Information gap activities can be difficult, but we have lots of tips to help you get top marks in this type of speaking exam. Watch the video first and then read the tips below.

If you have a speaking exam with another student, you may be asked to do an information gap activity. This means you look at some information and your partner looks at different information and then you talk and exchange the information.

Here are our top tips for information gap activities.


  •     Listen carefully to the instructions.
  •     Ask your teacher to repeat if you don’t understand exactly what you have to do.
  •     Look at your partner and check that he/she understands you when you speak.
  •     Be ready to repeat or explain things if he/she doesn’t understand you.
  •     Listen to your partner’s answers carefully and show interest in what your partner says.
  •     Take turns with your partner.


  •     Talk a lot more than your partner.
  •     Ignore what your partner says.
  •     Worry if you and your partner have different levels of English. 
  •     Look at your partner’s worksheet and copy the answers!

Examples of information gap activities

Example 1: information exchange
Student A: Look at the information about films at the local cinema. Listen to your partner’s questions and use the information to answer them.
Student B: Look at the information about films at the local cinema and ask your partner questions to find out more about the films.

Example 2: picture difference
Students A and B: Look at your picture. Describe it to your partner. Listen to your partner talking about his/her picture. Find five differences between the pictures.

Example 3: role play
Look at the information on your role card and talk to your partner. Find a solution to the problem.
Student A: You are a guest staying at a hotel. The hotel website says it is a luxury hotel, but in your room the sheets and towels are dirty, the bathroom is too small, the street outside is very noisy and ... (you decide two more problems). You want to change to a better room and you want a discount. Talk to the receptionist and solve the problem.
Student B: You are a hotel receptionist. There is a guest staying at the hotel who complains about everything, even when there isn’t a problem. You can move a guest to a different room, but you can’t change the price of a room. Talk to the guest and solve the problem.

Total votes: 251


Which of these three examples have you had experience with in your school exams? Was it easy or difficult for you?


JoEditor's picture
JoEditor 3 June, 2013 - 08:42

Hi Joudi,
I've just checked the video and it's working fine. Can you watch other videos from our website on your computer? Which internet browser are yo using? If you give us a bit more information we can try to help you.
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

68 users have voted.
Ahtram's picture
Ahtram 31 May, 2013 - 13:52

Example 2, definitely...
I'm so nervous, because after holidays I'm going to secondary school, and there I'll have SO MANY speaking exams... I like speaking, but I prefer writing...

69 users have voted.
bepochka's picture
bepochka 23 January, 2013 - 12:54

But the section itself is very useful! I like the interactive tasks and colourful handouts. Thanks.

57 users have voted.
bepochka's picture
bepochka 23 January, 2013 - 12:53

That would be more useful if the "tips" handout included actual tips rather than a list of examples of tasks.

And I would appreciate more practice. There are only 8 questions in 2 exercises all together - it's not enough...

51 users have voted.
JoEditor's picture
JoEditor 23 January, 2013 - 15:46

Hi bepochka,
You're right, the worksheet should have the tips on it too. We will review this section. For now I have added the link to the page where we have lots of great tips for speaking exams. I hope this will be useful. Thanks a lot for giving us your opinion. It's really important for us to be able to make the site better for our users. 
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

57 users have voted.