Category Archives: IELTS Speaking (all)

6 tips for making notes in Part 2 speaking


6 tips for making notes in Part 2 speaking

Here’s an example of a topic card used in Part Two of the IELTS speaking test:

Describe your favourite leisure activity. You should say:

  • what it is
  • how often you do it
  • when you first started doing it.

You should also say why it is important to you.

Using the preparation time

When the examiner hands you the topic card, you will also be given a piece of paper and a pen or pencil to make some notes before you begin talking. You have one minute to prepare what you are going to say. There are a number of common errors that candidates make in this preparation time, as shown below.


Common error #1 – telling the examiner you are ready to begin

The examiner will tell you when your 1 minute preparation time is up – you should NEVER tell the examiner you are ready before that time. You are wasting valuable time that you could use thinking of relevant points or vocabulary, and most people that start early do not finish the full two minutes of speaking.

Common error #2 – writing sentences

The one minute preparation time should be used to get ideas and make notes, not write complete sentences. With only 60 seconds to prepare, you do not have time to write complete sentences.

Common error #3 – making no notes

Some candidates spend the whole 60 seconds simply reading the topic card and thinking about what they are going to say, not making any notes at all. The problem here is that as soon as you begin to start talking or if you become a little nervous, the good ideas that you had seem to disappear, leaving you with no backup.

Common error #4 – not pacing the notes

As you can see from the topic card above, there are four sections – three bullet points and one final sentence. You are required to speak for two minutes, so divide that by the number of ‘sections’ on the topic card and you have 30 seconds per part. When making notes, try to add something for each of the 4 parts and do not move on to the next part until you think you have spoken for 30 seconds or you truly have nothing left to say.


Common error #5 – reading from your notes

Don’t be be tempted to ‘read’ your answer directly from the note paper, and this will have an impact on your pronunciation (most people read differently to how they naturally speak). Keep your head up, looking at the examiner for the majority of the time, and only glance down to scan your notes.

Common error #6 – not being flexible with your notes

Do not worry if you decide to change a little of what you have planned. It is much better to keep the conversation natural than stick rigidly to something that you are not so comfortable with. In addition, remember that the IELTS test is a communication test – it is not a memory test. If there is a fact you cannot remember, then tell the interviewer. You can show your English ability just as well by explaining that you do not know something. For example: ‘I’m not really sure when I began doing this, but I’m sure I was very young’ is just as good an answer as giving a date.

Practice your note taking skills

Now practice making notes on the topic cards below.

Describe a friend who is very important to you.


You should say:

  • who they are
  • how you met
  • what they are like

You should also say why they are important to you.


Describe a hotel you have stayed in.

You should say:

  • where it is
  • what facilities there are
  • when you stayed there

and say whether you would recommend it to a friend

IELTS speaking model answer – Describe a piece of equipment

IELTS speaking topic card model answer – Describe a piece of equipment

Describe a piece of equipment

This section of the site is for model answers on Part Two topic cards. If you have a topic card that you would like a model answer too, just post the title in the comments sections below.

IELTS speaking model answerIt is good practice to read the model answer aloud, ideally while recording yourself. Then play back the recording, listening closely to your pronunciation (particularly your intonation) and the speed at which you are speaking.

Describe a piece of equipment

You should say:

  • what it is
  • what you use it for
  • how often you use it.

You should also explain how to use it

Model answer (click the audio bar above to hear a recording):

Well, I’ve been asked to talk about how to use some equipment, so I’m going to talk about something you may well be familiar with – a laptop computer. I use mine mostly for e-mails but also for word processing, especially when I’m writing reports or something for work. I find I can organise my ideas more clearly than with the traditional pen and paper. Although I do take it with me most days, I don’t actually use it for very long at a time because the power doesn’t last for more than a few hours if it’s not plugged in. Like most people, I use my phone for most smaller tasks so although I have my laptop, it’s not always on.

Now, the first step in using a laptop is quite obvious – you have to turn it on. This can take quite a while depending on the model. What you do next depends on your particular reason for using it, but I’m going to talk about connecting to the Internet. After making sure that the laptop is on, you need to click the wifi signal icon to connect to a wireless network. Of course, you don’t need to do this if you have already connected to that network before as your computer will remember and automatically connect you. If it’s your first time connecting, most places will then ask for a password. Once you’ve entered that, it can take up to a minute to connect, but then you should see a small notice on the screen telling you that you are now online – you know, connected to the Internet. Finally, simply type in the website address you want, or if you are just surfing then type the word or words in the search bar.

It’s not at all difficult to use, but some people still have difficulty.

IELTS speaking model answer – How to cook a meal you like

IELTS speaking topic card model answer – How to cook a meal you like

Describe how to cook a meal you like

IELTS speaking model answerThis section of the site is for model answers on Part Two topic cards. If you have a topic card that you would like a model answer too, just post the title in the comments sections below.

It is good practice to read the model answer aloud, ideally while recording yourself. Then play back the recording, listening closely to your pronunciation (particularly your intonation) and the speed at which you are speaking.

Describe how to cook a meal you like

You should say:

  • what it is
  • when you eat it
  • what you need to make it.

You should also explain how to make it.

Model answer (click the audio bar above to hear a recording):

Well, I’m not actually a very good cook so I can only manage basic dishes like eggs and bacon, but the one thing I do like to make is called Welsh Rarebit. It’s a traditional snack made by people in my hometown, but I think there are different recipes for it in a lot of different towns in Wales and even in other countries.

There are two reasons I like cooking this dish – it’s fairly simple to create and only takes a few minutes before it’s ready to eat! A lot of people I know have it for lunch, especially in the winter when you can eat it with a stew or thick soup, but it’s actually one of those dishes that you can eat at any time of the day. I often have it for breakfast, especially in the colder months, because it gets you warm quickly!

Basically, Welsh Rarebit is cheese on toast, but with a few modifications that really make the difference. The main ingredients I use are flour and eggs, mixed in with the melted cheese. The trick is to make sure that the mixture of flour and egg is mixed well but not for too long. When it’s mixed through, put it on the stove and start heating it, slowly adding the grated cheese. You can add as much cheese as you like – personally, I like to have a lot, so that the egg and flour mix is about 50% of the total and the cheese is the other 50%.

At this point, you need to toast your bread. You can add a few spices to the mix. I use a lot of black pepper and a little paprika – I really like the taste of paprika, but as I said, I don’t cook often so rarely use it. When the toast is ready, pour the mixture on to the toast and grill it for a few minutes until the top turns brown. You can also add some more cheese to the top too – I always do!


Giving longer answers in IELTS speaking

Giving longer answers in IELTS speaking

Giving longer answers in IELTS speakingThis post focuses on a formula you can use to help you keep speaking fluently during the IELTS speaking test, especially in Part 2 (the topic card), and follows on from this post about longer answers in the speaking test.

Consider the following question. How could you expand your answer?

Do you think traditions are important?

Now read the candidate’s response below, and answer the questions that follow.

Yes, I do because they give us a sense of connection with the past. This is important because it can bring people together and remind us of the history we share. However, I believe traditions should also be flexible. They should reflect not only the past but also the present. Only by doing this can any tradition continue to have relevance today.

  1. Why does the speaker think traditions are important?
  2. Why is it important to have this connection?
  3. What qualification does the speaker make?
  4. Why is this qualification important?

Read the next section for the answers.

The answers for the four questions above give examples of the formula you can use to expand your topic.

FORMULA + Why + So + But + Then

In the exercise above, this is:

Why? connection with the past
So? brings people together
But? should be flexible
Then? continue to be relevant

Looking at this formula in more detail, you can break your answer down into these sections:

Why? Why do you feel that way about the question? Why is this your opinion?

So? This can also be thought of as So what? Maybe the opinion presented in the first step (why?) is true, but what impact does it have? What’s the positive result of your opinion that makes you believe it?

But? Are there any parts of your opinion that could be considered wrong by other people, or anything that needs to be taken into account?

Then? If the point you raised in the previous section happened, what would be the effect?

Now let’s apply the formula to another question

Example 1:

Do you think smoking should be banned?

Yes I do (WHY? why do you think that?) because of the significant health risks cigarettes present (SO? so what if they have health risks?) This can have an effect on not only the smoker, but also those people in the nearby area who then suffer from passive smoking, as well as on tax payers in general when smokers require additional medical treatment. (BUT? is there anything that needs to be considered from another point of view?) Of course there is the issue of having the freedom to act how you wish, and banning cigarettes could create an illegal trade (THEN? What would happen if the ‘but’ section occurred?) This could then potentially lead to rising crime and more pressure on the police.

Example 2:

Because we are now in a digital age, do you think we should therefore stop following traditional customs?

It can be argued that traditional customs can co-exist alongside more modern culture (WHY? why do you think that?) Both traditional and modern cultures are important as a reflection of history and society (SO? so what if they are important?) We should find ways that the two forms can support each other. (BUT? is there anything that needs to be considered from another point of view?) There are times when modern and traditional cultures are in conflict. (THEN? What would happen if there was conflict?) Digital culture must be considered paramount as traditional culture should not be a handicap to development.

Talking about your hometown in IELTS speaking

Talking about your hometown in IELTS speaking

Once of the more common questions in Part One of the IELTS test is to talk about your hometown. A common student error is to give short answers which do not show the examiner your real abilities, especially with regards fluency.

Talking about your hometown in IELTS speakingHere are three examples of points you could make about your hometown. All of the places below are describing areas in New Zealand!

Talking about your hometown #1

I’m from Henderson, a suburb to the west of Auckland. Although it can be a little quiet, it’s only 20 minutes from the city centre. There are a couple of interesting things about Henderson. UNITEC College has a building there, although it’s not their main campus. It is also one of the places in the North Island where a lot of movies are shot – in fact, some sections of the Lord of the Rings were filmed only a few minutes away from my house!

Talking about your hometown #2

I’m from Invercargill, the southernmost city of New Zealand. It’s an interesting place because there’s so much history there. The area was first settled by sheep farmers driving sheep from Dunedin. It was actually named after William Cargill, a Scotsman involved in the administration and settlement of the local region. When it was first constructed, the city was famous for wide streets and beautiful buildings such as the railway hotel and the water tower.

Talking about your hometown #3

Wellington, where I’m from, is the capital city of New Zealand, although a lot of people think it is Auckland. It is set between a magnificent harbour and rolling green hills – the city itself is very hilly. There four different areas within then city, but my favourite is the Lambton quarter, which has the most concentrated shopping area in New Zealand. There are lots of things to do and see when you visit, but it can sometimes depend on the weather. In fact, the area is famous for being very windy and is often called ‘Windy Wellington’.

IELTS speaking practice test 4

IELTS speaking practice test 4

IELTS speaking practice test 4

This section of the site is for you to try a complete IELTS speaking test. The timing of each section is automatic and follows the standard IELTS pattern. Ideally, we recommend speaking aloud when answering the questions and recording yourself, so you can play it back later and listen to your pronunciation, grammar and content.

Looking for more speaking practice opportunities? Our complete membership course has membership plans which include Skype tutorials where we can take a practice speaking assessment and give you feedback on your fluency, pronunciation and much more! Click here to enrol now.

IELTS speaking practice test 4

Part 1

“Do you work or are you studying?”

Show answerWell, I’m actually a trained physiotherapist, but at the moment, I’m studying. I have taken a few weeks off my normal job to prepare for this IELTS test, but then as soon as I get the result I need I’ll be going back to work.

“Do you enjoy your job?”

Show answerOh yes, very much. I only graduated 2 years ago, but since then I have been working in a hospital in the city. I think it’s a fascinating job – you get to meet so many different people and it’s great to be able to help them with their health. Of course, there are times when it can be very hard work, but it’s so rewarding, and it suits me much better than an office job! I’d like to continue in my current occupation, but I would like to move to the UK to work, mostly because I think there are more opportunities there.

“What do you find difficult about your job?”

Show answerWell, of course in my job I find there a lot of people that often need quite a lot of help, but often there isn’t enough funding, so it can be very difficult when we cannot treat people as well as we could have if money was no problem. The of course there are some people who find a lot of the things we are trying to help them with can be very painful, so they can become quite depressed and it can be hard work both for the physiotherapist and the client.

“Let’s move on now to talk about food. What is your favourite kind of food?”

Show answerHmm… Well, I like most things. I really enjoy pizza, but also more traditional foods. In my country we have dish called pierogi, which is kind of a baked dumpling. You can fill it with almost anything, but I really like it when it has mashed potato and beef, as well as some cabbage. It’s delicious! If I’m not really in the mood for cooking though, I eat a lot of fruit. The one thing I’m not very keen on, though, is spinach. I really don’t like the taste!

“Do you cook much yourself?”

Show answerNo, not really. I’m not a very good cook and I don’t enjoy cooking, so I often have takeaway foods for the convenience. When I go back to visit my family, we often all help in the kitchen which is OK because it’s quite a sociable thing to do, but I wouldn’t really bother for myself. I do cook very simple things for breakfast – just something basic like an omelette or something on toast.

“Do you prefer home cooked meals or eating out?”

Show answerThat depends on what kind of food. If it’s more traditional, then I would definitely prefer a home cooked meal. My mum makes a lot of excellent dishes, and I really like the roast dinners she makes. However, if it’s something with a more international flavour, like a curry, I would prefer to eat out – home cooked curries never quite taste the same to me!

“Do you prefer to write letters or send emails?”

Show answerThat depends on whom I am writing to. If it’s to a close friend or family member, I would choose to write a letter. I think it’s much more personal. Having said that, though, I don’t always have the time, and then there’s the added work of getting a stamp and then dropping the letter into a post box, so I often don’t bother and end up sending a quick email instead.  If it’s for work or something more formal, I would always send an email because it’s really useful to be able to keep a record of what I have sent.

“How often do you send letters or emails?”

Show answerWell, as I mentioned, I don’t often send letters, but I send emails every day, especially when I’m at work. I suppose on a busy day I could send up to 40 emails to different people, and then I also spend some time chatting to friends on the internet as well. I’m not a very quick typist, so it can take some time for me to send a message, but I like that it checks my spelling for me!

“Do you prefer to receive letters or emails?”

Show answerWell, if it’s from a friend then I like to receive letters, but I don’t really mind. It’s nice to receive message from people and it doesn’t really matter what form it’s in. To be honest, though, I would prefer to speak to people on the phone – for me, it’s a much better way to communicate because a lot of what people mean comes through in how they say things, and you don’t always get that feeling when you are writing.  

Part Two

Talk about an achievement you are proud of.
You should say:

  • What it is
  • How it happened
  • Where you were when you achieved it

You should also say why you are proud of this achievement.


Show answerI think the achievement that I’m probably the most proud of is actually one that many people have also achieved, but it was reaching the summit of Mount Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan. I think it stands at nearly 4000 metres high, and was one of the most challenging physical activities I have ever done. I was visiting a friend who was working in Japan and he had always wanted to climb the mountain so I thought I would go with him, although at the time I had no idea it would be so hard.

We took a bus about half of the way up, so that’s probably why I thought it would be a lot easier than it was. The bus dropped us off at about 10 p.m., with the plan that we would climb overnight and reach the summit in time for sunrise. For the first few hours, it was quite easy going, but by about 2 a.m., the paths became considerably steeper and it was becoming more difficult to breathe – I think the air was starting to get thin.

By about 4 a.m., we had about 2 hours before sunrise and we still had a long way to go, but each step was getting harder and harder, and that’s when my friend decided he couldn’t go any further so he stopped, but I felt that although it was hard I really wanted to reach the top, so I carried on. With about half an hour to go before sunrise I could see the summit, but each step was a challenge, just to keep going. Near the summit there was a particularly difficult section and I fell. Although I didn’t really hurt myself, it knocked my remaining energy out of me and I thought I wasn’t going to make it in time. However, after a few minutes to get my breath back, I decided that having got so close I would finish it. For the last hundred metres, I was actually crawling on my hands and feet and making such slow progress, but just as the first light of sunrise came I was only about 10 metres from the top.

I was really proud of myself because I’m not really very fit at the best of times, but I really wanted to make the summit. I still have the photograph that I took from the summit, looking down on the clouds as the sun rose.

Part Three

“What are the advantages and disadvantages of encouraging children to be competitive?”

Show answerWell, of course it can be difficult with children because it can be very hard to grow up in a highly competitive environment, but I think the most significant advantage is that it prepares them for the realities of life, and that sometimes you will be successful and other times you may not. It teaches them that it is possible to lose gracefully and demonstrates the importance of trying, but it can also teach them to be good winners. Of course, the disadvantages include the fact that some children may feel like they have failed if they aren’t successful in competition.

“Does material wealth equal success?”

Show answerI would say that it is often used as an indicator of success because it is quantifiable – that is, we can compare people and see which person has more money, and therefore conclude that the richer person is the more successful. In reality, of course, success comes from many sources, most of which cannot be counted or compared. Happiness, for example, is a far better marker of true success, but as it cannot be exactly ‘measured’ it is often overlooked. For me, success would mean having good friends, a close family and a job that challenges me and that I enjoy – the size of the house I live in or the amount in my bank account are not as relevant. Having said that, however, I would say that money can mean success in business terms – obviously a company that makes no money and is permanently in debt cannot be said to be successful.

“Do you think that society has become to consumerist?”

Show answerHmmm… well, that’s a very general statement and there are definitely some people that do not fit into this description, but I suppose on the whole that’s probably true. Although many countries now try to recycle a lot of waste, we live in a society where goods or not designed to, or even expected to, last very long. Take the average computer, for example – what is new today we can almost guarantee will be obsolete in less than 5 years. People buy mobile phones that last only a year or so before they are outdated and are rejected in favour of the newer model. Even those purchases that are more common and day-to-day show little regard for their impact on the environment. Even if you buy a single hamburger you have a mountain of packaging, paper, bags and napkins that need to be thrown away.

How is success measured in your culture?

Show answerThat’s a difficult question to answer, but I suppose that in many respects it is measured in financial terms, or at least in terms of you possessions such as your car or house. But amongst friends, success is measured differently. Amongst my friends, for example, we would agree that we are successful because we have achieved most of the goals we set ourselves. A happy marriage, a good job and future prospects – these are the things that are generally considered the mark of success. Our wealth is only related to success in that it allows for more choices in life, such as good holidays, a good education for our children and good health care for all of us.

“What kinds of people do you admire?”

Show answerOf course there are public figures that have done a lot for society in general – scientists and researchers for example, or even great educators and thinkers like Einstein. Then there are also the more ‘immediate’ role models to be admired such as parents and friends. For me, however, it is people who refuse to give up regardless of the odds. Perhaps a good example of this would be Mark Inglis, a mountain climber and sportsman.

Despite losing both legs below to frostbite when on a climbing expedition, he continued to push himself and achieved some extraordinary feats. He is a champion cyclist and skier, and with the help of two prosthetic has continued his climbing career. IN 2006, he actually reached the top of Mt Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. He achieved all these amazing feats and has also toured around different countries inspiring people with disabilities to have high expectations, not to give in. For me, this is the kind of person I can strongly admire.

Talking about people in the IELTS speaking test lesson 3


Talking about people in the IELTS speaking test lesson 3

Before starting this lesson, make sure you have completed Lesson 1 and Lesson 2.

Talking about people in the IELTS speaking test lesson 3

Learning synonyms is a good way to enrich your English vocabulary, and this will help you achieve a higher IELTS band score. The two columns below contain two lists of adjectives.

Try to match up a word from column one with a synonym in column two, in ten minutes or less.


Column One

1   amusing

2   diligent

3   easy-going

4   fearless

5   generous

6   intelligent

7   loyal

8   optimistic

9   passionate

10 creative

11 rational

12 utopian

Column Two

a dedicated

b idealistic

c funny

d kind

e enthusiastic

f inventive

g faithful

h relaxed

i logical

j intrepid

k positive

l clever

Show answers
  1. amusing = funny
  2. diligent = dedicated
  3. easy-going = relaxed
  4. fearless = intrepid
  5. generous = kind
  6. intelligent = clever
  7. loyal = faithful
  8. optimistic = positive
  9. passionate = enthusiastic
  10. creative = inventive
  11. rational = logical
  12. utopian = idealistic

Now practice in a complete sentence.

Finish the sentences below with an appropriate adjective from Part One.

1. In order to be a successful artist you need to be __________.

Show answers

2. John is such a _________ student, he studies for four or five hours every night.

Show answers

3. Dogs are man’s best friend because they are so _________.

Show answers

4. Sandra’s grandfather is really __________ , he bought her a car for her birthday.

Show answers

5. In an ___________ world there wouldn’t be any suffering or unhappiness.

Show answers

6. Sharks are naturally ___________ , they have no predators and killing is instinctive.

Show answers

7. Maxine is so __________ about Italian movies, she’s decided to study Italian.

Show answers

8. Mathematics requires a ___________ process of thinking.

Show answers

9. In New Zealand you can enjoy an __________ lifestyle.

Show answers

10. It is better to be an ___________ person – it is a much happier outlook on life.

Show answers

11. We watched a very _____________ comedian on TV last night.

Show answers

12. Albert Einstein was an extremely ___________ scientist and mathematician.

Show answers



Talking about people in the IELTS speaking test lesson 1


Talking about people in the IELTS speaking test lesson 1

Talking about people in the IELTS speaking test lesson 1Before you start this exercise, check that you know the meaning of the following words:

  • naughty
  • anxious
  • greedy
  • disappointed
  • polite
  • diligent
  • cheerful
  • depressed
  • messy
  • adventurous

Once you have checked the meaning of the words in the list above, complete each sentence using one of the words.

1. My friend Tom loves activities like mountain climbing, abseiling, white water rafting, bungee jumping and sky diving. In fact, it seems like dangerous situations excite him! Sometimes I wish I could have no fear like him. He is a veryperson.

Show the answer

2. My friend has a very important job interview today. He is really worried about it. He keeps biting his nails and seems so nervous. I told him to calm down and try to relax but he said he feels too.

Show the answer

3. My friend just lost his job and his girlfriend broke up with him. He is feeling very down and. I’m not sure how to cheer him up.

Show the answer

4. My friend’s dog never does what it’s told. It always runs in the house and breaks things. It is very. They need to learn how to discipline it better.

Show the answer

5. My friend’s niece always smiles and laughs. She seems so happy. In fact, I don’t’ think I have ever seen her in a bad mood. She’s a veryperson.

Show the answer

6. My friend is so untidy. He almost never cleans his room. You should see it! It’s so! I told him he will never get a girlfriend if he doesn’t become a cleaner person.

Show the answer

7. My friend didn’t like what his girlfriend got him for his birthday. He looked so! But I told him he should stop being so picky and just appreciate the gift. I think he really hurt her feelings.

Show the answer

8. My friend studies so hard. She always gets her assignments done on time and gets great results. She’s so. I think I should try and be more like her.

Show the answer

9. Ever since my friend got his new job, all he has cared about is money-money-money!! In the past he was so generous and money and possessions didn’t seem important to him. Now he is a very selfish andperson.

Show the answer

10. My friend is a waitress. The job is perfect for her personality because she is always so kind and. Even when the customers are rude to her she keeps smiling and acts very professional.

Show the answer


Now take a look at lesson 2 for describing people in the IELTS test

Making predictions in IELTS

Making predictions in IELTS

NOTE: This lesson is aimed at IELTS writing, but can also be useful for the speaking test.

Making predictions in IELTSExpressing predictions is a useful IELTS skill. Not only does it apply to writing a conclusion, but there is also the possibility of having an essay title that asks you to predict. Verbs, adjectives and adverbs can all be used when writing a prediction.

Here’s a handy guide to help:

Verbs of prediction

  • Many people think/do not think …
  • This can be anticipated to…
  • This will…
  • Many people strongly suspect this will…
  • It is commonly believed …
  • From a personal opinion/view …
  • Some people hold that this will…

Adjectives of prediction

  • It is probable that…
  • It is likely that…
  • It is possible that…
  • It is unlikely that…
  • It is doubtful that…

Adverbs of prediction

  • This will undoubtedly lead to…
  • This will certainly lead to…
  • This will definitely lead to…
  • This will probably lead to…
  • This will possibly lead to…
  • This would lead to…
  • This would possibly lead to…
  • This might lead to…

Be careful when using the stronger degrees of certainty (e.g. will undoubtedly) – if you are only presenting an opinion that others are likely to disagree with, then it could be considered too dogmatic (an opinion presented as a fact).

Supporting your predictions

Predictions are just like any other opinion in a Task II essay. After you have stated them, you should justify and support them.
For example (the section in bold is the support):

It is likely that newspapers will become less popular, largely because of the dominance of the internet and the availability of many news websites.

Practice writing about predictions

Can you extend these prompts into complete sentences using the language in the table above, and then adding your own support? An example has been done for each prompt.

1. Journalists / more interested in the social lives of famous people

Click here to see an example answer
It is highly likely that journalists will become increasingly interested in reporting the social lives of famous people,  as there seems to be a popular demand for such news that has increased in recent years as can be seen by the exposure given to the Kardashian family.

2. Tabloid newspapers / become more widely read than serious newspapers

Click here to see an example answer
Fewer people are reading serious newspapers these days, which will certainly lead to tabloid newspapers being read more than serious newspapers. This is arguably the result of a reduced focus on being informed rather than entertained.
3. Newspapers / become interactive / within ten years

Click here to see an example answer
Many people anticipate newspapers becoming more interactive within the next ten years, as can already be seen by the number of apps available to read newspaper content online using tablets and smartphones.
4. Majority of candidates / get / 8.5 / IELTS test

Click here to see an example answer
It is doubtful that the majority of candidates will get 8.5 in their IELTS tests, as this is almost the highest possible score and higher than is required by most universities or immigration departments.


Complete IELTS Task 2 essay requiring predictions

As mentioned at the beginning of this page, there is a chance that you will be required to focus on predictions for the majority of your essay. Take a look at the essay title below and see if you could write a good essay.

Click here to read a model answer for this Task

The task should take about 40 minutes.
As we move into the digital age, books and newspapers are becoming less important. Within
the next 20 years, computers will have entirely replaced any other such form of media.
To what extent do you agree with the above?
Write a minimum of 250 words.

Difficult Part 2 topic cards in IELTS

Difficult Part 2 topic cards in IELTS

Difficult Part 2 topic cards in IELTSIn Part 2 of the IELTS speaking test the examiner will give you a topic card that you will need to talk about for 2 minutes, after you have had 1 minute preparation time. But what happens if the examiner gives you a topic card that you have no ideas about and will not be able to talk about?

For example, if you have no interest in art or art galleries and really have no opinion on the subject, what would you do if this was your topic?

 Describe a piece of art that you likeYou should say:
  • what it is
  • where you saw it
  • why you like it

You should also say whether you would recommend it to someone else.


Here are some tips that will help!

Tip 1: Don’t panic!

It’s hard to do when you’re in the middle of your test, but it’s important to remain calm. Remember you have 60 seconds to prepare an answer, so take a few seconds to read the topic card again to see if there’s anything there that can you feel you could talk about.

Tip 2: Be honest

Although you cannot ask the examiner to give you another card and you cannot simply say ‘I don’t have anything to say about this’, you can tell the examiner that this is not really your kind if subject. For example:

‘Well, the topic card is asking about a piece of art that I like, but to be completely honest, I’m really not that interested in art in any form. However, I can tell you about…..’

Tip 3: Focus on anything in the subject or the prompts that you can talk about

In the example topic card above, you may have nothing to say about a piece of art you like, but can you talk about anything related? The second prompt on the card asks ‘where you saw it’ – can you say anything about local art galleries in your area or your hometown? Have you ever been to an art gallery? If so, did you like it? If you have never been to an art gallery, why not? You can talk about the lack of local facilities, or a general disinterest in art because no-one in your family is interested and you never went to galleries as a child. Even if you are only talking tangentially (not exactly or directly) about the topic, you will not lose points.

Tip 4: Be someone else

Personally, I have no real interest in art, so if I had to speak for two minutes on the topic card above, I would have trouble – and I’m a native English speaker and IELTS instructor! However, I do have a friend who is interested in art, so for the two minutes I was talking, I would pretend to be him. Why does my friend like going to galleries? What does he get out of his visits? How does he feel about art? Has he ever said anything to you about traditional versus modern art? By thinking about a question from the perspective of someone with an interest in the subject, it becomes easier to talk about.

Tip 5: Redefine the question

If you really feel that you will not be able to talk for the full two minutes of the subject, make sure that the examiner knows that you are modifying the question slightly. For example:

‘To tell the truth, I can’t talk much about art, but I am quite interested in museums. I think they are more important than art as they are a reflection of our past, and our history tells us more about who we are than art does – at least in my opinion.’

You have now told the examiner that you are moving the question away from the topic and on to something else. NOTE: try to make what you are going to talk about related to the topic in some way. For example, don’t start talking about a holiday you had or your favourite type of food!

Tip 6: Remember the focus of the speaking test

Keep in mind that is a speaking test – you are being assessed not on how accurate your response is compared to the question, but on how well you can communicate your point of view. You are NOT penalised for an indirect or unrelated answer so long as what you are saying is clear and logical. To illustrate, did you know that there is NO penalty for not covering all of the prompts on the topic card?


Take a look at some of the more unusual topic cards below – how would you respond?

Talk about something you used to collect.

You should say:

  • what you collected
  • whether your collection grew over time
  • why you collected them

You should also say whether you normally collect things.


Talk about a board game you have played.

You should say:

  • what type of game it is
  • how the game is played
  • when you started playing it

You should also say whether you still play this game.


Describe a sporting event you took part in recently.

You should say:

  • why you were involved
  • what you did
  • how many people were with you

You should also say whether you would do this again