How to succeed in the GCAS

Table with graphs
Prepare for your GCAS

The GCAS is a business English speaking test. We’ve gathered strategies and tips to help you succeed.

If you don't know much about it, start here. If you have a clear idea of the test, here's how to maximize your score.

Learn key strategies at The English Farm

Your first step should be our GCAS Strategies course.

The GCAS course will help you to structure your ideas logically. It will also give you quick strategies to speak fluently. The course will guide you through how to give a perfect answer in all three parts of the test.

Focus on the 7C’s of Business Communication 

At the heart of good business communication is the 7C’s. Whether you’re describing your workplace or presenting a graph, look at these aims and ask yourself these questions:

  • Clear: What's the main point? Can your audience understand it easily?
  • Concise: Avoid unnecessary information. Can you take out anything unnecessary?
  • Concrete: Do you give examples and facts to support your opinions?
  • Correct: Are you using the right grammar and vocabulary?
  • Coherent: Is your answer logical? Are your examples and facts relevant?
  • Complete: Do you include all the information necessary?
  • Courteous: Are you being polite and friendly?
Learn How to Present

When you have a graph in front of you, how do you present it? Do you describe the graph by presenting the trends, or do you merely focus on the analysis? Do you use different vocabulary words to describe the numbers?

Part 2 of the GCAS is a presentation of a graph, so it’s a good idea to review vocabulary on describing trends, as well as presentation methods with your teacher.

When you've learned about presenting, use our discussion articles with graphs to practice. 

Focus on Business Topics 

Read and discuss topics such as marketing, selling, advertising, IT, distribution, human resources, logistics, and accounting. That will help you to build vocabulary in those areas, while also learning how to discuss them. Textbooks such as Business Results will cover various business topics that are asked in the GCAS exam.

You can also read news articles from the Harvard Business Review or the Financial Times, or even the business section of the Japan Times to learn how to form opinions.

Form Opinions on Issues in the Workplace 

The last section of the GCAS will ask you to present an idea on an issue in the workplace. What do you think about pay equity between men and women? What should a company do the increase language proficiency in the workplace? What do you think about discrimination in the workplace? Discuss these topics with your teachers and brainstorm ways to solve these issues. Then, put your ideas together into a concise answer for homework! 

Practice, practice, practice

Now that you have plenty of ideas, the next step is to practice. Remember, doing well at your speaking test is not a goal, but a gateway. Real-world English comes after you do well in your test. Think about doing international projects, collaborating with colleagues around the world or travelling to English-speaking countries.

You can do more when you speak English. So, practice!