IELTS Speaking Part 2: Will I get a low score if I speak for less than 2 mins?

In speaking part 2, you will be given a topic, 1 min to prepare and then Β you will need to speak for between 1-2 mins. The examiner will not move on to part 3 until 1 minute has passed of your talk and the examiner will stop you at exactly 2 minutes to prevent you speaking further. So, this means you have between 1 and 2 minutes available to you for your talk.

Speaking part 2 is the only part of the test where you can show the examiner that you can speak at length. So, if you are aiming for a higher score, this is a great opportunity to impress the examiner with fluency.

However, if you run out of things to say after 1 minute then tell the examiner you have finished so that the examiner can move on to the next part of the test. You can say ‘I’ve finished’.

Here are some more points to consider:

  • It is better to give a strong, fluent talk for 1.5 minutes than a weak, hesitant talk for 2 mins.
  • You can still get a high score if you only speak for 1.5 minutes but only if the quality of your talk is very good.
  • The criterion of fluency accounts for 25% of your marks and is taken from your overall performance in all parts not only in part 2.
  • If you wish to lengthen your talk, Β then add more information. The prompts (the points on the topic card) are only guidelines – you can and should expand on each one.

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  1. iyke peter says:

    I just finished my test dis morning on the section 2 I discover I was too fast and I pause for some seconds do u tink if it will affect my band

  2. hi liz.
    i have some troubles ! i cannot hear because i have hearing problem , i have to use hearing aids and i also cannot speak very clearly !! what i can do ?

    • You need to contact your test center and ask them if you can submit a doctors certificate.

    • Hi
      Today I had an exam.
      Do you work or study? Where do I live< Do I want to go back after finishing the uni. Do I want to work for international company? In which country and why?
      I had a stop in the second part of the speaking and the examiner showed me with her hand to continue I continued the other parts were good.
      Is the booking for another exam before I receive the result would effect the result of the exam I just wrote today

      • You can book another test as soon as you want and it won’t affect your score for the previous test at all. Each test is marked separately and often with different examiners. Even the examiner who marks your writing, doesn’t know your speaking score. It’s all independent in order to be more accurate. However, you should only book another test when you feel you have developed and improved.

  3. Part 1:
    Were do u live, what is your name, do you work, why did you choose this work, do you plan to change your job in the future,
    Part 2:
    Describe a gift or present you gave to someone recently, you should say
    What is it, who did you gave it to, why you choose that gift, how the person though about it, explain why you think it will help the person
    Part 3:
    When do you normally give gifts, is it good to give gifts to children
    Accra, Ghana

  4. Hello,

    Can you see a timer in the second speaking part?

  5. beverlene says:


    I just finished my speaking today..
    Im afraid that i was not able to speak well in part 2.(with long pauses and short answers)
    Is part 2 weigh more than part 1 and 3? Though, i think i was able to speak well in part 3.

    Thank you..Your site is so helpful

    • Your score is calculated over your performance in the whole test. Each part is not marked separately and no part of worth more than the other. The examiner assesses your overall performance. Fingers crossed for your results πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Liz. I’ve seen your videos recently and it helped me a lot in easing my tension of taking the exam. I just finished my Speaking test this morning and now I’m feeling anxious about the band score that I would get from this. I can say my part 1&2 went well. Is it okay if I was stopped during the part 2 though I finished answering the questions but still had been talking side stories for that? And the most frustrating thing bothering me is my part 3. I had a slightly long paused and then talked about the topic but mostly the interviewer kept on reminding me ‘in general’ because I run out of ideas about the topic pressure and when tried to bring examples, she insist on telling me that. I believe there isn’t much to explain and I might sound repetitive if I kept on discussing that so I hope examples would do but then that happened. Is this a bad thing? Is there still any chance I could get a band 7 for this because it’s the required score for my visa application.

    • There are four marking criteria: fluency, grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. You are not marked on understand the questions or finishing your talk. Only on your language. So, have a think about how good your language was – the range and accuracy. Try not to worry, it’s over now. Just wait for your results with fingers crossed πŸ™‚

      • Thank you for your response. I think I might have voiced out some pretty uncommon words and I was able to speak fluently with more than average speed on the first two parts but that third part really bothers me. I still have the written part of my exam this coming Saturday, what other tips would you like to add to help me perform better on this second half part? Especially on the essay part. Thanks again in advance.

  7. Hi Liz!
    I have been using your site for preparation of the exam on 25th Feb. I scored 7 last time but this time I was very good in written test but in speaking I got confused especially in task 2. I could not speak for more than 45 sec I guess. However part 1 and 2 went well. He asked me would you like to add something? As soon as I started he said lets go ahead. I think I spoke irrelavent so,. How much will this effect my score as I got 7 in speaking last time.

    • You are not marked on ideas, so irrelevant information doesn’t matter to your score. Speaking for under 1 min in part 2 speaking illustrates poor fluency, which is 25% of your score. But if your fluency was strong in other parts that may not have such a negative impact. You must now wait for your results.

  8. Dear Liz
    first of all thank you for all useful pieces information given in this site that always have helped me too much. Unfortunately today in my ielts exam I experienced a disaster. I did really well in part 1 and two. I remeber that in part 2 I spoke about more than one minute and after a while when the examiner mentioned with her hand movements that I should continue, I went on. unfortunately in part 3,for the last question I wanted her to repeat her question one more time, but agian it was a bit strange to me and I asked her to explain or paraphrase it,but she said the time had been up and you unfortunately could not even answer the question.I felt really diasappointed, I did well in all parts with good range of vocabulary and grammer, just for one question in part 3 after a bit hesitation when she repeated one more time, I answered completely with a bit effort.It was exception to the last question.
    However I know it will be impossible to predict my ielts exam, but if I did well in all parts, due to the fact that I was not given a chance to answer the last question, would I be able to get 7? you know I have to take the other parts on saturday morning and I am too stressed.
    thank you for all your kindness

    • It doesn’t matter if you answered the question or not. You are not marked on how many questions you answered. You are not marked on understanding the question. You are not marked on ideas. You are marked on the language you produced and nothing more. So, relax and wait for you results!! πŸ™‚

  9. kammularamgopal says:

    I just spoken. For 45 seconds in. Task 2 with Long pauses but I did very well in task 1 and good in task 3 .so what will be m.y score
    A guess?.

  10. Divas Shrestha says:

    Hi maΒ΄am,
    In task 2 of the speaking test when we are given a cue card, I asked a question about the task. The task was to describe an event in the history that is important and I asked if it was related to me in particular or about general things. the examiner didn’t say anything but signalled me to write. Will it affect my scores?

  11. Hi Liz,
    I have just finished my speaking exam today.Concerning part 2,once the examiner told me I might start talking,I was taking a breath before starting just for 2 seconds that she waived me to begin.I immediately embarked on my topic but in the middle of the talk I stopped for one second to check one of the points in my cue card placed on the desk,then I went on with my speech again until she stopped me at the end,I did not make any other pauses.Do you think those situations might affect my fluency score?

    • No they wont’. It’s fine to take a second to check your notes, even native speakers have to do that. And it is normal to have a very slight pauses before launching into a talk. Don’t worry about it if those are the only pauses you showed in the test.

  12. I mean, how much is important the conclusion for the part 2 of speaking test?

  13. I had my paper today in task 3 I spoke for less amount, the invigilator asked me to speak more again after some seconds I stopped and wasn’t able to answer one question accurately, how much can it effect my score .?

    • It will probably have a negative impact on your score, particularly for fluency which is 25% of your marks. However, how it will affect your overall score I can’t say without hearing your full test including the other parts.

      • Hi, today i had my speaking test. Everything went so smooth. But unfortunately at cue card section. I was asked about an event you spent with child but i spoke of my childhood event which i spent with my little friend i spoke more than 2 minutes. How much it will affect my score kindly let me know.

    • It will probably have a negative impact on your score, particularly for fluency which is 25% of your marks. However, how it will affect your overall score I can’t say without hearing your full test including the other parts.

  14. what if i remain silent for 15 to 20 seconds in part 2 and repeated few sentences

  15. Hi Liz!
    I took GT exam in Qatar on 19th Nov.
    I’m very much worried with my speaking & writing exam.
    In speaking, I was lost for words & I even said “what do you call this” maybe twice because I was so nervous. Do you think I can still get a score of 6, lowest score needed for immigration.
    Thanks for the great help, your website was very useful even just for a very limited time.

  16. Hi, Liz. I just took my IELTS speaking test today. All topics given are the topic in your practice list. It helped me a lot. Thank you very much.

    Part 1 was about my hometown, how I spend my weekends, movie.
    Part 2 was about a person I usually spend time with.

    However, I talked about my visit to my grandmother house during weekends and I talked again the same topic in the part 2 about the grandmother who I love to spend time with. The content I talked for both parts were almost similar and without much paraphrasing, but I did add more details in part 2 the reason I love to time with my grandmother.

    Besides, I think that I didnt really speak for 1.5-2 minutes because the examiner asked me question after I stopped talking and before proceed to part 3.

    Would it affect my score in IELTS?

    • You are marked on your English language. If you didn’t use the questions to demonstrate a range of language, then you might struggle to get a high score. Each question is an opportunity to showcase your English and you should develop skills to do that naturally. Anyway, there’s no way to really know how you did until your results come out. Fingers crossed!! πŸ™‚

    • How was your speaking result teo?

  17. Prerna Vij says:

    Hi Liz,

    I read a lot of comments on your blog. I had my IELTS exam on 5 november. I halted in my part 2 speaking exam and the Examiner signed me to continue speaking. Please let me know that is it too negative and I will get low score because of that?

    • It might affect your score for fluency if you had problems talking at length. But it really depends on your performance throughout the whole test, not just one part. Good luck with your results!

      • Prerna Vij says:

        Thank you so much Liz…..I was fluent but there was a halt in 2 minutes…..anyways lets see how much I will score… Thanks again πŸ™‚

  18. Christine says:

    Dear Liz
    I took my Speaking Test today, I think I was quite fluent in part 1 and 3, they were about transport and advertisement. I did use some idioms, uncommon words and attempted some complex grammar structures , but in part 2 I was off topic and hesitated a lot.
    My cue card was about describing a journey I often go on but I dislike it. in stead I talked about a journey I once went on and I didn’t like it.
    I am worried whether this will affect my score.
    thanks in advance

    • Christine says:

      the examiner even reminded me that I was off topic πŸ™

    • It shouldn’t affect your score even if you were off topic. You are marked on your level of English, not your ideas. So, going off topic doesn’t matter in speaking. Of course the examiner might bring you back on to topic but it won’t affect your score. In writing task 2, this is completely different as you are marked on both your English and your ideas.

      • Hi liz,
        I had my speaking test ony 08-nov-16. I had my part 2 about to describe wild animal but. I spoke about dog which is domestic animal. Does this will effect my band score ?if yes how much.

    • liz me stop in cue card i covered my all cue but examiner gave me gesture to speak more it will affect my band score or not

  19. Hi Liz,
    In speaking test part 2, can I choose some of the prompts (not all) in the leading card if I can explain or add information long enough to 2 minute?
    Best Regards,

  20. Aishwarya Ranjan says:

    Hi Liz,

    Hope you are doing good!

    Today I attended my speaking test in idp, but didn’t perform well in part 2 ,I took pause for some time,overall part 2 was not upto the mark. Rest part 1 and 3 was good. Will it effect my marks?
    Kindly help me in that I am bit tensed.

    Aishwarya Ranjan

    • Your score for fluency is marked over the whole test. If all other areas were fine, you might still do well.

      • Aishwarya Ranjan says:

        Thanks πŸ™‚ Hope to get good band.

      • Gayathri Sampath says:

        Hi Liz,

        I took my Listening, reading and writing test yesterday. I did well in reading but in listening, am bit worried since I am not up to the expected level. The problem is only with the multiple choices, where i got nearly 15 questions. Writing part is okay for me. I completed my speaking test 3days before and hopefully done well. My fluency as well as vocabulary was good. However, there were some typos in my grammar and also, I only got overall 15 questions from part 1 to part 3 in 14minutes. Is this means, my time management level is poor? Although I stayed in the topic and didn’t even pause, I feel some wrong in this, please let me know your views.

  21. Hi Liz,

    I jusr take part exam and under strong stress could not answer cue card completely.
    How it can affect my score?
    For instance I should wait for 6 ?!?!?!

    Best regards,

  22. hello Liz
    This is suganya from India. Today I took my ielts speaking test. in part 2 I was asked to speak about a thing that I shared with someone. but instead of thing I spoke about a piece of advice that I shared with someone. at the end when the examiner moved on to the next question she stressed the word “thing”. only then I realized I read the question as something and not some thing. Will I be marked 0 for part for going off topic?

  23. i had some problem in speaking then how can i rectife the problem mainly in part 2 in speaking module

  24. makshat says:

    I greeted examiner with her name and did not used mam word but she was too elder than it will affect my band score.

  25. Jeson Menezes says:

    Dear Liz,

    Hope you are doing fine?

    Is it possible to club together the marks of 2 attempts to get better scores? I had the following scores:

    First attempt:
    Overall 7.5
    Listening 8.5
    Reading 7.5
    Speaking 6.5
    Writing 6.5

    Second attempt:
    Overall 6.5
    listening 7
    Reading 6.5
    Speaking 7
    Writing 6

    Please advice.

    Best Regards,

    • It would be great to club the scores together but unfortunately it’s not possible. Scores can fluctuate by 0.5 or even one whole band score depending on a person’s performance in the test and the luck of the topics. But for writing, you should get training to hit over 6 or 6.5 See my advanced lessons if you need help.

  26. Is football shoes a clothing item?? And what if I gave totally out of the topic answer in Part 2 of speaking. Will marks be not given on that part?

    • There is no score for being on or off topic in speaking. You are marked only on your English language.

  27. Maltesh says:

    Hi Liz,

    I had my speaking test in Bangalore – India.

    I think overall it was OK OK. I didnt use too many complex words, perhaps I might have used few, my vocabulary was fairly good

    But in task 2 question was:
    Describe a situation when someone apologized to you
    1. When it was
    2. Who apologized you
    3. What you said/did after they apologized
    Also describe why it is special for you to remember it.

    I spoke for around 1.5 mins, but i thought time is getting over and I stopped and answered points 1 & 2. But didnt answer 3 & last one.

    3rd round went good around the apologizing topic. There I think I repeatedly used”Apolgize” few times.

    What do you thing how much my score likely would be?

  28. Marya Lauigan says:

    Hi liz,

    I just seated for exam today but i am worried i may not get a 7.0 in speaking, what would be the basis to get a 7.0. I was able to answer all questions and gave an example in each or expand my ideas but i feel that i may not get the grade that i need. The last time i took it was only 6.5. Im afraid its gonna be the same.

  29. Hi Liz,
    I have a small query which is eating away my mind day by day…Today I appeared in IELTS Speaking test and in part 2 at one of the situations I used the word ‘fabled’ instead of ‘baffled’, but the overall test was good. How much score the may deduct for this mistake?

  30. what if someone become nervous during exam but gives positive answers,
    will this nervousness decrease the band score?

  31. Hi Liz,
    I’d like to ask on how much will the grade be affected if you’re unable to answer one question?

  32. roshan bista says:

    hy liz, i am from nepal.i can’t even speak for 1.5 minutes .can you help me please?

  33. Arifine Al Haque says:

    In part two i only spoke for 1 min, But i think it was better conversation. How much it will effect to my result?

  34. In by speaking test in part 2 I was totally opposite to my question they asked me whc new skill uwant to develop by I told I want to develop a new thing in mobile I was totally opposite dose it affect my score

  35. Actually iii my speaking test in part 2 like they asked me what new skill u want to develop and I was stuck and I totally opposite to my question I told I want to develop a new software in mobiles its was totally wrong and rest I did well like they will reduce my score

  36. Hi Liz,

    I had my speaking test yesterday in Malaysia, and I felt that I did the first and the third sections well. However, in the Cue Card section (Topic : Discuss a place, where you feel comfortable to read or write apart from your home), I was hardly given 30 seconds to think about my answer, before I was asked to speak. I barely had time to think, so as to speak for 2 minutes, and hence I felt that I ended up, speaking just for 1 minute, as I ran out of ideas and could not come up with anything else to speak. In this one minute also, I felt that I repeated two points. I can say that the grammatical errors were definitely less in my speech and the fluency was good. Can I expect a score of BAND 7?
    I am just concerned that if the speech is less than a minute, then there is no chance to score a BAND 7. Could you please share your opinion on this?


  37. Natasha Nur Mumu says: I gave my speking test.. part one was good enough..but in part 2 I didn’t speak enough although I didn’t stop .but it was not good enough πŸ™ and it break me totally. how ever my 3rd part was better. what is the lowest marks on this sector ? and who gives us marks?

    • You are given an overall score and are not scored on each part individually. The examiner gives your score.

      • vemuri sowmya says:

        hi madam please give me a adivice i didnt done my cue card well i stopped in 2mins i did not talk for 1 min but i did excellent in other except cue card

  38. Hy… my case is quite opposite. I wasn’t able to answer all the question in cue card within the allowed time. i m not sure though,as she stopped me and i have a feeling like she stopped me before two minutes. Lets just say she gave me 2min and still i failed. So, is there any mark deduction for that? how much? Apart from this,i faced no difficulty to answer all the questions in part 1 and part 3. Thanks in advance.

  39. Hlo mam,
    I gave speaking test today and part 1 gone well whereas I was stuck on part 2 as I was asked to speak on article that you read on magazine or internet .
    And I said. as technology has progressed by leaps and bounds and internet is an invention of technology and recently i read an article on internet in which it was said for a healthy lifestyle you should have a clean washroom an as it is an essential part of the home moreover having a healthy lifestyle has only pros and no cons and it is very useful for individual to have a good lifestyle so that he can sustain in this world

  40. hi LIZ,
    my exam will be on 21 nov in India.
    I am gOod ALL pARtS except pArt 2 .plz give me some tips and cue cards that I should prepare for my best. plzzzzzz reply me plzzzzz.

  41. Aashina Miya says:

    hlo liz .. i hav completed my speaking session today 6 nov .. in part 2 they hav ask me about hapy event recent … i told them about family and frends gathering party after earthquake …will it be ok

  42. Hi liz.. i took my ielts speaking test today.. The examiner asked me only 3 questions in PART 1 which are
    1) tell me abt ur hometown where u grew up.
    2) do u think ur hometown is good to grew up?
    3)would u like to shift to a countryside in the future?
    I think i gave that part well.
    After that she moved to part 2.. i was a bit confused why she asked only 3 questions, moreover in question 2 she inturrepted me in the middle and asked the 3rd question.. CAN U TELL ME PLZ WHAT DOES IT SHOWS?

    In PART 2 she asked
    Tell me about a person whose job you like the most..
    I answered that person as Edhi(Philanthropist) and that part also went well.

    In PART 3 she fired on me alot of questions which are
    1. Would u like to work as that person u mentioned?
    2. Which are some of the jobs that pay alot?
    3. Which are the jobs that pay less?
    4. Why there is that much difference b/w these two jobs pays?
    5. Do u think fresh employees should get less pay than experienced ones? (In this question while giving her the answer i tried to give her an example but she didnt get me and repeat the question again emphasizing on do u think fresh employees should get less pay than experienced one? Than i answer it to the point that if the employee has abilities and he performs up to the mark than he should get same salary as that of the experienced staff)
    6. Should schools give practical training to the students?
    7. Why do u think universities give practical training to the students while schools dont?
    (That was the only question for which i asked her to repeat as i couldnt hear her).
    8. Is internship a good thing for fresh workers?

    In all questions of part 3 she was looking in a hurry and she interuppted me in almost all questions and asked the next one…
    Im so confused why she did so ! Can u plz make a guess??
    Also why she asked only 3 questions in PART 1?

    And u r helping us alot, Thanx πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ I have never heard of an examiner asking only 3 questions in speaking part 1 because it is not allowed by the rules of IELTS. If your examiner asked three questions and if it took less than 4 mins for those questions, she broke the rules. The only time part 1 questions might be limited is if the candidate can’t speak English and can’t answer the questions at all. In part 2, the examiner should never interrupt your answer. You should be given up to 2 mins to talk. No IELTS speaking test can take less than 11 minutes. This is something you can make your local IELTS center aware of if you wish. It certainly doesn’t reflect your performance, it only reflects her performance as an examiner.
      Good luck with your results

      • she didnt interrupt me in part 2. i was talking about question 2 in part 1. she let me speak for 2 min in part 2. She interrupted me mostly in parts 3 questions.

        Well thanks for ur reply.. i think she asked me 4 questions in part 1 im not damn sure lol. Need Prayers.

        • sory now i remember she asked me 6 questions in part 1. The other 3 were
          4. Do u like to take photographs?
          5. How often do u take photographs?
          6. do u remember any childhood photograph which u like most?


  43. While I was studing my ielts test I saw a question about the speaking part 2.

    You have just arrived at a new university. It is orientation week and you
    want to know about the different clubs and associations you can join.
    Your examiner is a Student Union representative.
    Ask the examiner about: types of clubs
    meeting times
    The first time I see a kind of question. So is it possible any sort of question in speaking part 2? And are we goint to ask question to examiner? I am confused so much. I thought that only examiners ask questions to candidates. And so how we can start our speech ? Can you give an example about it?
    Thank you very much Liz!

    • No, there are no part 2 cue cards like that in IELTS. Please see my speaking part 2 page for typical cue cards or look at the IELTS Cambridge Test books from 1 to 10 for the real questions:
      All the best

      • I am preparing for ielts test and learn about tips and tricks and the question types on your website. But I want totry to make a fulI test under exam condition so I downloaded IELTS CAMBRIDGE PRACTICE TEST series 1-9 to test myself. And I found this question in test 1. May be the series are in old edition. So I will not pay attention about the sort of questions after then.
        Thank you Liz for your help. You are so kind πŸ™‚

        • I think you have made a mistake. Which Cambridge IELTS test book did you find this question in?

          • Sorry Liz, I have just seen your reply.
            I downloaded them on a site. I don’t remember the name of the webpage. It is written that Cambridge examination publishing. Self-study edition by Vanessa Jakeman and Clare Mcdowell
            Cambridge university press

  44. I just went for my speaking test today. I don’t feel that I am doing well on part 2 and part 3. For part 2, will the marks being penalized if I do not follow the sequence of the prompts given? For part 3, the examiner asked about the practical skills but I first gave a soft skill example and then she corrected by giving an example of practical skill. So, I elaborated using her example. And I can’t think of anymore practical skills. Will that hurts my marks?

    • Neither should hurt your marks. The prompts are only guidelines which you can choose to follow or not. In speaking, you are not marked on your ideas or understanding of the question. So, if you could only think of one example (even given by the examiner) but you explained it well – that’s fine. You are only marked on the English language you produced.
      All the best

  45. Hi Liz,
    I really thankful to you for the efforts you are taking towards preparation of IELTS students free of cost. I’ve extensive beliefe that positive and gratitude feedback coming from every indivisual’s heart, who is exploring your site,will definitely bless you with a great prosperity in your life ahead.

    Thanks for everyting you are sharing here.


  46. Hi Liz,

    I just attended my IELTS speaking test here, and unfortunately couldn’t cover one sub question in task 2, the questions that were given on cue card. I covered 3 of them, but missed the fourth one and examiner pointed me the fourth one, but by the time I started explaining it, 2 minutes got over. I guess I attended the remaining parts good, but with minor sentence construction issues here and there. What possibilities do you think here?

  47. Speaking questions on 26sep India
    Part 1 where is your hometown
    What do you do
    Which mode of transport you use
    You prefer public transport or private transport
    How often do you walk

    Part 2 describe a place you go to relax yourself

    Part 3 how do people relax in your country
    Is life these days stressful
    Is it a materialstic society
    How is affecting relationships
    What can be done to balance between personal and professional life

    My part 1 and 3 was good but i spoke only for 1 min 15 sec in part 2. Will it effect my score

    • Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ If your speaking part 2 was strong on fluency and your fluency was strong through the rest of your test, it won’t have a big impact but it will probably have a small impact. Don’t forget that fluency is only 25% of your marks.

  48. Hi liz, I had my ielts speaking test yesterday but I couldn’t do well as I repeated a lot of sentences and couldn’t speak up to 2 minuts and was very fast while speaking and in part1 also I didn’t do well.and when i was done with my test I told my interviewer that “sorry I couldn’t speak for 2 minute as I was very nervous” do u think it will effect my score? And how much I could get?what do u think?

    • Fluency is 25% of your marks and it is based on your ability to talk at length and also to speak without hesitations or repetition. So, if you you repeated yourself and struggled to speak for a long time, it will affect that marking criterion. But there are three other criteria which you could do well in. You will have to wait for your results to see how it affected your score in total.
      All the best

  49. Hi Liz, I’ve just taken my Speaking test. This is my third time sitting for the IELTS, only because I’ve had to score an 8 for each component. I’ve previously managed a 9 and 8.5 for each section other than writing (7.5 NOO!). However, I have severe anxiety and stopped talked at part 2 of speaking, and after being prompted to keep going I expanded on my answers more but stopped, assuming it was the end! There was an awkward silence before I realised I had to keep going.

    I’m confident I did well for part 1, but for one question in part 3, I was asked if meeting people has changed nowadays compared to the past, to which I answered no. The examiner then said she was referring to social media and moved on to the next question.

    I literally hAve panic attacks worrying about scoring a band 8 for every component. Do you think these mistakes could have cost me an 8?

    • It’s hard to say because your score is calculated on all your answers together not on just one or two. So, how good your fluency was in the other answers, I don’t know. But your limited talk might have an impact. It is essential that you don’t worry or panic in the speaking test because it’s the only way to produce a lot of natural language to get a high score. Why do you think you panic? Are you scared that your answer isn’t right? There are no right or wrong answers in speaking. Your score is based only on the language you produce. For part 2, you don’t need to only follow the prompts, you need to add more information, details, description about other people, stories about the past, your hopes for the future, your memories etc. Think more about what problems you have in each part.
      Good luck with your results. Let me know what happens.

      • Hi Liz,

        Thanks for your reply. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens in 2 weeks*fimgers crossed*. I generally have anxiety disorder anyway which doesn’t help. I panicked on the day of the speaking test as I generally base my talks on real life events – when faced with a topic I had no experience of, I panicked and made up a story which lacked content. I received a 9 previously when my anxiety was under control years ago, so I really have to meditate or something if I sit for the next test! Shall report back with marks πŸ™‚ also, you’ve been more helpful than my psychiatrist haha!

        • Glad I could help πŸ™‚ Let me know what happens in your next test. Start developing ideas and plans for different topics in part 2, it will help. Once you have a store if ideas, you can adapt them for different talks.

          • Hey Liz, I’m back with results! It turns out despite the huge blunders I thought I made, I managed an 8.5! Sadly I only managed a 7.5 for the third time running for writing, so it looks like I have to do the IELTS again (my god, migration is burning a hole in the bank).

            What I did want to say on this forum was that I noticed the examiner asked me A LOT of questions in Part 3 after messing up Part 2. I think it was to really test if I could save myself — and I’m glad she did because an 8.5 after so many mistakes is nothing short of a miracle. PHEW! Now on to round 4 πŸ™

            In any case, I hope my crazy experience helps someone who reads this comment and calms their nerves a little if they think they messed up!

            • Well done! Still a very good score if if it isn’t quite enough. I’m sure many students will be encouraged by your comments.

            • I just took the speaking test today and yeah it’s same as your situation. Past 1 and 3 is ok but I did panic in part 2 which is really a disaster. Anyways there’s still hope.

  50. Dear Liz.
    I got confused after I read this post.I’ve got a question. Does the examiner allow me to speak more than 2 minutes in speaking part 2(cue card)? or does he or she stop me after I have talked for 2 minutes? in your post u have mentioned both of them as a possibility, that’s why I got confused. how long am I allowed to speak in speaking part 1 and 2?
    Thanks in advance.

  51. Dear Liz,
    I actually going to have my academic Ielts exam tomorrow morning 10 Jully 2015, please any additional of advice or tips for the day of exam? perhaps you already tried your best. I’m crazy waiting for your response please!

    • I hope this arrives on time. Make sure you have a very good sleep and eat breakfast. It is a long test of 2 hours and 40 mins – there is no break. Take a pen, pencil and eraser with you. Make sure you notice where the clock is in the exam room and make sure you check it regularly in your reading and writing test – you must manage your time well! Here’s a link to learn more about the test day:
      Good luck !!

  52. maninder says:

    liz mam . you are the best. you all tips are immensaly benefitial for me thanx a lot.
    god bless you..

  53. Dear Liz

    What does 9.02 mean in one part of speaking score. I saw the Examiner wrote that?

    • When examiners make notes, they are doing so for themselves to remember language you are using or for their own benefit. The notes are not for you to see and are not scores being written down. Your score is decided at the end of the test not in the middle. So, don’t worry about what the examiner writes as notes.
      All the best

  54. Prasanthi says:

    Hi… I gave my speakin test yesterday. In part two..I didnt speak for two the examiner asked me if I want to tell anythin more…then I again started speaking but I still didnt complete two mins. I felt like I spoke alot that time and I was surprised to see that It was less than 2 mins…I usually speak fast and Im not sure if this is going to affect my score. Could you please tell me if this could really be a problem? I got band 8.5 in speaking once and 7.5 when I gave it the second time..and this is my third attempt.

  55. Hi
    I took speaking test but i want to ask about somthinge happened
    In part two i stoped talking an examiner asked me could i tell him more
    Then i talked more till she stopped me
    Is that will affect my score

    • Hi,

      It’s not easy for me to say without knowing the exact situation. However, on the whole, it isn’t a serious problem if you ran out of ideas in part 2, then started talking again once the examiner encouraged you. It is also not a problem that you were still talking when the examiner stopped you at the end of 2 mins. The key will be the quality of language you used during your talk.
      Hopefully, you still gave a good range of language in your talk and you will be ok.
      Lets wait and see,

  56. Hi Liz,
    Just like you said in you essay 2 about interesting essay not being a criteria. I want to know if part 2 speaking need to be interesting because on two separating sitting i got 7.5 and 8 in speaking but retrospectively i know i didnt quiet say anything interesting but just followed a guidline .what is the possibility ?

    • Hi,

      That’s a very good question. Yes, you are right that task 2 is not marked on how interesting your essay is. But, what about speaking part 2?

      IELTS speaking is also not marked on how interesting your answers are . There is no mark for interest. So, why do so many teachers tell students to have an interesting talk? Well, the reason is that students need to learn to add more rich language and ideas to their talk to get a good score in vocabulary and also to get a good score in fluency by adding information. When students add more interesting ideas, they usually use a better range of vocabulary and they often produce better intonation because they are enjoying their talk more.

      So, there’s no mark for interest. But putting more interesting information into your talk can benefit you in other ways. You did well in your speaking test probably because you still produced a range of good language and spoke quite fluently. Some students do have difficulties doing that so adding interesting ideas is just a technique to help them.
      All the best

  57. Eduardo Styzey says:

    Dear Liz!

    I’m starting with your tips and in just in one week I noticed my improvement. Thank you very much for your tips and lessons, your job is very useful for us.
    I desire the best for you.

  58. Thanks Liz for all the useful materials you put up here for students like me.

    I will be testing(speaking test) tomorrow, please any advice for me?

    • Hi,

      Here are some tips for tomorrow:

      1. Add more information to all your answers. In part 1, aim for two or three long sentences: Where’s your hometown? My hometown is in the northeast close to the major city of Newcastle. However, it’s only a small town and not many people know it. I quite like it to be honest.
      2. Add more information in part 2. If you are asked to talk about who, when, where, what and why – you can add: how often, how far, describe the person, tell a story about the first time you met the person … add much more – tell stories.
      3. In part 3, explain your ideas. Give lots of examples and details.
      4. Don’t try to put lots of idioms in your answers – it won’t help. Just talk naturally and don’t focus too much on vocabulary because it will cause problems for your fluency.
      5. Listen to the grammar in the question – if it’s a past tense question then the examiner wants to hear past tense.
      6. Relax, be open, smile and imagine you are chatting with a friend.

      This is your test. You’ve got 14 mins to show your English. Make the most of each question.
      I wish you lots of luck πŸ™‚
      All the best
      PS if you remember your topics and questions, please post them for other students – thanks πŸ™‚

  59. Dear Liz,
    Thank you very much indeed for your all your tips in speaking. I had put into practice and used them in my speaking test on 10 th Jan 2015. You know, I got 7.5 . Praise the Lord!

    Again, thank you so much for your brilliant and generous work in your website.

    God bless you and yours.

    Franky J.D.

    • Congratulations!! That’s a great result. I hope you celebrated πŸ™‚
      Good luck with your future plans.

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