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How to prepare for IELTS Speaking

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IELTS Speaking part 2 Individual Long Turn (3-4 minutes)


The examiner will ask you to speak for 1-2 minutes on a topic, which he or she will give you on a card. The card will give you an outline of what you need to talk about. You will be given one minute to prepare and you can make notes. The examiner will give you a piece of paper and a pen. He or she will invite you to start talking when your preparation time is up. The examiner will not say anything while you are speaking but will stop you, if you talk for more than two minutes. Then you might be asked one or two short follow-up questions.


The topics will be of a general nature. You will be asked to describe things such as a restaurant you enjoy eating in, a book you have read
recently or a piece of equipment in your house you cannot live without. You will also be asked to relate what you are talking about, to yourself – e.g. ‘say why you choose to eat in this restaurant’ or ‘say what you enjoyed about the book’

For example

Describe a restaurant you enjoy eating in.

You should say:
 - where this restaurant is
 - what kind of menu it has
 - what other features it has
and explain why you choose to eat there.

This part gives you the opportunity to show that you can speak at length without hesitation. It is also important to show that you can organize your ideas coherently.

How to do IELTS Speaking Part 2

  • Readthe topic card carefully
  • Use the preparation time wisely. Make sure you have understood what you need to talk about. Jot down a few points to answer the prompts on the topic card. Don’t waste time writing sentences.
  • Don’t write on the topic card.
  • Make sure you answer both parts of the topic card– description and explanation.
  • Organise your talk by following the order on the card

How to prepare for IELTS Speaking Part 2

  • Using the topics you have thought about for Part 1 take them one at a time and time yourself preparing for one minute and talking about them for one to two minutes
  • Record yourself talking on these topics. Play the recordings back to see how easy you are to understand and how you could improve. Use the checklist below to assess your performance:
    • Did you cover all the point?
    • Did you elaborate the points?
    • Did you vary my vocabulary?
    • Did you organize my idea logically?
    • Would an examiner have understood me?
    • Was my pronunciation clear?
    • Were my note useful?
    • How long did i talk for?
  • Spend sometime thinking about how you will make notes. Mindmaps are quick and useful for this kind of activity
  • Practice shot answer questions for the flow up questions
  • Think about the language
    • To introduce your topic
    • To describe objects, people, events and places
    • To describe a sequence of events
    • To talk about how you feel and felt about something in the past
    • To talk about personal goals

How to practice for IELTS Speaking part 2

IELTS Speaking part 3 Two-way discussion (4-5 minutes)

The examiner will invite you to participate in a discussion of more abstract issues linked to the topic of Part 2.  

You could for example be asked to talk about people’s eating habits, diets, fast food or genetically modified food as a thematic link to your
talk on a restaurant in Part 2. The examiner could start the discussion in several ways e.g.‘Tell me what you think about …’; ‘What
in your opinion is …’ or ‘How would you compare ..’ etc.

You may be asked to relate the topic to a situation in your own country– that is Hong Kong. 

You will be expected to be able to express your opinions and give reasons in this part and it is an opportunity to demonstrate your fluency as well as the range of your vocabulary and grammar.

You will also be expected to use language to clarify your meaning and repair any breakdowns in communication. 

The questions will increase in difficulty slightly as this part of the test progresses. The examiner may begin by asking you to describe something and then move on to ask you to compare, evaluate or speculate


How to do IELTS Speaking Part 3

  • Remember there is no right or wrong answer. Don’t be afraid to say what you think about a topic
  • Try to give interesting responses to the examiner’s prompts.
  • Show your ability to express abstract ideas and support your opinions
  • Demonstrate a willingness to give extended responses. Don’t give one-word answers. 
  • Try to repair any breakdowns in communication by getting around a word you can’t think of or don’t know by using other words to express your meaning.
  • Give yourself time to think by using expressions like. ‘I’ve not really thought about this before but …’. See Helpful Hints for IELTS.

How to prepare for IELTS Speaking Part 3

How to prepare

►Think about abstract issues related to the topics you have for Part 1 & 2. For example – school/teachers – qualities of a good teacher learning styles; qualifications versus experience; face-to-face tuition versus on-line courses etc.

►Make it a habit toread English language newspapers – even the Metro News in the MTR is better than nothing! and watch the news
reports and listen to the radio to keep up to date on everyday topics.

 ►Try to listen to or watch current affairs programme e.g. Pearl Watch.

►Think about the languagewhich will be useful e.g. ™language of comparison and contrast ™language to express opinions and give reasons
™language to speculate about the future ™language to discuss the hypothetical e.g. conditional sentences

►Try to take a current affairs issue every day and list all the vocabulary you would need to talk about it. Think about your opinion on the issue and think about opposing views.

►Find someone else doing the testand practice discussing current affairs topics, especially in relation to Hong Kong

Refer to: IELTS Speaking Part 1: TOP 10 Most Popular Ielts Speaking Topics


Refer to: Ielts Listening Test Overview, Advices and 20 Tips to get 8.0 score

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