One of the resources most requested by students is IELTS Speaking samples for Part 2 of the test. But be warned, you could read hundreds of different sample talks without actually learning very much about how to create good answers yourself and achieving the score you want.
That’s not going to happen to you because the IELTS Speaking samples in this section of the website will teach you exactly how to develop excellent 2 minute talks that will gain you the marks you need.
However, just reading them and memorising the strategies won’t help you unless you actually practise using them over and over again. So, at the bottom of the page, I’ve included some IELTS-style cue cards for you to practise with and links to other pages with even more cue card topics.
The path to success
As we discovered on the introductory page on the Speaking test, the number one way to ensure success is to have a clear planning strategy that allows you to use your 1 minute planning time wisely.
If you haven’t read this important page yet, you’ll find it here:
Poor planning leads to an unstructured talk with ideas popping up all over the place and not really tying together. Fortunately, it’s an easy problem to solve.
So let’s begin looking at the actual strategies you can use to develop your answer in the 60 seconds you have before you start talking. One minute doesn’t sound long, but it’s long enough if you have a plan.
You’ll be given some paper to make notes and will be allowed to look at your notes while you’re talking. You won’t be marked on them.
For the first of our three IELTS Speaking samples, I’m going to use one of the cue cards you saw on the introductory page.
If your mind likes to work in a structured way, you’ll probably find this method the easiest to use.
Step 1 – First, pick out the keywords from the bullet points. I’ve underlined them for you here:
what you do
where you do it
who you do it with
and explain why you think doing this is healthy.
basically using the bullet points as they stand. However, it’s important that
you know these two things:
You may find that you have plenty to say using the questions prompts ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘who’ and ‘why’ in the bullet points. In case you don’t have enough ideas, or one or more of the bullet points doesn’t fit with what you want to say about the topic, we’ll use the other two question words as well.
Here is the full list of all 6 question prompts:
I’ve underlined the two not included in these bullet points and we’ll also use these in the planning process.
You’ll find that some cue cards only use a couple of these question words. There's an example in the practise cue cards at the bottom of the page. Where this is the case, you’ll be especially glad of this list to help you extend your answer.
Step 2 – Next make some notes using each underlined word as a headline. Do this as quickly as possible, ideally in 30 seconds.
If you think of something you really want to say that doesn’t fit under these headings, just write an extra heading – other – and jot it down under this. The key is to stay focussed on the topic.
Sample notes for this cue card:
Step 3 – Spend the remainder of your 1 minute planning time organising your notes.
Do these two things:
a) Decide which to talk about (you don’t have to use them all).
b) Put them in a logical order.
Here are our sample notes organised into a logical order.
If you don’t have time to write them out again as I have here, write numbers beside them (1, 2, 3, 4...) to show the order in which you will talk about them. This will be enough to organise them in your mind.
When you first practise this method, give yourself plenty of time to make your notes as you get used to the technique. You'll soon get quicker. Gradually cut down the time you allow yourself until you can do in the 1 minute you'll have in the real Speaking test.
Step 4 – Give your talk.
You are now ready to give your 2 minute talk. Refer to your notes if you need to but it’s far better if you can talk without doing so. What you must not do is to read out your notes. Your speech will sound unnatural and won’t be fluent.
You'll also run out of things to say before the 2 minutes is up as you'll forget to develop each point as you're talking.
The process of making notes and organising them the way I’ve shown you should fix the ideas in your mind ready for them to flow as you start speaking. The more you practise, the better you will get.
Here's the first of our IELTS Speaking samples, created from the notes above. Can you see how it follows the order of the notes?
Would it matter if a few points were out of order in your talk? Of course not. Your notes are just a guide to help you along. Glance at them if you need to, to keep you on track and to help you to remember all your ideas. The most important thing is to talk naturally as if you were explaining things to a friend.
The ‘question prompt' method ensures that you quickly and easily come up with thoughts and ideas for your talk. They six prompt words are also simple to remember.
Now practise using this planning strategy yourself with these cue cards:
Follow these links to two more planning strategies and IELTS Speaking samples:
Also visit this page for ideas on how to start your talk:
IELTS Speaking Exam: How to begin a Part 2 talk & top tips for gaining extra marks.
There are more Part 2 cue cards and IELTS Speaking samples on the vocabulary topic pages. They also include examples of Part 1 & 3 questions and answers.
IELTS Speaking Test: Know the format & understand what you’ll be assessed on. Discover the main reason for low scores & how to avoid this big mistake.
IELTS Speaking Part 1: 7 simple methods for developing your answers, with examples.
IELTS Speaking Part 2: Test format, understanding cue cards & 5 test mistakes to avoid.
IELTS Speaking Part 3: 6 common types of questions & how to answer them.
IELTS Speaking Topics: Discover 40+ common subject areas for the IELTS Speaking Test.
IELTS Speaking Practise Questions – Download 30 full mock tests (30 practise cards on 30 topics – 330 questions altogether).
IELTS Speaking Tips: 9 top tips to increase your chances of getting a high score
IELTS Speaking Practice: Massively improve your speaking skills by learning how to think in English.