Table of Contents
- Introduction to Speaking Part 2
- IELTS Speaking Test Overview Parts 1-3
- About IELTS Speaking Part 2
- IELTS Speaking Part 2 – IELTS Cue Cards – What are they?
- IELTS Cue Card Topics
- IELTS Speaking Part 2 – IELTS Questions & Sample Answers
- Tips and Tricks
- How to practise IELTS Speaking Part 2
- IELTS Speaking Part 2 – FAQs
1. Introduction to Speaking Part 2
Check out an overview of the IELTS test and a detailed guide to the IELTS cue cards and questions in this part of the IELTS test. Learn some useful tips and tricks that can improve your score and get the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
This part of the exam is your chance to show your fluency and knowledge of vocabulary in specific subject areas. Whether it is referred to as ‘a monologue’ or ‘a talk’, it is your opportunity to speak without interruption. It is your time to shine!
2. IELTS Speaking Test – Overview Parts 1-3
The whole speaking test will take about 12-14 minutes to complete. You will meet the examiner(s) and introduce yourself. They will ask for your identification and then take you through each part of the test.
The test consists of 3 parts:
IELTS Speaking Part 1: Answer questions about you and topics you know
IELTS Speaking Part 2: Prepare and present a cue card monologue
IELTS Speaking Part 3: Answer more complex questions about the monologue topic
The examiner is marking your speaking ability using the following criteria:
- Fluency & Coherence
- Lexical Resource
- Grammatical range and accuracy
Each area is worth 25% of the total speaking score. Let’s take a look at IELTS Speaking Part 2 in more detail.
3. About IELTS Speaking Part 2
This part of the test will only take a few minutes in total. You will be given some time to prepare your talk and then asked to speak about it for 1-2 minutes.
The examiner will give you all the information you need and a IELTS cue card. You will have 1 minute to prepare that topic and will be given a pen and paper to help with this.
4. IELTS Speaking Part 2 – Cue Cards – What are they?
A cue card, or a candidate task card, is information and helpful points about a subject that you can prepare from. It will include 3-4 questions to help you plan your monologue. IELTS Speaking Part 2 cue cards will look like this:
Talk about a website you find useful:
You should say:
- What it is
- How often you use it
- What you use it for
- Why it is helpful
Describe an important letter you received:
You should say:
- When did you receive it
- Who sent it to you
- What was it about
- How did you feel after reading it
Talk about a celebration you have attended:
You should say:
- When it was
- What you were celebrating
- How you felt about attending the event
Describe an activity you do in your freetime:
You should say:
- What it is
- When you started doing it
- Who you do it with
- Why you like it
IELTS Cue Card Preparation
You will have 1 minute to prepare what you want to say about the subject. You can write down some keywords to help you. Like this!
Wikipedia, encyclopaedia, online, often, study, research, talking with friends, find out, look up information, quick, accessible, not always accurate
Exam results, summer, university, excited, apprehensive, envelope, good news, celebrate, proud
Last summer, wedding anniversary, 40 years, grandparents, extended family, homemade cake, good mood, laughing, dancing, admiration, emotional, delighted
Golf, last year, golf course, clubs, colleague, amazing views, relaxing, 18 holes, exercise and fitness, relieve stress, improving skills.
The examiner will ask you to start speaking after 1 minute. With good planning, 1-2 minutes speaking will feel like no time!
5. IELTS Cue Card Topics
Before the exam, think about the most common themes you will be asked to discuss. Here are a selection of IELTS cue card topics for Part 2, based on past exam questions. Click on the cue card topics below to see some sample questions and answers for each:
|Clothes||Computer / Internet||Country||Discussion|
|Dislike / Like||Education||Event / Instance||Family / Friends|
Study the IELTS speaking cue card topics but don’t memorise a monologue as it is impossible to predict which subject you will be given. In the next part, you can look at some candidate task card questions and suggested answers so you know what to expect in the exam.
6. IELTS Speaking Part 2 Sample – Questions and Answers
Take a look at two IELTS Speaking Part 2 samples:
Candidate Task Card Sample 1
Describe an item of clothing you received from somebody:
You should say:
- What it was
- When you received it
- Who gave it to you
- Explain why they gave it to you
I received a winter coat as a gift a few years ago. It was really luxurious, thick and warm and it was red, my favourite colour. It was a great present and I still have it in my wardrobe now.
It was Christmas a few years ago when I received it. It was a complete surprise as I thought it was a dressing gown or some slippers. When I opened it, I realised it was this red coat that I had seen in a really posh department store.
It was given to me by my husband for Christmas. He usually asks me what I would like before Christmas, but this time I didn’t have a clue what it was. Much better than the usual gifts like perfume or a gadget. This was really thoughtful and sweet because I had been complaining that I needed a new coat for months.
My husband gave me the coat because he knew I was fed up with wearing my old one. He also wanted to surprise me and he certainly did. He remembered me looking at one in the window of the shop when we were out shopping one Saturday. I can’t believe he remembered it and got the correct size. I was really touched and have always enjoyed wearing it.
(Link to full exam question set with glossary)
Candidate Task Card Sample 2
Talk about a time when you tried to persuade somebody to do something:
You should say:
- Who the person was
- When and where it was
- How did they respond to your suggestion
- Explain what happened in the end
I am going to talk about a time I persuaded my brother to come on holiday with me to France. It was a few years ago after I had graduated when I had the opportunity to spend the summer in France helping out at a campsite. The problem was I was a bit shy back then so I was a little reluctant to go on my own. So I decided to try and persuade my brother to come along with me for the ride.
We met in the pub and I brought up the subject immediately. At first he was opposed to the idea as he had a steady girlfriend that he didn’t want to be away from all summer. I argued that we would have a good time and his girlfriend could come and visit, we would get paid and have the holiday of a lifetime at the same time. After much to-ing and fro-ing, he eventually gave in and said he would fly out to France with me and see how it goes for a month or so.
A few months later, we arrived in France and started work at the campsite which was a beautiful place and I did feel a bit smug. My brother and I had a great time working a few hours and having the freedom to go off camping and exploring. I didn’t say ‘I told you so’ but I was glad it worked out in the end. My brother ended up splitting up with his girlfriend anyway.
These IELTS speaking part 2 sample answers include some advanced vocabulary -make a note of any appropriate words and phrases in your plan.
7. IELTS Speaking Part 2 – Tips and Tricks
Follow these tips and tricks and you will be prepared for the exam!
Plan! Plan! Plan!
Within the IELTS cue card reading, you have one minute to plan – take advantage of it! Note down words and phrases that will help remind you what to say. Try and note some advanced vocabulary and phrases related to the subject.
Use your speaking time to the full
When the examiner asks you to, start talking immediately. Don’t think too long about the ‘correct answer’ – there are no extra points for honesty! Try not to hesitate or pause too much. If you make a mistake, correct it or move on! Make sure you continue talking for the full 1-2 minutes – the examiner will stop you or give you a sign that you have said enough.
Speak slowly and clearly
Speak at a natural and steady pace. This will help you focus on your pronunciation and the examiner will be able to understand and follow your monologue well.
Memorise a good opening line
Getting starting can be the difficult part – so take away the worry by memorising a simple introduction statement. For example:
I’d like to talk about…
I’m going to talk about X because…
These expressions can then be applied to any object, experience or activity you need to talk about. Before you know it…you’re doing it!
Paraphrase the candidate task card
Use the information you have been given on the cue card to form your answer. Introduce the information by paraphrasing – saying the same thing in different words. For example:
“Describe a beautiful place you have visited.”
“I am going to talk about when I spent the day at a spectacular castle…”
You can practise this skill by making notes, planning and preparing from our exam cue cards.
8. How to Practise IELTS Speaking Part 2
Practice making notes
Your planning will be the key to being organised during your monologue, so practise making notes. Take one of the example cue cards and time yourself making notes on this subject. Do this for as many of the common themes as possible. You can choose to make lists or draw a map. Either way, it will soon become second nature.
Read lots of cue cards
Reading a variety of cue cards will help you to know what to expect when you take the test. In addition, read our IELTS reading test with answers.
Watch videos or listen to audio example
You can watch videos online of example speaking tests. Some of them demonstrate advanced fluency and vocabulary. Make notes of interesting phrases they use for different subjects or words that connect the different parts of the monologue.
Time and Record Yourself
This part of the exam is timebound, 1 minute to prepare and 1-2 minutes talking. Practice timing yourself during note taking and speaking. By recording yourself on your phone or computer, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and get a feel for what 1-2 minutes feels like. There is more information about identifying your strengths and weaknesses here.
Practice with a buddy or tutor
Practising with somebody else can be more realistic and you can get some useful feedback. Why not book a time slot for a practice test with one of our friendly, expert team members? You will get individualised feedback guaranteed to improve your speaking skills. Book a practice test today!
9. IELTS Speaking Part 2 – FAQs
Any doubts about IELTS Speaking Part 2? Here are some frequently asked questions:
What happens in Speaking Part 2?
The examiner will give you a cue card which includes a topic and some points to help you. You will have 1 minute to read the cue card and make notes. The examiner will then ask you to start – you have 1-2 minutes to talk about the topic. The whole section will take about 3-4 minutes.
How long should my answers be in Part 2?
You have 1-2 minutes to discuss the topic and 3-4 points to help you. Start you talk with an introduction to what you are talking about and then progress through the points using your vocabulary notes and examples. When the time is up, the examiner will stop you or give you a sign (a smile, not or a hand) to indicate you have said enough.
What if I don’t understand all the words on the cue card?
It might be possible that you don’t need to understand every word in the context. It is unlikely that the cue card will have very difficult words. However, it is ok to ask for clarification. Try to do this before your minute planning starts. Use polite question forms such as ‘Would you mind clarifying this part?’
What if I don’t have an appropriate example
Lie! There are no points for honesty so if you need to invent an example – do it! It is easier to use an example of your own but in order not to waste time, choose your example quickly and start making notes.
Do I need to answer all the questions on the cue card?
Yes. You will be scored on answering the question completely so make sure you talk about all the points – although you don’t need to spend equal time on them.
Where can I get more help?
Book a speaking test simulation with our expert team!
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- A realistic IELTS practice test or speaking practice
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- Score predictions
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- Hints and tips to boost your speaking skills
- Common vocabulary subjects
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