CELPIP Speaking Task 5 – The Comparison & Persuasion Question

CELPIP Speaking Task 5

Comparative Forms

As you prepare for CELPIP Speaking Task 5, it’s well worth reviewing the comparative forms. You will need these forms in your response because you need to compare the qualities of the two items in order to persuade someone that your choice is best.

Short Adjectives

For short adjectives, add ‘er’. For example:

short – shorter (than)
long – longer (than)
cheap – cheaper (than)

Nouns & Long Adjectives

For nouns and long adjectives add ‘more’.
For example:

(noun) more rooms (than)
(adjective) more expensive (than)

All Nouns & All Adjectives

You can uses ‘not as…as…’ with any noun or adjective.
For example:

(noun) not as tall as…
(adjective) not as expensive as…

“…I got my 9, and I’ve completed my PR application!… Thank you Angela …”

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CELPIP Speaking Task 5

When you prepare your response to any of the CELPIP Speaking Tasks, your focus should be on speaking well, expressing yourself efficiently, and ticking the examiners boxes.

Your examiner will be looking at your organization, vocabulary, phrasing, sentence variety, grammar, and tenses.

Below, you’ll find some tips for your CELPIP Speaking Task 5, but if you need more help please talk to us about tutoring.

Read and Understand the Question

In task 5, the CELPIP speaking comparison question, you’re often making a choice between two items or events and persuading someone that your choice is better than the one they’ve made.

The first thing you need to do is read and internalize the question.


Who you are talking to. If you’re talking to a friend or family member, your response will be informal, otherwise it should be formal.

What you are talking about. Look at the pictures and read the text to get an idea about the whole situation.

A typical comparison & persuasion question looks like this:

Your partner wants your opinion regarding a guitar he/she’s considering as a gift for his/her eight-year-old nephew.

Persuade your partner that your choice is best.

How to Organize your Response

Your response should have four parts.

  • 1 – Introduction
  • 2 – First main idea
  • 3 – Second main idea
  • 4 – Conclusion

How to Start your Response

When preparing for CELPIP Speaking Comparison question in Task 5, it is important that you understand how to formulate your introduction. Your introduction should paraphrase the question so that the examiner knows what you are talking about.

This is also where you should check that the person you want to speak to has time to talk to you about this situation. In the exam world, they’ll be ready to chat, but in the real world, they might be in the middle of something. Asking them if they can focus on this situation for a moment, makes you sound like you’re in control. 

As always, think about what you would say in your own language.

Your introduction might look like this:

Hi Mike, is now a good time to talk about your nephew’s birthday present? Do you really think that the guitar you have chosen is the best alternative for Sam, after all, he is only eight.

How Long Should my Response Be?

As part of familiarizing yourself with the compare and persuade question in CELPIP Speaking Task 5,  you need to know how long your response should be and how much time you have to talk about it. You have about 60 seconds to prepare your response, and 60 seconds to talk about it.

You must finish within those 60 seconds, so it’s a lot easier to get everything in and get a good score if you follow a basic format.


This question is very different to the other questions on the speaking test because it has two parts.

Part 1

In the first part, you see two pictures on the screen, and you’re given one minute to look at them. You don’t have to speak during this minute – just look at the pictures and choose one.

During this ‘free’ minute, it’s a good idea to write down your comparative forms and any vocabulary or phrases that might be appropriate for you to use later.

Part 2

In part 2, the picture you selected in part 1 appears along with another picture. This is where you need to start talking and answering the question.

How to Approach your First Main Idea

With your introduction complete, the next thing you need to do is talk about your first main idea. In this sample response, we’ll focus on the appropriateness of Mike’s choice.  

For example, your main idea might sound like this:

I think a lighter acoustic guitar with nylon strings would be much more suitable than the heavier electric guitar with steel strings that you have chosen. Steel strings can really hurt your fingertips, and it can take a long time to get used to them.

How to Approach your Second Main Idea

After your first main idea, you’ll talk about your second main idea. For this sample response, we’ll talk about price.

Your second main idea might sound like this:

Acoustic guitars are also generally not as expensive as electric guitars, and this one that I have found is less than half of what your choice would cost.

How to Approach your Conclusion

After our main ideas, we’ll conclude our response emphasizing the appropriateness of our choice and the inappropriateness of Mike’s choice.

It’s critical that you finish this before your time runs out! 

For example, your conclusion might sound like this:

I really think you should take a serious look at my choice because your nephew wouldn’t have to buy any additional equipment, and my choice is fundamentally more suitable for a little kid.

Your final response might sound like this:

For more step-by-step instructions for the CELPIP Speaking Tasks, please check these pages: