IELTS Speaking Part 2 Strategy

Useful technique when presented with a cue card 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 may have no experience of the the topic presented to them. There are 2 ways to deal with this.

There are 2 approaches:

1. Just lie and make up a story or situation.
2. Use a conditional sentence to change it 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 V & A museum in London. I heard that they have an exhibition at the moment about…… etc etc”


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….. ‘

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 crucial. 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.

Remember that 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….

 

Click on this button to see my ideas.

1. Describe something you got for free…

My answer:  Actually, I can’t remember anything I got for free, however, if someone gave me a new iPad for free I would be really glad because my PC is really old and I need a new one…..(continue for 2 minutes with detail)

2. Describe a car journey that you took…

My answer:  I don’t remember any particular car journey, however, if I had the time I would love to drive around Australia in a camper van and go to.. (continue for 2 minutes with detail )

3. Describe a garden you visited as a child…

My answer:  I can’t remember any particular garden I visited as a child, however if I had the chance, I would really like to visit Kew Gardens in London, this is a botanical garden and…. (continue for 2 minutes with detail)

4. Describe a gift that made you happy.

My answer: I can’t remember exactly when I had a gift that made me happy, but If got a new watch, I would be so happy because… (continue for 2 minutes with detail)

5. Describe your favourite plant.

My answer: I can’t think of any particular plant right now, however I really love houseplants, I have lots of them in my house in every room, I feel relaxed when I see these plants because….  (continue for 2 minutes with detail)


Note: The examiner is not marking you on your ideas, so there is no right or wrong way to answer this, you are being assessed in 4 areas: fluency, grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. By the way, do not talk from a memorised script. it must sound natural.

 

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.


ielts speaking

Leave a comment below if you have any questions.