Speaking Section Overview of BULATS Business English

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

If you need to take the BULATS exam for a course or employment, it can be helpful to know exactly what to expect. In this lesson you'll get an overview of the speaking section of the BULATS test.

BULATS Speaking Test

The Business Language Testing Service (BULATS) speaking section may be a bit different than speaking tests you've taken before. During the online test, you will need to wear a headset connected to your computer. The questions are prerecorded and you will hear the questions through your headset and your computer's microphone will record your answers. Your answers will be assessed later. You will also see a timer on the screen that indicates how much time you have to give your response.

The speaking section of the test is divided into five parts.

  • Part 1 - Interview
  • Part 2 - Reading Aloud
  • Part 3 - Presentation
  • Part 4 - Presentation with Graphics
  • Part 5 - Communication Activity

Now let's look at each of the five parts of the BULATS online speaking test.

Part 1 - Interview

In the first part of the test, you will be asked questions about details of your personal and professional life. The questions will be about:

  • Your education history
  • Your work history, current job and future career plans
  • Your hobbies and/or personal interests

Part 2 - Reading Aloud

Part 2 of the speaking test is intended to test the accuracy and precision of your English pronunciation. You will see eight sentences displayed and you must read each one as clearly as possible. The sentences will be similar to the following.

  1. We need to rethink our marketing plan.
  2. This is the worst time of year for sales.
  3. I will set up the time for the next meeting.
  4. Mrs. Jones wishes she could be here, but her flight was delayed.
  5. Approval for the financial plan must be gained by this Friday.
  6. The development team has asked for a two-week delay of the original project completion date.
  7. If we want to be successful in this market, we need to develop a new business model.
  8. Sales last month were much higher than expected.

Part 3 - Presentation

Part 3 of the speaking exam is likely to be a little more difficult than the first two parts. In part 3, you'll be shown a topic about work for 40 seconds. When the 40 seconds are up, you will need to talk about the topic for 60 seconds. The presentation topic you'll get for part three will be similar to the following.

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