Last-minute resources and tips for B2-C1 English tests

Are you only days away from taking a B2/C1 English test? These links, tips and resources might help you make the most of your last-minute revision time:

General tips:





Listening and mediation-online harms white paper

Listen to this BBC news report about a recently published white paper on online harms. Take notes of the main points made in the report.

Then, relay this information to someone who hasn’t heard the report. Make sure you cover all the essential information they need to know.

Alternatively, if you’re training for  ISE III (C1), listen and take notes to answer this question: What are the potential downsides of this paper? Refer them orally in no more than one minute. You can record yourself and then listen to yourself.

Once you have finished, you can check your answers against the transcript here.

Speaking point:

  • What’s your take on the paper? Do you feel this kind of regulation is needed?
  • Can you think of further advantages or disadvantages? Do the advantages of such a regulation outweigh the drawbacks?
  • Should similar regulations be in place in the EU/in Spain? Why / why not?

ideas to prepare your (C1) topic presentation

In this handout there are some ideas to help you prepare your ISE III (C1) topic presentation (Structure, useful language, relevant aspects…). They can also be helpful to students at some EEOOII in Spain who are required to prepare a presentation as part of their C1 English test.

Click on the picture to access the document

In this video I explain these ideas, as well as provide you with useful language for your presentation:

In this Trinity College London video you can see a sample Speaking & Listening exam. The first part is the topic presentation. It might be useful to watch it to help you get an idea of what the exam is like, so you can get acquainted with it. You can start watching 28 seconds into the video.

Ways to express deduction, inference and opinion

A candidate taking a C1 English test is expected to show a broad range of complex structures to express, among other functions, deduction and inference. You can find below a list of expressions which can help you make your points clearer.

Together with that, you can also find some expressions of opinion, which may be useful to develop and justify your argument(s).

There are two versions of the list, with two different typefaces, but exactly the same content.

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Click on the picture to open in new tab



Tips for ISE III (C1) topic presentation

If you’re preparing your topic presentation for ISE III (C1), this video might help you:


You can download the slides (pdf file) here.

You may also be interested in these:

Sample topics for a discursive essay / topic presentation

At B2 / C1 level, you may be required to either write a discursive essay or come up with a discursive topic presentation, that is, a topic which presents two sides of the argument, that can be debated…You can read more about it, and about the difference between discursive and argumentative essays here.

You can find support for many pro/con discussions here:

You can find below some more ideas for controversial topics, which may inspire debates and discussions:

  • Should takeaways/ fast food shops near schools be banned? 

By reading and / or listening to those materials, you will gain access to vocabulary and expressions you can use to discuss the topics, which will make your productions sound / read more cultured, as well as help you sustain your arguments in a clearer way.

Related posts:

(Updated 01.06.2019)

linking words for writing tasks

Coherence and cohesion play a major role whenever you are writing. In fact, they tend to appear as main criteria in most rubrics for marking / assessing written output.

Both of these can be promoted through the proper use of linking words. In the files below you can find a selection of linking words, roughly arranged by communicative function, which could be used for writing tasks in English for levels B1-C1.