any points for your form, or for your topic. Instead, they will give you points for how well you speak.

What Do The Examiners Look For?

Your examiner will want to see how well you can answer a question, how well you develop your answer, and how much correct grammar and interesting vocabulary you use. For example, continuing the film idea, the examiner may ask: So, do you like films? If you simply answer: Yes – then the examiner isn’t going to give you many points. Instead, you should answer something like: Yes, I love films. I go to the cinema whenever I have the time. I think films are really beautiful.

Likewise, if the question is: What’s your favourite film? don’t just say: Chinatown. Instead, give more information, give a description. Say why you like it, what emotions it creates in you, who the director is, who the actors are, when the film was made.

Again, there is no right or wrong answer here, but what is important is that you show your ability to speak fluently. The more detailed and interesting your answers are, the better.

So, use a range of grammar – past simple, present perfect, future continuous – and use a range of adjectives and nouns to describe things. For instance, instead of saying ‘good’, why not use the word ‘thrilling’? Details like this will help give you a better overall grade. Remember, the examiner is looking at your ability to use the English language in a relaxed, confident and interesting way.

Part 2 – The Unplanned Conversation

The second part is in fact very much the same as the first: it is a conversation designed to test your speaking ability. The main difference here is that, for this section, you don’t plan anything. Instead, the examiner will choose a topic for you and ask you a question. The topic could be Public Transport in your city. For example, they might ask you: Do you use public transport? If say yes, they may ask which kind of transport you use, or how often, or ask how much it costs. They might ask you if you enjoy using it, and how it compares to transport in your country.

Other topics the examiner can ask you about are festivals, customs, food, shopping, and so on. Generally, these topics are about simple, everyday situations. The key here is to listen to the question and to respond appropriately. Your knowledge of the subject is not important, but your ability to use the language and have a natural conversation is. You can prepare for this section by practicing conversations with a teacher or friend, and get them to ask you about random topics.

Is There A Third Part?

Finally, you have the opportunity to ask the examiner a question. This is a good thing to do and shows you are relaxed and mature about your English level and your conversation skills. You can easily practice asking questions in advance with a friend or your teacher. After this, however, there is no formal third part. The conversation, or test, will end and the teacher will thank you for coming in and say goodbye.

What’s Next?

Sometime the following day you should receive an email from Trinity telling you your expected result. This will probably be accurate, but you have to wait till your certificate arrives before you can confirm the final grade. Your certificate should arrive within the next 9 working days. Once you have this you can then begin your application process for a British passport. And, of course, you can relax a little bit.

Are There Any Online Examples Of The Speaking Exam?

Absolutely. You can watch lots of videos here. These will really help you get a feel of the exam, how to respond, and what kind of things the examiner will ask.

You can book your test online here.

Does LVC London School Of English Teach The B1 Test?

We offer one-to-one classes which can prepare you and help you feel ready to take the test. Our experienced teachers will give you a clear assessment of your speaking skills, so you know exactly what to expect when you go into the exam. How many classes you will need depends on your current level and experience. To find out more, contact

Good luck and happy learning!

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