One of the big problems with the English exams – speaking as well as writing is that you may have no idea of the content of the task. You might be able to use phrases like “that’s a good idea, I agree because….” but still get lost with a new topic and vocabulary you are not familiar with.
You must use some of your homework time to look at a range of newspapers, watch TV news and look at some relevant web sites. One recent episode of Behind the News has a good feature on Facebook. This web site allows you to watch a short clip while also being able to follow the text. It is great for listening as well as developing speaking skills and learning new vocabulary related to the topic.