In this blog post, you will learn everything you need to know about IELTS Speaking Part 2 including strategies and sample answers.
To begin with, lets understand IELTS Speaking-Part 2 and what is expected.
Do you know what a monologue is? A monologue is when one person is doing all the talking. IELTS speaking part 2 is nothing but a monologue in which you’ll talk, and the examiner will listen. This round lets the examiner know if you can speak for a longer period of time.
- The examiner will give you a Topic Card.
- Most topics are stories about yourself or something that happened in your life.
- The card also provides you with some key points or ideas which you can use to prepare your talk.
- You’ll also be given a pencil and a paper to make notes.
- The examiner will give you exactly one minute to prepare.
- After one minute, the examiner will ask you to start speaking.
- You are expected to speak, without interruption from the examiner, for one to two minutes.
- After 2 minutes the examiner will interrupt you and ask you a follow up question about the topic just to wrap up the round. You only need to give a short answer to that question.
It sounds easy but it definitely is not easy for those who are not comfortable with the language. Two minutes is actually a long time to talk non-stop as even native speakers would find that a challenge!
Here are some tips that you can follow to improve your performance in the IELTS Speaking Part 2.
- Quickly decide what to say:
Remember you have got just 1 MINUTE to prepare. So, you need to quickly decide what to talk about in the first few seconds.
Let’s say your topic is, “Describe your favourite teacher?” Now you cannot spend the entire 1 minute of preparation time just thinking who was your favourite teacher.
Go with the first name that comes to you and start working on your speech material. The examiner doesn’t care who was your favourite teacher. They only care about your discourse about the teacher. So, the key thing is to quickly decide what to talk about and then move on to the next step which is also our next tip.
- Write keywords
You are given a pencil and paper, make the most of it. As soon as you decide what to talk about, utilize the remaining time in making notes. It is important to make notes because your speech will stay organized and you will not forget what to say, in case you panic.
Now what most IELTS candidates do when making notes, they start writing every single word that they are going to say. The problem is you will not be able to write a 2-minute speech in 1-minute time. So, do not take this approach.
Instead write important words that will help you to remember what you want to say. Jot down as many keywords or important points as you can. When you give your speech turn these words and phrases into sentences.
- Cover every cue point
It’s very important to cover every point that is on the card. Not only do they help you extend your answer but also provide structure and logical sequence to your speech. However, you don’t have to stay limited to the cue cards, you can always add extra information. But make sure that you cover the cue cards.
Here’s an example:
“Describe something you enjoy doing. You should say:
- What you do?
- Where you do it?
- Who you do it with?
And explain why you think that doing that is healthy.”
The first three questions are specific questions. What, where, and who? You can allocate 20 seconds to each of the questions which means you have to speak around 3-4 sentences for each question. Like I mentioned earlier, write down keywords about 3-4 for each part. So roughly you can spend one minute on these specific questions.
The last part, “explain why you think that doing that is healthy,” expects you to give details or reasons. This is where you need to elaborate and give examples.
- Use your imagination
IELTS speaking Part 2 topics are often based on your own personal experiences. But there could be an instance where you have no experience of the question asked. For instance, if the question asked is, “Describe a concert you attended.” It is possible that you have never attended a concert. Your answer cannot be, “I have never been to a concert.”
This is where your imagination comes into play. You might have never been to concert, but you must have seen it in movies. Musical concerts are a common affair all over the world. Dig into your memory and create a story. The important part is that the examiner wants to know how well you can express yourself in English. They don’t want to know your creativity skills. So just be confident.
- Proper introduction / Paraphrase
Let’s say, your topic is, “Describe a gift you received.” And you start your speech by saying: “I am going to describe a gift I received …”.
The problem with your answer is that you copied the same language from the question. This tells the examiner that you have limited vocabulary. You will certainly lose a point here. Instead of using the words from the topic card, you should use your own words. This is called Paraphrasing – saying the same thing but in different words.
For example, you can say, “I am going to talk about the beautiful as well as useful present I received on my last birthday.” What I did here is – change gift to present; add adjectives beautiful and useful. By doing this I am able to demonstrate – a range of vocabulary used.
- Use Transitions or linking words
If you are targeting a band score of 8 or 9, your speech has to be well-structured and coherent. For that your speech should have words that help to create a natural flow and progression. These words are called – linking words or transition words. For instance – “First of all”, “Secondly”, “After that”, “Finally”, “then”, “as well as”, “later”, “before”.
And most importantly they help the examiner follow your ideas and stories.
- Don’t speak in a monotone
The whole idea of the speaking test is to judge if you are able to speak English like a native. For that it is important that you speak like one in your test. A lot of non-native speakers make a mistake by speaking in a monotone – which means there is neither a rise nor fall in their speech. They end up sounding mechanical and dull. It’s also the case when an answer is crammed. Such a blunder guarantees lower marks. Therefore, be natural when you speak. Change the tone of your voice in different parts of your sentences like you do when you speak in your mother tongue.
Practice is the only thing that’s going to improve your speaking skills as well as your score. Practice making notes; practice speaking for at least 3-4 minutes at length; practice speaking English every day.
Let’s discuss some IELTS Speaking Part 2 sample question
“Describe an article on health that you read from a magazine or online
You should say:
- what the article was
- when and where you read it
- what you learned from the article
and explain why you think it is a good or a bad article.”
Let’s take a look at the sample answer:
“Well, I am in the habit of reading health-related articles. The most recent one that I read, was about a very common disease that affects women, called PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome.
I read it from the magazine, “Reader’s Digest”. It was the January edition that I picked from my college library. It was relatively a free day at college, so I thought of reading the magazine. I found a quiet corner and started flipping through the pages when the title,” Decoding PCOS” caught my attention. I instantly got hooked maybe because I suffer from the disease myself. Besides, the writing was very engaging, and it was an extremely well researched piece.
The article spoke at immense length about the symptoms of the disease such as obesity, excess hair growth or hair loss, sleep disorder and changes to the menstrual cycle. It further talked about the possible causes and preventive measures that women can take to assuage and mitigate the effects of PCOS.
The author explained that physical activity can help to bring down the high insulin levels associated with the disorder. She also stated that consuming a high fiber diet can greatly improve PCOS symptoms. And trust me I have been exercising regularly and eating healing foods since I have read that article.
I think it was a great article as it immensely improved my understanding of the disease and helped me make positive changes in my lifestyle. It also aimed at spreading the awareness about the disease which I feel is very important because surprisingly most women with PCOS don’t even know they have it until they begin struggling with infertility and seek help in getting pregnant.
I found the article really informative and I instantly recommended my friends to go through it as well.”
Here are some points to keep in mind:
- All the questions given on the topic card are addressed in the order they are written. This structured the monologue quite well.
- Linkers such as “besides” and “further” are used to join the ideas.
- Rich vocabulary is used.
- Different types of sentences are employed — be it short, long, simple or complex.
Apply these strategies in your IELTS Speaking Part 2 practice to achieve a higher IELTS band score.
I really hope this post gave you a better insight into how to do well in your IELTS Speaking part 2.
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Hope you had a good read!