IELTS Marshalls

Speaking Part 2 tips: Impress your examiner

When you get to Part 2 of the speaking test, your examiner will hand you a card with a topic on it. You are expected to speak for two minutes on this topic.

Your topic card might look like this:

And why it was a difficult choice to make

Describe a gift you gave that took a long time to choose. 

You should say:

  • Who it was for
  • What you bought
  • Where you bought it

Now a lot of people feel tempted to answer each bullet point quickly, and one after another:

  • (Who it was for) I bought a gift for my boyfriend!
  • (What you bought) I bought an engraved photo frame.
  • (Where you bought it) I bought it online from Amazon! 
  • (And why it was a difficult choice to make) It was hard to choose a gift for my boyfriend, because he only likes sports and action movies. I had no idea what to get him!

This is the wrong strategy. After answering the bulleted questions, you will run out of things to say. You won’t be able to speak for two minutes. 

Remember: Task 2 isn’t about answering questions; it’s about telling a story. 

A story is chronological and organized: it has a beginning, middle, and end.

A story has specific details.

A story has a lot of examples and funny anecdotes.

It contains dialogue and characters.

A story is entertaining and lively. Your story should come to life. 

A story is NOT a list of information. 

A story is NOT a bunch of answers to questions. 

So I want you to think about Speaking Part 2 differently:

You’re telling a story filled with details, examples, dialogues, feelings, and more. 

If it helps, don’t look at the bullet points underneath the sentence. 

Here’s a speaking example for this topic:

Today, I’m going to talk about a photo frame. About five years ago, it was my boyfriend and I’s first anniversary, and let me tell you, I had no idea what to buy him! I was nervous about it, so I asked his mom for help! She said, “Don’t worry about it, sweetie! He’ll love anything you buy!” But I was still worried. So I went online and started looking for ideas. I remember on Amazon, I saw a really cool photo frame, and an idea popped into my head: “I should get him a photo frame! Even better, I’ll get it engraved!” So I quickly bought the frame, and it was delivered in only two days! I went to an engraving store in the mall, and asked them to engrave our initials “JM” and “ST” on the back. I put a picture of us at the beach in the frame and gave it to him. He was so surprised! He loved it so much, he put it right next to his bed. He told me it was the perfect gift.” 

Do you see how this is a well-developed story with a beginning, middle, and end? It has interesting details, characters, dialogue, and more! The story came alive. 

Go ahead and practice this task at home! Remember to make it a story – filled with details and examples! 

Describe a gift you gave that took a long time to choose. 

You should say:

  • Who it was for
  • What you bought
  • Where you bought it

And explain why it was a difficult choice to make

Comment your idea for this topic below! 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.