Pacing the long turn


Before reading any further, make sure to open the stopwatch app on your phone or find another timer.

It is very common in Part Two of the speaking test for candidates to become overly nervous, and this often means we speak at a faster pace than normal. Take a quick practice by reading the paragraphs below. At the right pace, this should take you exactly 2 minutes!

Well, I am going to talk about a book that I love. It’s a thriller – my favourite kind of genre – and it’s called ‘Trial by Jury’. It was written by a man called Stormont, but I can’t remember his first name. It has a similar kind of story to John Grisham’s novels in that it is about trials and juries. As for the story itself…well,… the mother dies so we follow the man’s legal battle against a company, who attempt to pay the jury to find the company not guilty.

But it’s not actually the story itself that makes it so enjoyable. It’s more the way it is written. Even in the first few pages I get a very clear impression of the main character, and even though he’s not actually a typically heroic character he seems real, unlike the improbable characters that are the main person in a lot of books and most movies. It’s easy to identify with him and the problems he has throughout the story, and although it doesn’t end well – he actually dies at the end – the story actually has a very positive message about the importance of a single person, even when faced with a massive company.

I’ve recommended the book to quite a few people and most of them have said they enjoyed it, but I don’t think they found it as good as I did. I’ve actually read it about 4 times now, which is quite unusual for me – I hardly ever read a book more than once, and I sometimes don’t even finish a book once I’ve started it unless it has a really good beginning. I think the book is being turned into a movie soon, so I’ll be really keen to see that, although most adaptations of books for the big screen are quite disappointing; I think it can be more fun to read a book than watch someone else’s interpretation of it in a movie. You can use your own imagination a lot more.

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