A useful technique when presented with a difficult topic in IELTS speaking part 2.
In the IELTS speaking test part 2, you are given a cue card and have to give a 2-minute talk where you must ‘Describe’ something or some situation.
Often this can be stressful for people during the exam, many people just go blank and cannot think of ideas or many people may have no experience of the topic presented to them. This can be a cause for anxiety but in fact, you do not need to worry. There are 2 ways to deal with this.
There are 2 approaches:
1. Use your imagination and make up a story or situation.
2. Be honest with the examiner, then use a conditional sentence while still keeping on topic.
Let me explain what I mean by example number 2 above. Let’s imagine you are presented with a cue card like this one.
So maybe you just cannot remember a time you visited a museum or Art gallery. What you could say is:
“I can’t remember a museum or art gallery I have visited, however, if I had a chance I would love to go to the Tate Gallery in London. I heard that they have an exhibition at the moment about……” (continues for 2 minutes)
I have changed the structure from ‘I would like to talk about….’ to ‘I can’t remember a museum or art gallery I have visited, however, if I had a chance I would love to go to….. ‘
This is very useful when you want to be honest with the examiner, you are being open and saying you don’t know or have no experience of this topic, and then you could talk about museums you heard about, or museums your friends have visited, or a museum you would like to go to. As long as you can develop the talk you will not lose marks.
Conditional Sentence: If +past tense+ would (this shows a hypothetical situation)
Using this technique shows that you can use a conditional sentence to your advantage, it is also still on the topic on the cue card which is important. Remember that you do not need to talk about every point on the cue card, you can add your own ideas as long as you can demonstrate fluency and keep the talk going for at least 2 minutes, however, you must stay on the topic that is on the cue card in IELTS speaking part 2.
You can try now
How would you use this technique to reply to these cue card topics below.?
There is no right or wrong way to answer this and you should never just memorise scripts or sentences in IELTS. It has to be your own idea.
1. Describe something you got for free.
2. Describe a car journey that you took…
3. Describe a garden you visited as a child…
4. Describe a gift that made you happy…
5. Describe your favourite plant…
If you feel that this technique is too difficult you can always just make up a story. The content of your talk does not actually matter. IELTS is an English test and what you decide to talk about is not being marked.
Your biggest enemies in IELTS speaking part 2 are hesitancy and too much self-correction, if you are anxious and worry too much about making mistakes, then your confidence will suffer which will then cause your fluency to suffer.