IELTS Speaking – what to expect (a Discussion)

The third part of the Speaking test is called a “discussion”, but guess what – you are going to do all the talking :).

The topic of a discussion will be related to the topic of the second part (the Speech / Cue card talk), but the difference is that here you should EXPRESS AN OPINION and explain why it is what it is. This is the part where you should compare two opinions, present several points of view, say what your perception is, what future developments might follow, etc.

This part usually takes 4-5 minutes.

Just for you to get a feeling of what it’s like, click here to listen to recorded session , and here is the transcript, all from official IELTS site.

This is really the part where you’ve got to have an opinion on anything and everything.

Any topic you get, you must have something to say about. So here is a good idea – go over Speaking questions from real exams that we post here and think about them a little bit, see what vocabulary you are going to need, try to answer them taking turns with a partner or just by yourself, in front of a mirror.

IELTS Speaking – what to expect (a Speech)

The second part of the IELTS speaking test is the Speech (otherwise known as the Cue Card talk). The examiner gives you a card with a topic and 3-4 questions. Then you have 1 minute to prepare a short speech in your head, if you want you may write the main points on paper. After one minute ends, you should start talking and keep going for 1-2 minutes.

Here is an example of such card from the IELTS official website:

Describe something you own which is very important to you. You should say:

  • – where you got it from
  • – how long you have had it
  • – what you use it for

and explain why it is important to you.

As you can see, your main task here is to DESCRIBE things. So try to do that as well as you can.
It is very important that you say something about EVERY question that is on the card.
The best thing is to say 2-3 sentences about every bullet. This way your speech will take at least one minute – the minimal time you have to speak.

A good way to practice (requires 2 people) is to give someone a copy of your card and to start speaking. Ask him/her to put V on bullets you’ve talked about. Then look how many bullets you’ve missed in your speech. If you study alone, you can record yourself and then listen and check for missing bullets.

Practicing with a clock is a very good idea. You need to get a feeling of “how long 2 minutes take”. When you will speak in front of a real examiner, it is best that you don’t look at your watch and if you have practiced enough – you won’t have to.

And at last, for you to get a complete picture of the Speaking part 2 – here is a sample question, a recording and a transcript (all thanks to official IELTS website). Enjoy!



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