How to Use Ideas for IELTS Speaking Part 2: Tips

It is important that you understand what ideas you can use for your IELTS speaking Part 2. You need to know what topics are appropriate and how a topic can be expanded.

On this page you will see:

  • a list of ideas
  • a model answer
  • examiner comments
  • a list of vocabulary
  • useful link
  • a picture

Possible Ideas

Lets look at this topics: An Activity near the Sea. Below is a list of possible topics:

Let me give you a current speaking part 2 topic: An Activity Near the Sea You have Done

Which of the following ideas can you use for this topic?

  1. Fishing
  2. Water-skiing
  3. Swimming
  4. Sunbathing
  5. Shopping
  6. Photography
  7. A lazy day near the sea
  8. A future holiday near the sea

Decide which of the above ideas is possible for the this topic.

Answer

You can use all of the above ideas for your Speaking Part 2 talk about an activity near the sea.

The examiner is not marking your ideas. It does not affect your score to go off topic. You are not marked on using relevant ideas.

Your speaking score is based 100% on your English language – nothing more. You are not even marked on understanding. You are only marked on fluency, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.

How to Use Ideas for Speaking Part 2

See this model answer below to learn how to use all the above ideas:

Model Answer

I will tell you about a place I have been to near the sea and all the activities there were on offer there. Personally, I go to the sea to enjoy the sea air and see family. But there are also plenty of other things to do.

The town I go to is called Hoi An, which is both by the sea and also situated on a river. Most people take part in fishing and swimming, although the current in the sea can sometimes be a bit strong. It’s not the best place for water-skiing due to the waves, so most people just take a dip in the sea and sunbathe. Along the coast line are loads of shops selling a variety of souvenirs. I often enjoy browsing when I have the time.

The town itself is incredibly pretty. It is a UNESCO heritage site and boasts amazingly photographic scenes, particularly as daylight fades in the evening and the town has a golden glow under the street lamps. It attracts a lot of photographers from around the world and, the last time I was there, I couldn’t stop taking snap shots as I pottered around the town.

I think Hoi An is the perfect place for a lazy day near the sea. It’s not just because there are activities to do but because there is just a pleasant feel of arriving in another world that takes your breath away. I plan to have a lot more holidays there in the future. In fact, I’ve already booked my next trip.

Comments

You can see that this model answer does not focus on one activity near the sea. Instead, this model answer offers lots of activities as it describes a holiday.

This model answer would get band score 9. It is fine to adapt the topic and bring in lots of ideas to develop your story. The talk is informal (all IELTS speaking is informal) and you can see this in the style. It is chatty, friendly and full of interesting ideas – with great vocabulary.

Speaking part 2 has no questions, just prompts. It is your task to go beyond the prompts and add lots more information that isn’t asked for in order to develop your talk and showcase your English. Going off topic by adding more detail does not affect your score. Your ideas are not marked in IELTS speaking.

Vocabulary

  • the sea air
  • the current can be strong
  • take a dip in the sea
  • variety of souvenirs
  • enjoy browsing
  • photographic scenes
  • as daylight fades
  • golden glow
  • taking snap shots
  • potter around
  • take your breath away

You can see that the vocabulary is mostly informal or descriptive. This is prefect for IELTS speaking part 2 when you are describing a place or a memory.

See my IELTS Speaking Tips

Click here to see all my IELTS Speaking Topics, Tips and Model Answers

Hoi An, Central Vietnam

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Question about speaking part 2 topic: Water

Hi guys,

Many students ask me if their idea for topics in speaking part 2 is ok. I want to see how much you understand about choosing an idea for part 2 speaking.

Let me give you a current speaking part 2 topic: An Activity Near the Sea You have Done

Which of the following ideas can you use for this topic?

  1. Fishing
  2. Water-skiing
  3. Swimming
  4. Sunbathing
  5. Shopping
  6. Photography
  7. A lazy day near the sea
  8. A future holiday near the sea

Decide which of the above ideas is possible for the this topic.

Answers

 

Find out how to use these ideas: How to use Ideas for Speaking Part 2: Activity near the Sea

This page: Ideas, will show you how to use ideas, a model band score 9 answer and vocbaulary.

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How I got IELTS Band Score 9 Overall

Overall IELTS 9: A student’s Tips

Learn how Gokul, an IELTS student, got overall band score 9 in IELTS this year. He shares his useful tips and experience with you in order to help and inspire you to achieve your best in your IELTS test.

IELTS Test Results: Band 9

Date – 15th July, 2017
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka.

  • Overall Band Score 9
  • Listening: 9
  • Reading: 9
  • Writing: 8
  • Speaking 9

Gokul’s Tips for IELTS Overall Band Score 9

This was my first ever IELTS attempt. I had never thought that I’d be required specifically to do IELTS, since my studies have only ever been in English. Even the university that I’d applied for my Masters seemed happy enough to accept me without an IELTS requirement. However, I was told by my destination country’s embassy that they can only issue a visa given that I show an IELTS grade of 7 overall or above.

I had barely 10 days to prepare and do the test, since the results would take roughly 2 weeks to be released.

I’m listing some of the things that I followed, and I hope that you find it useful in your own preparation.

IELTS Listening Band Score 9 Tips

I’d say that the listening test is all about practice. I did about 8 practice tests, and I as I was doing them I was able to see that I was getting better at picking up the points needed for the answer the more I practiced.

In my own test, I had a woman who spoke in a Scottish accent, and I’d say that this is one of the accents that people outside of the UK seldom come across. This is why I recommend that it’s imperative that you try out some practice tests by yourselves. This would enable you to get used to the formats as well as the intonation and accents used by the people that you hear in the recording. Liz has a number of excellent practice lessens on the blog at the IELTS Listening page.

You might sometimes find that you’ve missed the answer to a given question. If this happens – don’t worry! Panicking will only reduce your concentration and might cause you to lose more answers.

I also also recommend writing the answer in capital letters so that the examiner would find it easier to read what you’ve written.

Finally, make good use of the extra 10 minutes that you’re allowed at the end of the test. This can be used for filling out any answers that you may have missed.

IELTS Reading Band Score 9 Tips

I found the reading exam the easiest of the lot. You can read the passages on your own pace as opposed to following a preset sequence of events as in the listening test. I finished the test in about 40 minutes and had time to go through my answers again to check them for errors.

While there are some that say reading the entire passage is not worth it, I would still suggest that you at least skim the passages to get the gist of the content before you start. I recommend this in particular to people whose reading speed is high. This way, when you encounter a question, you’d have an inkling of where in the passage you saw the answer point.

Another point that I can’t stress enough is that you should never overthink the question. This was my biggest problem in the reading practice tests. Over-analysing the statement will often lead to incorrect answers. For YES/NO/NOT GIVEN type questions, if the passage explicitly agrees with the statement, say YES, and if it explicitly contradicts the statement, say NO. In all other cases, say NOT GIVEN.

Again, Liz has a set of excellent tips as well as practice questions in the IELTS Reading page.

IELTS Writing Band Score 8 Tips

My writing test for Task 1 involved a bar chart which compared bottled water vs. soda consumption in some western countries, while for task 2 I had the following:

Most countries want to improve the standard of living through economic development, however, others think the social value is lost as a result. Do you think the advantages of economic development outweigh the disadvantages?

I followed Liz’s tips on writing task 1writing task 2 to the letter and found that having a strategy helped me immensely. If you’re just starting out answering the tasks without a plan, it would likely end up costing you more time. As Liz rightly states, time management is vitally important in the writing test. I’d also recommend that you go through the answers you’ve written as well, which will help spot any errors that you may have made. A quick once-over may help you save points that you’d have lost if you’d misspelled any word.

IELTS Speaking Band Score 9 Tips

My speaking test went very well, and I almost felt as if I’d had a pleasant chat with the examiner as opposed to being graded.

My speaking part 1 was mostly about work/life balance (probably because I’d said that I was working full-time).

Then, for part 2, I was asked to speak about an important historical event and how it had helped shape the present. I picked the Assassination of Julius Caesar and it went without a hitch.

Part 3 then followed up on history and why it’s important to learn it.

For part 2, I took some short notes on the notepad given to me, which helped me marshal my thought before the test itself. You can also structure your own flow which would enable you to showcase your language skills without being held up by lack of content. This is important because pauses due to language limitations will negatively impact your score.

It’s also worth noting that what’s being tested is your language level and not the content you’re presenting. Hence, if you don’t have an answer, you can say no and take it as an opportunity to display your proficiency. For instance, I was asked whether I had any pets, and I said something along the lines of “No, I’ve never really had the chance, but my neighbour has a beautiful Labrador that I enjoy playing with..” and so on.

Be clear and confident, and you’d do fine.

Closing thoughts from Gokul

Lastly, though you’re probably here to prepare for your exams, I’d urge that you develop an interest in the English Language in general. Not only would you find that it provides you with new opportunities, it would also help you enjoy some of the finest literature ever produced.

Liz – I can’t thank you enough for your collection of resources and materials for prospective test-takers. They were invaluable to me, and doubtless to countless others as well. Keep up the good work.

Message from Liz: Thanks for sharing your tips and your experience, Gokul. You’ve done amazingly well and clearly understand IELTS. I hope this will inspire students to learn more about their test before taking it.

High IELTS Band Score Tips

Click below to read more success stories about students:

How I got band 9 in IELTS speaking

How I got overall band score 8.5

How I scores band score 9 in reading

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Is Band 9 possible in IELTS?

Hi guys,

Share your thoughts…

  1. Do you think it is possible to get an overall band score of 9 in IELTS?
  2. Have you ever known someone get band 9 overall?

Post your answers in the comments box below.

Liz

 

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Repeating the question: Find the answer to yesterday’s question

Hi guys,

I’ve posted answers and advice about asking the IELTS examiner to repeat the question in speaking. You can find details of the answers and tips on yesterday’s page. Click here: Asking to Repeat the Question

 

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Asking to Repeat the question in IELTS speaking

Some people ask if it is ok to ask the examiner to repeat the question in IELTS speaking. Can you ask for the question to be repeated? Will you get a lower mark if you ask for the question to be repeated?

Can I ask the IELTS examiner to repeat the question without it affecting my score?

The answer is simple:

  1. It’s fine to ask for the question to be repeated.
  2. It won’t affect your marks.
  3. You are not marked on your understanding in IELTS speaking. You are not marked down if you go off topic. It’s ok to go off topic in IELTS speaking. You are not marked for your ideas.
  4. Your IELTS speaking score is based on four criterion:
    1. Fluency
    2. Vocabulary
    3. Grammar
    4. Pronunciation
  5. This means only your language is marked in IELTS speaking.

What questions can you ask the examiner?

In part 1, you can ask the examiner to repeat the question. It is useful to give you time to think. In part 3, you can ask the examiner to explain what they mean. This means they can rephrase the question so you can understand it better. However, you can’t ask for a new topic.

Learn more about what questions you can and can’t ask: Asking the examiner questions

———————–

Getting Band 9 in Speaking

Get useful tips about how one student got Band Score 9 in IELTS Speaking:

Click here: How I got band score 9

Get all Liz’s Model Answers and Tips for IELTS Speaking

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Is a Conclusion Important in IELTS Writing Task 2?

A conclusion is essential for IELTS writing task 2. It is more important than most people realise. You will be penalised for missing a conclusion in your IELTS essay.

Conclusions: What are they worth in IELTS Essays?

There are four marking criteria for writing task 2:

  • Task Response
  • Coherence & Cohesion
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary

Your conclusion falls under the criterion of Task Response. You are given a band score for each criterion and then a total band score for writing task 2. If you fail to have a conclusion, you will get under band score 6 in Task Response, which is 25% of your marks.

Paragraphs in Writing Task 2

You must divide your essay into paragraphs. You can have four paragraphs or five paragraphs in total. You should not have three and you can’t have six. See below:

Option 1

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1
  3. Body Paragraph 2
  4. Conclusion

Option 2

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1
  3. Body Paragraph 2
  4. Body Paragraph 3
  5. Conclusion

Conclusion Length & Content

Your conclusion should be one or two sentences long. Not more. It is a waste of timing having a long conclusion and it won’t help your score.

Your conclusion should summarise the main points you provided in your essay.

———-ADVANCED IELTS LESSONS———–

  • Expert training in IELTS Essays
  • Advanced Writing Task 2 Lessons
  • High Band Score Techniques
  • Liz’s Best Writing Lessons
  •    Click here:    Liz’ Online Store  

————————————————————-

Conclusion Linking Words

Use the right words to start your conclusion for IELTS writing task 2. This lesson is for IELTS essays in both GT and Academic writing. Using the wrong linking words will lower your score.

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Question for you about conclusions in WT2

Conclusions for writing task 2

Some students have written in and told me that they didn’t write a conclusion for their essay. They wanted to know if it is a serious problem to run out of time and miss the conclusion. The questions below are for both GT and Academic students.

Questions for you:

  1. Do you think the conclusion is important in writing task 2?
  2. Do you think having no conclusion is a serious problem for your band score?

Answers

I have written a full page answer for these questions.

Click here: Is a Conclusion Important? Tips and Advice

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