9 tricky IELTS speaking part 2 topics

Tips and ideas for difficult IELTS speaking part 2 topics.

Updated: September 2023

Sometimes in IELTS speaking, you will get a tricky topic to answer in part 2. It can cause anxiety if you go into the exam and get presented with one of these. The important thing here is to use your imagination if you cannot think of a story.

Be prepared with a few ideas beforehand as that will go a long way to easing your nerves. I haven’t given any model answers here because there are so many variations on how you could answer these. Click the blue buttons to see the tips and ideas.

You must develop the talk and keep it going for 2 minutes. So you should practice by recording yourself on your smartphone voice recording app while you answer these. Play the recording back and pay attention to hesitation or when you are running out of things to say. Pronunciation is also very important so pay attention to vowel sounds and intonation. Get feedback from an English teacher if you can so as to pinpoint your weak areas.

Key Point: You don’t have to talk about every point on the cue card. They are there just to help you think of ideas. If you have your own story then use that but try to stay on topic as much as possible.

At first sight, this seems a bit odd, what is a colourful event?. The first thing that comes to my mind is a festival or something like a carnival, Chinese New Year, or Hanami season in Japan. So you could talk about a festival in your home town or in your country that is colourful.

Maybe people wear colourful traditional costumes, or there are colourful fireworks displays and there could be food stalls that sell colourful food and spices. Another idea is to describe a flower show you went to that had lots of colourful flowers.

The keywords here are ‘colourful’ and ‘event’ so stay on that topic.  Click this link here for more ideas on colourful events around the world.

Take a few seconds to study the keywords here which are ‘ famous‘  ‘personality’ and ‘outside your country’.

This could be a comedian, an actor, an entertainer, or musician. The word ‘personality’ is connected to someone in the entertainment industry, so it wouldn’t be a politician or businessperson.

It must be someone from another country, so you could talk about a popular actor in Hollywood such as Johnny Depp, or a comedian from the UK such as Mr Bean and so on. Choose one person and describe them. Talk about why you like them, what movies they have been in, what they are doing these days, any gossip about them, are they popular in your country? etc.


This could be about a job someone took that was wrong for them, or maybe they chose to study a subject they didn’t like at university. It could be a simple thing like your friend bought some clothes that didn’t fit, or they went on holiday and booked a very cheap hotel and it turned out to be awful.

You can just make up a story or it can be a real situation. Use your imagination here and give a lot of detail about it. Explain the consequences of the bad decision and how it affected that person. Did they change their decision or did they stick with it?


This is quite easy. Here you could talk about a time you went on holiday to the beach and what you did every day, such as swimming and water sports. It could have been a day trip to the seaside, swimming in a freshwater lake or maybe you went to the river to do some fishing. The task uses the past tense so you can talk about a time in your childhood when you played in water such as a pond or lake.

Note that it is not about a swimming pool though, the task is more like a natural place with water such as the sea, a lake, a pond, or a river. You can also add the future tense to this and talk about a holiday you are planning where you will stay by the sea or a lake.


This looks tricky but with some imagination, you could make up a story if you can’t think of a time when you were given advice. Maybe a friend helped you to make a difficult decision, maybe they gave you a good idea for a business or helped you decide which course to study at university.

It can be a simple thing like a friend who told you where to visit in a particular country that you want to go to, such as what bars are good, what places are there to see and what good local food there is to eat. Talk also about the result of taking that advice. How did it improve your life?

It could even be a co-worker who gave you good advice when you started a new job, or a family member who advised you about what to wear to a special occasion, and so on. The task says the word ‘someone’ so it’s not about advice you gave it’s about someone who gave you advice.


Think of a time when you were stuck in traffic, where were you going? why was there so much traffic? Did you feel frustrated? Who were you with at the time? Maybe you were flying to another country and the plane was delayed, or it could have been a train cancellation while you were travelling on holiday.

You can connect it to another story such as the time you missed a flight and had to wait at the airport for a long time, so the whole journey may have taken a couple of days. It may even have been a bus journey to another part of the country. The bus could have broken down and the whole journey was a nightmare..etc..



In this case, you can choose something simple and obvious such as a traffic law in your country where drivers have to stop at a pedestrian crossing. It might also be about wearing seatbelts in cars and how it has saved so many lives. Another law you could talk about is keeping the environment clean, such as a no-littering law or a law that bans people from dumping rubbish in rivers and canals.

To extend your talk to 2 minutes you can also talk about a law that you would like to see introduced in your country.


So you are probably thinking you have no idea here. It’s pretty straightforward, as you can talk about a crop that is grown in your country such as rice, corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, or something that farmers grow. Talk about how important it is to your country. If it’s rice then obviously it is a staple food source, same with wheat.

Talk about which part of the country it is grown in, or what kind of climate is needed for it to grow. How long has it been growing in your country? or is it a new crop that was recently introduced to your country?

Maybe there is a specific type of plant or flower your county is famous for. Note that the task is not about trees, so keep it on topic with a plant, a crop, or a flower. To get more ideas, see this link here for famous plants and flowers.

You don’t have to go into technicalities, keep it simple and extend your points. Give your opinion about the plant. If you choose a food crop then you can state that it is very important for the economy and is also a crucial source of food and so on.

For ideas on the types of crops and plants that are important see this link here for ideas.


This could be a conversation you had with your friend but you must explain why you found it interesting and give details about the content of the conversation. It could also be a chat you had with a neighbour or even a conversation with someone at a party that you found fascinating. For example, I was recently talking to my friend on Skype about a a fascinating history documentary I saw on Netflix. We both like History documentaries so it was a long chat.

You can just make up a story and use your imagination. Notice that the tense is in the past and it uses the word ‘recently’. However, if you can’t think of a recent conversation then you can modify it to talk about a memorable conversation you had many years ago.

Mention the location too as the task says ‘where the conversation took place’. You do not have to follow all the bullet points though, you can use your own ideas, but stay on topic.

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