Making notes. When you are given the topic card, there are six stages you need to consider. First, you need to be clear on the topic of the card. In this example, you are being asked to describe a toy. Next, you should consider which is the most appropriate tense. In this example, you would mostly use past tenses. Now you would use the pencil and paper you were given to start making your notes. As there are four prompts on the topic card, it helps to divide the notepaper into 4 pieces. You can then make short notes for each prompt. In this example, the candidate has to talk about what the toy was, so has decided to describe a train. In the second prompt, the candidate has to talk about who gave it to them. In the third prompt, the candidate has to talk about where the toy is now, so has noted that he has ‘no idea’. For the final prompt, the candidate has noted that the toy was important because it helped him use his imagination. Having made basic notes from the topic card, you should now spend the rest of your preparation time adding additional information. In this example, the candidate has added the following points. However, it is important that you only make notes – remember they are only there to help you speak. You should not be reading a speech that you have written.