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IELTS Speaking Part 2

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As the weekend approaches and we are all planning great things to do for these two days, we are back with our second article dedicated to the IELTS Speaking Part. Today we are going to give you some tips about how to take full advantage of the preparation time for the second task.

 If you have been preparing for your IELTS test, you already know the basics: this second task is a ‘long turn’ speaking where the examiner will give you a cue card with a topic and some steps to follow. You are provided with 1 minute to prepare what you want to say and, after this, you will present your little speech.

 What is the best way to deal with this task?

1. First of all I want to mention that there is no right or wrong way to use this minute. Every person is different and works in a different way. What I can say for sure is that you must prepare. Many people decide is not necessary to write anything but it is, you do not want to run out of ideas.

 2. When the examiner gives you the cue card, read it carefully and ask for clarification if necessary, otherwise the time will start counting, and it’s only 1 minute! I would recommend 2 ideas: the first one is to write key words or bullet points about what you are going to say. This will help you remember if you get lost at some point of your story. The second idea, and one that many of my students enjoy trying out, is trying to imagine it as a real story. When you use a real story, you are able to say more interesting things and ideas flow easily.

writing with pen on a notebook


3. After the 1 minute preparation has passed, it is time to start speaking! Your topic should be about 1 or 2 minutes long but, here comes a very good piece of advice: don’t stop talking until the examiner tells you to stop. It is much better to be stopped rather than finishing your speech after 1 minute and have time left.

a watch


4. It is ok to mention things that are not in the cue card. Many people believe they should strictly follow the pints in the card. After speaking with many examiners, they all give me the same answer: the cue card is just to help you with your ideas, but you are most welcome to use your own ideas, remember the more you talk the better!

5. If you get lost during your long turn and do not remember what you wanted to say, refer to your notes. There are no penalisations for looking at your notes, you spent 1 minute choosing them so use them.

6. Practice, practice, practice. It sounds typical but, many people who prepare for their IELTS test concentrate on writing and reading skills and not so much in the speaking. It is especially important that you train yourself to speak for as long as you can about varied topics.

speak communicate talk

7. Last, but not least, here are three common topics that you can use to practice this task.

• Describe a sporting event you attended.
You should say:
- What kind of sport is was
- How it compared to other events you’ve been to
- How often it takes place
Explain why you consider this event to be of interest.

 • Describe a historical place that you know about.
You should say:
- What the place is
- Where it is located
- What is the historical meaning of the place
and describe your experience of the place.

 • Describe an important decision/ choice that you made in your life.
You should say:
- What the decision was
- When you took the decision
- What the result of the decision was and whether it was a good choice.
and explain why it was an important decision or choice for you.


As usual, please comment below!