A student asked me whether the following formula is useful for speaking part 2:
- I guess I could begin by saying something about (point 1) and I think I would have to choose...
- Going on to my next point which is (point 2), I really need to emphasise that (explain point 2).
- And now with reference to (point 3), the point I want to make here is that (explain point 3).
- And so finally, if I have time, in answer to the question of (point 4), really I should mention that...
So, are these 'formula phrases' a good idea? My answer is no!
As an English speaker and ex-examiner, I find these phrases annoying. It's obvious that they are memorised, and they do not address the question topic. Please don't expect the examiner to be impressed by this kind of thing.
There are a couple of benefits to learning a formula: it gives your answer some structure, and it might make you feel more confident during the test. However, the disadvantages are greater:
- Your focus is on the phrases you have memorised, when it should be on answering the question with relevant ideas.
- The examiner thinks that you are using memorised phrases because you are unable to produce good language spontaneously. In other words, your use of long formula phrases suggests that your level of English is lower.