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IELTS Strategies for Speaking Part 2

One of the most unnatural parts of the IELTS exam is Speaking Part 2.

Candidates must speak for one to two minutes about a topic prompted from a Task Card. Candidates are given only one minute to think about the topic and make notes on a sheet of paper. This particular task is very difficult without a strategy to help the candidate to speak continuously for that long.

Below are 5 tips on how to prepare for the Speaking Part 2.

All students are different in their learning strategies and of course alternatives strategies are available however, I've found the below tips to be very helpful when preparing my own IELTS students for their test.

1. Focus on what you are instructed to do.

Do not worry about examples of what you ‘should say' shown on the sample card below. The task card usually instructs you to ‘Talk about a time when you...’ or ‘Talk about your favourite…'. The task card then gives some examples of what you should say. Answering these questions can lead to just one sentence answers and this can make you sound unnatural so make sure to focus on talking at length and not getting caught up trying to incorporate the examples into your answer.

Sample Task Card

2. Make it personal!

One of the best ways to make it personal is to connect the topic to an experience you’ve had. For example if you have to speak about a favourite colour, then linking this to the first time you realised this was you a colour you liked can help to lengthen your answer. It also provides an opportunity to use a variety of tenses which will help you get a higher band score.

3. Speak about the past, the present and the future.

This can help you to use the variety of tenses required and elongate your answer. Telling a story connected to the topic is a great way to make sure you keep speaking until you are asked to stop right until the end of the 2 minutes. It also allows you to show a range of tenses that can help you get the score you need.

I really love the way this is explained in the YouTube video below:

4. Make your notes words not sentences.

You have 1 minute to prepare your notes on a piece of paper so you get a chance to write before you speak. During this thinking time it’s very tempting to write everything you know about the topic down into sentences so you can read this. However, doing this only limits your preparation time and unless you have the ability to write like superman, you are very unlikely to be able to write enough to fill the 2 minute task.

With the above in mind, experiment with writing words which will trigger things that you can talk about for a longer time. Visually, it is more advantageous to find a way to present your ideas with examples so that you can list more easily.

5. Record your answer and play it back for yourself

You can even play your recorded answer back to someone you trust. This will help with those nervous feelings as you will have had practice and know what to expect.

If you have any other IELTS strategies for Speaking Part 2 that you think fellow candidates would like please leave your comment below!

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