Buying time in oral exams

good language tutorGCSE, A-level speaking exam tips

It is natural to be nervous in a speaking exam and therefore you often end up rushing your answer, however it is important to take your time, make sure you have understood the question correctly and give yourself time to form an answer in the best way possible. A useful tip is to use a few short phrases to give yourself a little extra time to think about how you are going to answer.

Here are a few words and expressions you can use:

Bueno, …Well, …

Pues, Well, …

A ver  – Let’s see

Vamos a verLet’s see

Déjeme que piense un momento, Let me think for a moment,

Es un tema muy controvertido / complicadoIt’s a very controversial / complicated topic

If you haven’t understood the question, ask:

¿Puede repetir, por favor?Can you repeat, please?

Giving your opinion:

Creo que …I believe that …

Pienso que …I think that …

Opino que … – I have the opinion that …

Me parece que …It seems to me that …

Para mí,As for me,


Estoy de acuerdo que … – I agree that …

No estoy de acuerdo que … – I don’t agree that …

Estoy a favor de – I am in favour  

Estoy en contra de – I am against

Claro – Of course / Clearly

Por supuesto – Of course

Es verdad – It is true

Tiene razón – You are right

Giving the other side of the argument:

En cambio – In exchange

Sin embargo – Nevertheless

No obstante – However

Por otro lado – On the other hand

It is also good to use connecting phrases:

también – also

porque – because

además – furthermore / besides

por esotherefore

Also see the blog article “Tips for GCSE / AS / A2 Spanish – using connecting phrases” for more good linking expressions.

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