In IELTS Speaking Part 2, your task is to speak on a topic for a maximum of 2-minutes. You can stop the speech after you cross 1-minute by saying “that’s it”.
If you’re unable to complete your speech within 2-minutes, the examiner will stop you and move on to the next question.
However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
If you were fluent and had a well-structured speech, going over the time limit won’t affect your score much.
Even I went over the time limit and the examiner had to stop me, but I still got an 8 Band in IELTS Speaking.
In this blog post, I will teach you everything you need to ace your IELTS Speaking Part 2 for 8+ Band.
- Smart Strategy for IELTS Speaking Part 2
- 7 Tips for Speaking Confidently
- Model Answer
Section 1: Smart Strategy for IELTS Speaking Part 2
Answer Each Prompt for 30 Seconds
Speaking on any topic for 2 full minutes is extremely difficult.
In fact, if you give me any topic to speak on, and immediately say “Go”, I will struggle to speak on it as well.
Our minds are not wired that way. We can’t keep making stuff up as we go. Least of all, in a pressure situation when an examiner is scoring us.
However, if you look at the prompts given beneath the question, and consider each of them as one small question on which you have to speak for just 30 seconds, everything changes.
Instead of looking at IELTS Speaking Part 2 as speaking for 2-minutes on an unknown topic, look at it as answering 4 questions in 3-4 sentences each.
Using this strategy will not only help you to speak for 2-minutes comfortably, it will also help you to give your speech a proper structure, leaving a better impression on the examiner.
We will see an example of it in Section 3.
Section 2: 7 Tips For Speaking Confidently
1. Simple Over Complex
Most people try to impress the interviewer in their test, which is the wrong mindset. IELTS is completely different from your job interview.
In IELTS, unlike a job interview, your opinions, thoughts, and facts do not matter. What matters is how you present those facts. In simpler words, it doesn’t matter WHAT you say, it matters HOW you say it.
The trick to stay confident in speaking is to use simple words and speak in short sentences.
Trying to use high vocabulary when you are not a confident speaker will result in you struggling to speak with confidence.
Instead, if you stay simple, you will find yourself more confident and will walk away with a better score.
2. Fluency Does NOT Mean Fast
If you have ever watched an important personality giving a speech, notice that the person is not speaking fast at all.
For example, go and search ‘Obama Out’ on YouTube and watch the first 2-3 minutes of his final speech at the White House.
Is he speaking fast? No, he is speaking very slowly. Yet he is one of the best public speakers in the world.
Fluency is not about speaking fast, instead, it’s all about thinking and then speaking without any hesitation.
Fluency is all about taking your time to think, and then speaking.
Not only will it help you get a better score, but it will also help you to be able to stretch out your speech to 2-minutes.
3. Don’t Speak. Tell
The IELTS Speaking Test is supposed to be a normal conversation between you and the examiner. Much like how you would talk to a friend.
What most people do in IELTS speaking is that they get so self-conscious that they end up talking to themselves instead of the examiner. This is the perfect recipe for disaster.
Imagine a conversation between you and your friend. And observe yourself speaking.
You speak with expressions on your face, your hands and eyes move in a certain way when telling them about something, and there are natural poses and nods.
That is exactly how you’re supposed to speak in your test.
Don’t speak with a blank face like you’re being forced to tell something, say it like you actually want to tell the examiner about the topic and want them to understand what you’re telling them.
4. Correct Your Mistakes
People make small mistakes when they speak all the time. When you’re giving an exam, no matter how much you’ve practiced, you’re bound to make small mistakes here and there.
But don’t worry, instead just pause your speech, correct your mistake by repeating the sentence, and carry on with the rest of your speech.
This will show the examiner that you really do know your grammar and vocabulary, and the mistake was just a slip of tongue.
5. Develop Ideas
When you get the task card, you have 1-minute to prepare.
In this 1-minute, your task is to develop ideas on the topic.
Practice this at home. Take a list of topics, give yourself 30-seconds, and develop as many ideas as you can.
Developing ideas is a skill that comes through practice.
6. Invent Details
This approach will not only help you to utilize 2-minutes well, it will also give depth to your answer.
What you need to do is create details around your sentence; details like location, date, or any other descriptive marker.
Let’s take this sentence as an example, “I bought a toy for my nephew.”
Instead of it, you can say “Last week, I took my nephew to the toy store and bought him a cool fire truck.”
See how I added details and made the sentence lengthier?
Yet, all I did was add a location, a time period, and a description of the toy.
7. Add A Story
Lastly, it’s always easier to answer confidently when can plug in personal memory and tell it to the examiner in the form of a story like you would do to a friend.
This will easily help you spend 30-60 seconds.
This strategy is easier than inventing details because it is much easier to tell a story, rather than inventing details and speaking at the same time.
Section 3: Model Answer
Let’s now look at a sample question and an answer, and apply our Smart Strategy of 30-seconds for each prompt to it.
Q) Describe a sport you would like to learn
You should say:
- What it is
- What equipment is needed for it
- How you would learn it
- What would you do after you have learned it
The sport I like to learn is called Cricket. It is the most famous sport played in South Asia, but I have never been able to pick it up when I was younger. But I have been watching it on TV since childhood. I think now that I have some time after my work, I would like to invest it in learning a new sport.
Although there is a lot of equipment that is needed to play it, such as pads, helmet, gloves, but the two essential equipment is a bat and a ball. Since I am just starting, I plan to start with a tennis ball, instead of a proper cricket ball which is rather dangerous for someone who is not good at batting yet. As I keep getting better at it, I will move to a proper cricket ball, and start investing in buying the cricket gear as well.
There is a cricket club that has recently opened up in my neighborhood. They have a lot of state-of-the-art facilities, like a bowling machine. I plan to take membership of it and spend 2 days in a week to practice batting by using bowling machine to throw the balls. After a few months, I will join the practice team of a club to get more experience of playing with actual bowlers, as well as start learning other aspects of the game, such as fielding.
After I have learned it, I would like to join an amateur team of my cricket club and start playing some actual matches to develop my skill further. Eventually, I would like to join my company’s cricket team. We have a corporate league in which all companies send their cricket teams for fun and social matches. That is a great way to do networking with seniors in your own company, as well as seniors in other companies. I think this sport will open up many opportunities for me to not just have fun, but also form a professional networking group.
This might look like a very difficult task when you see it as speaking for 2-minutes.
But as I was answering each prompt separately, I was only thinking of answering each small question in 3-4 sentences.
It is a skill to be able to answer like this, and once you’ve practiced a bit, it will become one of your most favourite sections of IELTS.
Just as when you become good at cricket, you don’t avoid playing it. Instead, you love playing it.
This will happen with your IELTS Speaking test as well. You will start enjoying it 🙂