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. Nitin Kunigal says:

    Hi Liz,

    I was wondering if you could clarify a couple of important doubts on part 2 of speaking test.

    Firstly, for boring/ mundane topics, can I talk about two entities instead of one? i.e. if the topic says, “Describe an old item your family has kept for a long time”/ “Describe a stranger who once helped you” for these, I would love to talk about 2 different items/ people weaving stories around them so that I can hold on to my talk for 2 mins and don’t run out of ideas. Is that fine?

    Secondly, if I am asked about something in the present tense, for instance, “Describe a lake/ river/ sea you visit” and if the cue card uses the present tense even in the sub-questions, can I talk about the sea I recently visited while I was in the UK (by the way, I’m from India) because it’s been ages since I visited any river/ sea in India. So if my fluency is very good, is it ok if I talk about the past despite the card having questions in present tense?

    I genuinely appreciate your advice on this issue.


    • You seem to think that you need to fulfil a task in speaking. You seem to think the examiner will mark you based on being on topic or following instructions. This is not true – it’s your talk – add any information you want.

  2. Maulik Jhaveri says:

    Hi Liz

    I have my speaking test scheduled tomorrow. I have a silly query: While talking in speaking (part 2), is it okay to look at your watch seldomly to trace your talking time?

    Not to mention, your online material has really helped me understand and shape my preparation for the test; cannot thank you enough :))


    • Why do you need to track time? You should be talking as long as possible. The examiner will let you know when it’s time to stop. Make sure you take your talk beyond the prompts – it’s the only way to demonstrate a good range of language and also extend your talk. Good luck tomorrow !! πŸ™‚

      • saikrishna says:

        Hi liz

        I would like to know what kind off dress we need to wear for ielts speaking test ? and i also want to know wheather we need to shave beard or not?? Do they consider all these things? Will it effect my score?

  3. Hi! What if I speak a non-english word but I further explained what it is and how it works (in english) will it affect my score?

    • If you use a foreign word, it is best to explain what it means in English. This is an English language test – so explain the word.

  4. Hi,
    I had my IELTS couple of days ago. I sometimes corrected my sentence or word. Will it be a problem? I also used “aa” sometimes. how much does these effect my score?

  5. Hi Liz,
    If I used stuff like ‘uhm’ alot will that be a problem?

    • It hinders fluency and should be avoided when possible. Of course, it is normal to have a few “ums” but if there are too many, it is a problem.

  6. can I see cue card or notes which I have made again after one minute to recall the things which i need to cover?

  7. Sleeba Mathew says:

    Hi Liz,

    I would like to know, how can we tackle a topic that is unfamiliar to us in speaking part 2. Although, we are given 1min to prepare and if we have no knowledge about the topic that’s given to us, how are we going to speak on it for 2min.

    • At the start of your talk, you will explain it to the examiner and then tell the examiner you will speak on a similar topic which is …. You are marked on your ability to communication clearly in English – so communicate!

  8. Recently I got 4.5 band in speaking module, but I performed well overall except few mistake, unfortunately, examiner stoped me before completing the fully task,when examiner watched the time ,examiner said to me 50 seconds are remaining, then I started speaking again,at the end of the test examiner gave me 4.5 band,which is unexpected, now I applied for reachaking, can I hope to increase .5 to 1 band in speaking

  9. Dear Liz,

    Today I have given Ielts speaking test. In part 2 the examiner stops me at 1 Min even though I was in flow to talk more. Please suggest me is it normal or there would be something I was doing unusual or I was talking out of the Topic.

    • The examiner can’t stop you at the end of 1 mins. You can talk for 2 mins without being stopped. The examiner controls the time and most students are not accurate at time estimation.

  10. Anam Fatima says:

    Hi Liz,
    I took my IELTS speaking test this morning. I did well in part 1 and part 3. But i guess i finished in about a minute in part 2.I covered
    all the questions on cue card but I had nothing more to say.The examiner signalled me to speak more but I could not. Is that an issue?

    • There are no questions on the cue card. There are some suggestions but no questions. The suggestions are to help you and should not be the only content of your talk. You need to add more ideas of your own. Part 2 is a chance to show fluency so you missed that chance. But it doesn’t mean that you won’t do well. There are other aspects of fluency that are marked.

  11. Hello Liz
    I had an exam today ,and I was nervous (it was the first time).so during the cue card I spoke so fast which I think my description was over around 1 minute (more or less) and I said what else ….,and again continued my speaking till the end ,but the examiner did not interrupt me which means I should have spoken more ,and I said shall I continue?he hesitated for like 5 or more seconds and then he moved on the next topic .So does it mean that I have lost score? actually it was well prepared and I did the second part very good but the negative point was that I had stress .
    And another thing that I probably should mention is that he did not tell me to speak louder till the 3 part in which I said “shall I speak louder?” And he said yes . If the examiner can not understand fully what I have said without informing me can lower my score?

    • Your speaking part 2 sounds fine. To understand about the volume issue, I would have needed to be present in your test. I’m sure the examiner could understand you. Wait for your results to arrive and try to relax.

  12. SYED SAMI says:

    Dear liz,
    If we say in test It’s me SYED SAMI in introduction then it will be right or wrong as I said like this in my test πŸ™

  13. I gave my test today and I was not satisfied with my performance because in some place I went blank I didn’t know what to talk, but my fluency was good enough. What score can I expect ?

    • Your score is based on your overall performance in 4 criteria: Your score can’t be predicted.

      • I remember her writing 9 in the first column of a sheet she had with her so, could you guess as to how much I will get on an average ?

        • The examiner usually makes notes of timing. The score is always decided at the end of the speaking test.

          • I contacted the british council directly about the speaking grading system. Once the speaking exam is finished if will be assessed by some other person for grading the score and is not by the speaking examiner.

            • I trained to give both the speaking test and the scoring. May be it is different depending on if the person asking the questions is an actual trained examiner. You should ask if the person asking the questions is a trained, qualified IELTS speaking examiner.

              • Sheryl Benavente says:

                Hi Liz,
                Will I get lower score if I did not answer the question in Part 2 of speaking test but I introduce my own topic?

                • I am confused by your question. There are no questions on your cue card. Take a look. There are suggestions and nothing more. You use or don’t use the suggestions as you want.

        • Dear I hope you got your result would you please tell me about your speaking result please?
          Because same thing happened in my exam too.


        • What was your score jeni

  14. Will the reduce my score because of repeating same ideas?

  15. Akiho Pasang says:

    Will I get low score if i get stuck at the last question of part 3??
    And will using β€œyou know” at the end of a sentence affect the score of speaking??

  16. Hi Liz,

    I just have my speaking test yesterday. But I noticed that the Examiner always stops me from talking further. This happens from part 1 to part 3. Does this affect my score? Sometimes I forget the right word of what I want to speak but i just keep going on.


  17. For some reason, the examiner changed the topic in part 3. He initially asked me questions related to home, then moved to education on the latter part. Is it normal, or a sign of poor score?

  18. Fagbenro toni says:

    Is it the speaking examiner that will score me for my speak test

  19. Ashwin Patil says:

    Hello Liz,
    I had my IELTS speaking test today. Overall, it was good but I stopped for some time in part 2 and I used fillers like ah.
    What score can I expect??

  20. Hi.. I had my speaking test today.. (India)
    1st part: Tell me something about yourself.
    Basic questions regarding the workplace, travel and computers.

    2nd part : Describe a car journey which is memorable

    3rd part: Do u think driving lessons should be given in schools?
    What do u think about driverless or flying cars in future? Advantages and disadvantages
    At what age, according to you, should one learn driving?
    What are some jobs which require a car?

    My first and last part were very good.. I guess without any grammatical and pronunciation mistakes.. But in second part I paused for around 5 seconds to think.. Then continued.. I made two grammatical errors in cue card.. Rest everything was fine.. Do u think it will affect my score much?

  21. in my speaking test the examiner asked me why not after i completed my answer. will this reduce my marks by 0.5 ??

    • Of course not.

      • i was told so by my teachers from whom i took coaching for IELTS. so i was a bit nervous. and is it required to give examples in the discussion questions??

        • Your speaking score is based on the language you produce. Not your ideas or the development of ideas. It is a normal part of the test for examiners to ask you to explain or defend your ideas in part 3 – that is part of the discussion. Of course, it’s better for students to offer the language and expand as much as possible but it doesn’t matter and won’t affect your score if the examiner asked this.

  22. Hi Liz,
    I’m about to take the speaking test in the next 12 hours and I’m kinda panic about the speaking part 2.

    For example, a practice question told me to “Describe a friend of your” and it only gave me about 2 mins to answer.

    Whenever I practiced the question, I always ended up telling “how I know him” and several off-topic points without having the time to directly answer the task given, which is to “describe” and all the following cues

    I wonder if this will negatively affect my band score, and if i should prepare a more on-topic answers for this particular task

    Thank you

    • Being off topic or on topic isn’t important for your score in IELTS speaking. Your talk is 2 mins and you decide:
      – what information to give
      – what order to give the information
      – what language to use
      You decide all of it. You can choose to skip some points on your card – it won’t affect your score. You can choose to not use the points at all – it won’t affect your score. So, use your 2 mins to plan how you want your talk to be. If you want to describe your friend first, then do it. It’s a good idea because that will contain lots of excellent language that will boost your score. If you talk about a museum, talk about its features first – that will contain the best language. Also add past memories and future hopes to boost your score for grammar. Each part of IELTS speaking is a chance to showcase your English. Your ideas and relevancy are not marked – take control of your speaking test, stop worrying and enjoy it. Be chatty and friendly!! Good luck πŸ™‚

      • Oh god! Thanks for your quick reply! Now I feel less anxious and more confident. You are awesome Liz 😊!

  23. Muhammad Mubashir says:

    Hello liz, i want to ask about memorize answers that i belong to pakistan my name is from urdu but i said,you can call me by my english name,mubashir.i just forget to change it..

  24. Rohail kayani says:

    Hi Liz,
    I had my speaking test today. The examiner asked questions in a very rapid pace i wasn’t even able to think much about the question. She didn’t even let me finish and asked another question. Does this happen quite often that examiners asks you questions in a such a way? Will i get good bands because i messed up quite much because of her speedy questions .

    • It is normal that the examiner will interrupt your answers in order to ask a new question. It’s a normal part of the test and doesn’t affect your score.

  25. Hello Liz how are you?
    A question
    I have no issues speaking till two minutes actually, 2 minutes are not enough for me, whatever the topic is I have this strategy, I start off with an introduction that is generalised, takes me 20 or 30 seconds, and then start emphasising on the other questions, so will the examiner let me speak more than 2 minutes? Or just stop me right there and then? Actually I’m a little worried I won’t cover all points that way lol, but I’m pretty fluent, I’m able to score 7 or 7.5 in mock tests

    • The examiner is not allowed to let you speak for more than 2 mins. So, make sure you get to the good language skills before 2 mins is finished.

  26. Kornelija says:

    Hello, just got back from my speaking test. The thing is, the part 2 cue card asked me to describe a TV drama series, but it turns out I described a comedy series (I did say during the test that the series was a comedy). Will that affect anything or am I just too paranoid? Thanks in advance!

    • Your speaking score is based on language and not ideas. This means it doesn’t affect your score is you go off topic in any way.

  27. Pranay Rathod says:

    Hi Liz,

    First of all thank you for all the guidance provided on your website.
    I just gave a speaking test today,
    Introduction was about
    -Secondary high school experience

    Cue card
    An experience of a good service when your visted a restaurant
    -when you visited
    -what services you received
    -how you feel about it

    And follow up questions were on customer services.

    I actually could speak for 2 mins but i started with the introduction of why we did go to that restaurant and we had to wait for a long time in and all these stuff, and u could speak for litlle on what services we received.
    Will these affect my score negatively ?
    Plz help

    • Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚ You can talk about anything you want in your talk. Your score is only based on the language you produced.

  28. Hi Liz,
    I have a few questions
    1. Is it ok if i try include too many formal words in my speaking?
    2. My friend who got 7 in speaking said that i should only include about 3 idoms in the whole test, too many would sound unnatural, is it true?
    Then how many idoms should I use in the whole tests and in part 2?
    3. Will it affect my score if i talk too much that the examiner stop me before i stop?
    4. Is it ok if i answer differently in questions. For example, I said “I love walking alone because I like to wear headphone” in one question and in the following one I said “i fancy walking out with my peers so that we can have some gossips” ?
    Thank you a lot for your answer as well as what you have shared, they are extremely fruitful!

    • 1. You should use a range of language but remember to be chatty and friendly.
      2. You don’t need to use any idioms in IELTS speaking. You can use phrasal verbs instead which are perfect: bring up, take over, chill out etc.
      3. It is normal that the examiner will stop you before you finish your answer. Don’t worry about it. It doesn’t affect your score.
      4. Why would you want to lie? Just be natural, open, honest and chatty. Don’t over think this. IELTS speaking isn’t a tricky test. It is a natural, friendly chat with the examiner.

  29. mohammed nawaz says:

    Hi liz..I’ve finished my speaking test today.I was asked about my neighbor in part 2; so I added my own story….and I took some pauses in part 3.will it affect my score….

  30. Hi Liz,
    During my test, in part 2, the examiner asked me to keep going twice, even thought I am sure that I spoke for more than 1 minute when I stopped, she asked me to keep going until the whole two minutes were up! Why do you think this happened?

    • Your aim is to speak for 2 mins. You are supposed to show the examiner that you can speak at length. If you speak for only 1 mins, it shows the examiner you have problems to speak at length in English. You need to learn a lot more about IELTS speaking so you understand the expectations and also how to get a higher score.

  31. I m facing problems in part 2 in que card .can u help me ?

    • Just remember that there are no questions on the cue card. There is a topic which you can use and guidelines. But you decide what to include in your talk. The examiner doesn’t care about being on topic or following the guidelines – so decide what you want to add. For example, a past memory, a personal story, a description, comparisons, future hopes etc etc.

  32. Hello , today I gave my ielts speaking test. I was able to answer parts 1&3 but was
    unable to complete part 2 the last bit as I kept on speaking . will I lose my score? I m worried

  33. I have a question . What`s going to happen if i don`t come to the IELTS speaking ?

  34. hi Liz,

    i just wanna learn that if we should follow the order of the prompts when we are giving our little speech. i mean that, for instance prompts are ordered as who, where, why. but in my speech, is it possible to start with explaining the reason (why)? because sometimes, your speech’s stream requires it.

    thanks a lot.

    • You don’t need to follow the order of the prompts for part 2. They do provide a good structure for your talk, but it isn’t necessary to follow the order. In fact, you are free to change them in any way you want πŸ™‚ Just stick to the main topic and direct the talk in the way you want.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Hello Liz
    If I do not conclude what I was saying because the examiner stops me due to the limited time, will that count negatively on me?
    Also can I use the SAME IDEAS for the writing and speaking modules on a given topic?(will it effect my score?)
    Looking urgently for reply since my test is tomorrow.

    • There is no conclusion in speaking part 2. The speaking test is not formal and the talk is not formal. It is informal. Yes, you can use the same ideas for both speaking and writing. But in writing task 2, the essay is formally written. Good luck tomorrow!

  36. Dear Liz,

    I did well in part1 &3. But I paused 15 to 20 seconds in part2. Can you please let me know how much I can expect in part2 in this case??

    • The speaking test is marked over the whole test, not by each part. You will need to wait and see your results. Good luck πŸ™‚

  37. 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

  38. 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.

  39. 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

  40. Hello,

    Can you see a timer in the second speaking part?

  41. 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™‚

    • Hello… if u dont mind me asking
      .. how much did u score in speaking? Becsuse i had the same issue of not talking much in part 2 πŸ™‚

  42. 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.

    • Hi cleo may i ask what’s your score in the speaking?. I think i did the same way.

  43. 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.

    • Hey Inna,
      I am taking my ielts in few days . May I know how you improved your writing skills coz I am wondering where to start.

  44. 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™‚

      • Kawleen singh says:

        I had the same problem today. I feared if my inability to understand the question and not answer it would affect my result in a very major way. But this question and and your reply is giving me the hope. Thank you.

  45. 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?.

  46. 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?

  47. 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.

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

  49. 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.

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

  51. 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.

    • I can’t predict scores. Your speaking score depends on grammar, vocabulary, fluency and pronunciation.

    • Hi joy may i ask your score in speaking. Just anxious coz previously took the ielts exam a week ago and ive seen in you comment. I did exactly the same way.

  52. 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?

  53. 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™‚

  54. 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

  55. 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,

  56. 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.

  57. 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,

  58. 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?

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

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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?

  64. 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.

  65. 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?

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

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

  68. roshan bista says:

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

  69. 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?

  70. 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

  71. 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

  72. 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?


  73. 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

  74. 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.

  75. 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

  76. 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.

  77. 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

  78. 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?


  79. 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

  80. 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

  81. 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.


  82. 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?

  83. 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.

  84. 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

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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 !!

  88. maninder says:

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

  89. 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

  90. 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.

  91. 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,

  92. 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

  93. 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.

  94. 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™‚

  95. 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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